Even before I took the stage to welcome attendees to the 2014 Sunshine State Scholars Conference, I realized that this year’s scholars were quite possibly the most talented group we have ever invited.
The conference, a joint project between the department and the Florida Education Foundation, invites each district’s top 11th grade STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) student to be recognized and encouraged to begin their postsecondary career in Florida.
I think it is important to know this year’s attendees were not only the state’s top STEM students, but many were also talented writers, musicians, athletes and leaders. For example, Michael from Okeechobee County recently finished his first solo flight and is completing requirements for a private pilot’s license.
Savannah from Charlotte County recently placed in the Florida Girls Weightlifting State Finals and Vivek from Broward County developed a mobile app to help middle school students prepare for the MathCounts competition.
Chyanne from Marion County started a project called “Stockings for Shands,” where she collects coloring books, crayons and other items for children receiving infusion treatments at Shands Hospital.
I wish I had time to highlight each scholar, but I am confident that you will begin seeing all of their names as they become our state’s next generation of leaders.
For more information on Florida’s Sunshine State Scholars program, visit the Florida Education Foundation website.
A special thanks to the conference sponsors who made the event a success, including AT&T, Helios Education Foundation, Universal Orlando Resorts, Atkins, Gulf Power Company, The Florida Lottery and The Mosaic Company.