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Tequon Chatman

Applications Open for 2019 Scholarships

The Uncommon Friends Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 school year student scholarships, which will be awarded to deserving individuals(including veterans, single parents, grieving youth, and the disabled) who are pursuing post-secondary degrees in education, law, technology, healthcare, technical, and other studies. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2019.

Nominees must reside in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, or Hendry Counties, need financial assistance, excel in school and/or their personal lives, and possess high quality character traits.Scholarships vary in application requirements and commitments, duration and financial amounts, educational programs, and institutions.

Visit https://uncommonfriends.org/scholarships/opportunities/ for scholarship application forms and specific requirements of each scholarship. Completed applications and/or any questions should be directed to scholarships@uncommonfriends.org. Winners will be announced by early summer and will be honored at the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s Uncommon Evening on Thursday, November 14.

Uncommon Friends Foundation board member Susan Minaya chairs the scholarship committee that includes volunteers and community service organizations.

NEW! Cape Coral Kiwanis Club ($2,500) – for two disadvantaged students of any age to help defray tuition, books and supplies costs at any educational institution.

NEW! Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) Hospitality Scholarship ($1,000) – for any age student seeking an education and/or career in the hospitality industry to help defray tuition, books and supplies costs.

NEW! HomeTech ($2,500)– for any age student to help defray the costs of tuition, books and supplies to attend a trade school.

NEW! Jared Basco Pay It Forward Scholarship–For any age student pursuing any career who demonstrates generosity through activities such as community service, financial giving or volunteerism that has impacted his or her life, and from which others may benefit.

NEW! Smith Family Trust Bonita Springs Charter School Scholarship ($1,000)–For students from Bonita Springs Charter School who demonstrate strong character and ethics in their everyday life.

NEW! Valerie’s House Scholarship for a Grieving Child – Two $1,000 Scholarships –For any age student who has lost a parent or sibling and participates in Valerie’s House’s grief support programs to help defray tuition, books and supplies costs.

NEW! Waste Pro Scholarship ($1,000) – for any age student to help defray the cost of tuition, books and supplies to attend any post-secondary school of their choice.

Berne Davis Future Teacher Scholarship ($5,000) – For a student enrolled in a program leading to a degree in education.

James F. Chelius, Jr. Scholarship for Disabled Students ($1,000)– For any age student with a disability such as dyslexia, hearing, sight, physical, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy who has ambition and positive character traits.

Florida Prepaid College Foundation Scholarship– Covers two years of state college tuition and fees for a freshman or sophomore who meets specific conditions and stays free of drugs and crime.

Health Sciences Scholarship ($1,000) – For any age student working toward a degree in a health field, (e.g., nursing, dental hygiene, technologist, or therapist) to help defray cost of books or education.

Hilliard Scholarships ($4,000) – Two, two-year scholarships for high school seniors residing in either Glades or Hendry Counties to attend Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

Single Parent Scholarship($1,000) – For a deserving single parent who has overcome difficult obstacles to further his or her education and gain skills to enter the workforce.

Special Recognition Scholarship – Three scholarships for any age student to help defray cost of books or education for one semester.

Technical College Scholarship –For any age student to help defray costs of tuition, books and supplies at a technical college.

Veteran’s Scholarship ($1,000) – For a deserving military veteran of any age to help defray costs of books or education.

For more scholarship information, visit the Scholarships section of http://uncommonfriends.org/ or email scholarships@uncommonfriends.org.

Russell Budd Bart Zino Kimberly Ortegon Mark Simmons

PBS Contractors Wins 2018 Business Ethics Award

PBS Contractors of Naples, Florida received the 2018 Business Ethics Award from the Uncommon Friends Foundation at its annual Uncommon Evening Gala held Thursday, November 8 at the Burroughs Home & Gardens on the Fort Myers riverfront. PBS Contractors is a luxury residential and commercial builder and remodeler serving South Lee and Collier Counties and was represented by Russell Budd, CEO/Owner, Bart Zino, Kimberly Ortegon, and Mark Simmons.

Brian Rist, President and CEO of title sponsor Storm Smart, presented the Business Ethics Award to PBS Contractors before an audience of business, education and community leaders and student scholarship winners.  Other finalists in attendance were Chris-Tel Construction of Fort Myers, represented by President Howard L. Wheeler II and Priority Marketing of Fort Myers, represented by President/Creative Director Teri Hansen, APR.

Known as a concierge builder that puts people before profits, PBS Contractors has been on a mission since its founding in 1986 to build better lives for its team, its clients, and its community. At the cornerstone of PBS are 28 guiding principles that it refers to as, “The PBS Way.” Rather than defining corporate values, they instead defined fundamental behaviors that, in turn, guide the day-to-day ethical actions and choices of their 35 employees. For example, Fundamental #2 is, “Do the right thing. Always.” and Fundamental #5 is “Honor Commitments.” Everyone at PBS Contractors, from entry level to senior management, lives and practices the 28 fundamentals daily to guide decisions and actions, resulting in extraordinary customer satisfaction and superior structures. For more information, visit www.pbscontractors.com or call (239) 643-6527.

Dr. Karen Serrell and Rachel Mas

Rachel Mas was named the 2018 Character Education Teacher of the Year. She is an educator at Cypress Lake Middle School, where she teaches Spanish and Intensive Reading. She holds a BA in Education from Florida SouthWest College (2009), has served in the United States Army for 15 years, and is currently an Army Reservist in Cape Coral, Florida, serving as her unit’s Equal Opportunity Representative and UPL chairperson. She believes character education is just as important as students’ core disciplines in their overall education and development.

Marilyn Stout presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Gray Davis SWFBT

Gray Davis was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service to the Uncommon Friends Foundation, including seven years serving as the chairman of the board of directors (2009 to 2016). Davis is Agency Executive/Senior Vice President of McGriff Insurance Services, a member of BB&T Holdings, the fifth largest independent insurance agency in the United States and the world.He was instrumental in raising donations to build the Gale McBride Pavilion in 2015 and also in establishing the Hilliard Student Scholarships to Florida Gulf Coast University. He holds an MBA in finance from Walden University and an Executive MBA from Babson College and is a veteran of the United States Navy and a retired member of the United States Marine Corps.

Board chair Marilyn Stout recognized the many contributions of both Brenda Stewart and Jody Van Cooney, who have voluntarily served in scholarship, board, PR, and various capacities over the last twenty years and who have been of enormous help to the Foundation.

Caryn Smith, CEO of Driven by Design Marketing & Publishing, chaired the 25th anniversary event. The evening’s title sponsor was Storm Smart; other major sponsors were: Conditioned Air, Florida Weekly, Home-Tech, Inc., Edison National Bank, Kiwanis of Cape Coral, and The News-Press Media Group.