by Barbara Erlichman
The Boynton Woman’s Club is continuing its tradition of awarding scholarships to high school seniors from local high schools. This year’s five recipients are all residents of Boynton Beach and will attend a Florida college in the fall. Applicants again exceeded the number of available scholarships, which made choosing the winners extremely difficult. The students had to fulfill educational requirements, perform community service and participate in after-school activities.
“Our final scholarship winners are just outstanding,” said Boynton Woman’s Club Scholarship Committee co-chair, Donna Artes at the BWC monthly luncheon on April 20, 2106. “It makes you proud of our education system. These high school students already have workforce skills, and these scholarships will help them in reaching their goals.” Co-chair Denise Chamberlain added, “Education is so important, and being awarded a scholarship means a lot to most students.
Many Florida universities don’t give out academic scholarships, which makes our program so important. We were extremely impressed with these five students and are so pleased we can reward all their hard work with a scholarship.”
This year’s scholarship recipients are: John Celestin, Jessica Dale, Bria Janae Holmes, Atia Khan and Julian Pollifrone.
Boynton Woman’s Club members met all five scholarship recipients at the club’s annual scholarship luncheon at the clubhouse. Over 40 members and guests attended the member-provided pot luck lunch. Boynton Woman’s Club President-Elect, Barbara Grimes, thanked everyone for coming and added, “Our Scholarship Program is funded in part through donations to our scholarship raffle. When we hear how much our scholarships mean to these students, it makes all the work worthwhile.”
As one recipient, Jessica Dale, said, “These scholarships are an investment in the future.”
Jessica Dale is a student at Santaluces High School and will be going to Florida Atlantic University. Her major will be education and she aims to teach in either a middle school or high school. Enrolled in an Early Childhood Education program at Santaluces, she is already on the way to reaching her goal of becoming a teacher. Jessica is a member of the National Honor Society and is currently president of the Florida Future Educators of America Club. She has volunteered at the Royal Palm School’s facility for students with severe disabilities and is a counselor in training at Discovery Key Elementary School in Lake Worth. As part of her work with the International Celebration Association, Jessica has started 6 libraries in the South American country of Guyana.
John Celestin attends Park Vista High School, and when he starts at Florida International University in Miami, he plans to major in biology and science with the goal of becoming an ophthalmologist. Already certified as a phlebotomy technician, John can work in a hospital or doctor’s office. He is a member of the school’s Medical and Health Science program, the National Honor Society and President of the French National Honor Society. His community service includes beach cleanups and volunteering at Bethesda Hospital.
Bria Janae Holmes attends Boynton High School. Bria will begin her studies at the University of Central Florida in July and will be majoring in education. She is a CIT Counselor in Training and has participated in AVID and teen leadership classes. An Honor Roll student throughout high school, Bria is part of Education Rocks program. She has raised over $2,500 for children in Ethiopia and Indonesia and sponsored Indonesian teenager, Ni Luh Suartini, to attend school this year. An entrepreneur, she created an on-campus business venture in snack sales, giving her hands-on experience in inventory control, staff management and accounting.
Atia Khan attends Atlantic High School and will be going to the University of Florida in Gainesville. She will be majoring in anthropology and is already looking toward a PhD in comparative field work. She plans to write a book on Bangladeshi culture, which is her background. She is the current president of the Literary Club, a member of the National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, Rho Kappa History Honor Society and the Science Club. She is also taking classes at Atlantic High offered through its IB World School and ranks at the top of her Class of 2016.
Julian Pollifrone goes to South Tech Academy. As Number 1 out of 302 students, he is this year’s valedictorian. He will be attending the University of Central Florida to major in writing and rhetoric. Julian loves to write and has written short stories and poetry and wants to be a screenwriter. He is president of the Poetry Club and was president of the National Honor Society in 2015. He is also a member of the Varsity Debate team and placed third in Florida’s Skills USA conference. He is also involved with the Palm Beach County Student Showcase of Films, The Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project (which has published some of his poetry) and South Tech’s Digital Film & Broadcast Academy.