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Scholarships Awarded at May Lunch Meeting

Our May lunch meeting focused on scholarship awards, and we were excited to have several recipients with us. Five graduating high school students in Indian River County received $1000 scholarships each: Kayla Tyson (left): Kayla is graduating not only from Indian River Charter High School (IRCHS), but also has earned her AA from IRSC at the same time! She plans to attend the University of Florida, majoring in economics and pre-law. While at IRCHS, Kayla was selected for the National Honor Society, and she participated in numerous activities, including Photo Arts, Student Council, Jazz Band, as well as volunteering for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, Homeless Children, and the Salvation Army. She also held a part-time job as a teacher assistant at Maitland Farms Preschool. Desiree White (center): Desiree was an International Baccalaureate Student at Sebastian River High School (SRHS) and a member of National Honor Society; she served as Captain of the volleyball team, Yearbook Editor, President of both the “Peer to Peer” Club and the Excel Club. She also worked part-time as a substitute teacher at Dance Space. Desiree plans to attend University of South Florida and major in Biomedical Science, with the goal of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Tanea Wymer (right): Tanea also earned her diploma from IRCHS and her AA degree from IRSC simultaneously, while participating in Key Club, Feed the Lambs, and serving as President of Alliance for Student Minorities. She worked part-time at Imagine South Vero’s Extended Care program. She plans to attend Florida Atlantic University in the fall, majoring in education, and hopes one day to own her own bookstore. Katelynn Etienne: Katelynn is graduating both from SRHS and IRSC and plans to attend Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, majoring in applied mathematics. While at SRHS, she participated in Future Business Leaders and Girls Weightlifting and held numerous part-time jobs. She was named “Top Student in the Teachers’ Career.” Gianna Rocco: During her years at SRHS, Gianna participated in Future Business Leaders of America, was founder and President of the High School Film Club and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and the Cat Shelter. She was selected for National Honor Society and held various part-time jobs. She plans to attend Florida State University in the fall, majoring in film studies, hoping for a career in filmmaking.


Since 1971, the Vero Beach branch of AAUW has been giving scholarships to deserving young women who have earned their AA degree from IRSC and are going on to a BA. This year, one award went to Madison DePeri (center), who has earned her BA from Indian River State College (IRSC) and is going on for a master’s degree in in Research Science, focusing on renewable energy resources. She has been an intern at ORCA working on microplastics in fish. Her mother (left) and Sherri Monds (right), Scholarship Development Coordinator with IRSC Foundation, were on hand to see her receive her scholarship. Two other IRSC recipients, Emily Decker and Yamilet Hernandez, were unable to attend the luncheon.


In 2018, the Vero Beach branch of AAUW began giving stipends to young women going into an intensive program to get their Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification. These students often receive grants for tuition, uniforms and books, but because of the intensity of the program, they usually don’t have time to work. Our stipends of $2,000 each – given through the Economic Opportunity Council of Indian River County – helps them pay rent, mortgage, utilities, etc., so they can focus on their studies. This year’s recipients are Jasmine Louis (left) and Kimberly Wells (right). As you know, helping young women further their education is the goal of all our fund-raising activities. If you’d like to help grow our scholarship funds for next year’s deserving recipients, you can donate on our website.

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