23 High School Students will be awarded in Spring 2024
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Prepaid College Foundation (FPCF) is proud to partner with VyStar Credit Union to award college scholarships to 23 deserving Florida students in spring 2024. FPCF will match VyStar’s contribution toward these scholarships dollar-for-dollar, doubling the impact. This contribution is part of VyStar’s commitment to supporting education through initiatives that create a solid foundation for a lifetime of financial wellness for students. Each scholarship will cover 60 credit hours at a Florida public college or university, or the equivalent funding at another qualified educational program.
“We’re dedicated to doing good and leading by example through collaborative partnerships that support youth and overall community vitality in the areas we serve because we believe in the power of education,” said VyStar President/CEO Brian Wolfburg. “Financial education is one of VyStar’s most important philanthropic initiatives. We are honored to provide 23 students with scholarships that will empower them to pursue their dreams and build a brighter future.”
Of the 23 scholarships, 19 will be awarded to high school seniors who participate in VyStar’s Academy of Business High School Branch Program. The program was established in 2006, and has provided 2,004 paid internship opportunities and delivered financial education training to more than 118,000 students. As of 2023, there are 18 high school branches in eight different school districts.
Since the inception of VyStar’s Academy of Business High School Branch Program, VyStar has awarded $147,000 in scholarship funds across the communities it serves. The program gives high school students the opportunity to learn financial basics and provides them with hands-on, real-world experience not taught in the classroom. The high school branches’ daily operations are managed by a team of students supervised by their school’s career academy instructors. Students learn marketable skills that help them in the workforce, and many have gone on to work for VyStar after graduation. Each high school location is a fully functional VyStar branch open to the students and faculty.
The remaining four scholarships will be awarded as part of the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program. The Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program is a partnership between FPCF and the Florida Chamber Foundation to reduce childhood poverty by providing a pathway to college for Florida students living in the poorest zip codes. These four scholarships will be awarded to students living within the following areas/zip codes that have been identified based on socioeconomic need:
For the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program, eligible high school students must meet scholarship criteria including staying crime-free and drug-free; and must demonstrate promising efforts in their classrooms while overcoming significant life challenges.
“Poverty is a monumental societal problem that impacts so much from educational attainment to physical health and mental well-being,” said Florida Prepaid College Foundation Director Cynthia O’Connell. “The Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program is built on our belief, shared with the Florida Chamber Foundation, that while poverty can seem like an overwhelming problem, we can make a difference for Florida’s children, one college scholarship at a time.”
Right now, more than 700,000 Florida children are living in poverty. Half of these children are concentrated in just 15 percent of Florida’s zip codes – resulting in extremely impoverished communities where children face a much greater likelihood of academic challenges, health risks and other obstacles.
VyStar Credit Union, the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and the Florida Chamber Foundation have partnered with the Boys & Girls Club’s Florida Alliance in Alachua, Volusia and Orlando along with others to identify students and provide mentoring as part of The Path to Prosperity Scholarship award. Students who qualify for the available scholarships will be identified by educators in their area high schools. The scholarships can be used at Florida public colleges and universities, as well as technical and vocational schools.
Learn more about the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation at www.pathtoprosperityscholarship.com.