Local students have faced obstacles through the COVID-19 pandemic, including loss of internships and job opportunities, leading to an increased need of financial support. Farah & Farah, a Florida and Georgia law firm, announced last month that three exceptional local students are among the 20 recipients of the firm’s inaugural Empowering Greatness Scholarship Program.
The students were selected for their outstanding academic success and community service and will receive a $5,000 scholarship to further their post-secondary education. The selected Orlando students include Evan Thompson of Evans High School, who is off to Harvard; Sarah Louis, who is currently attending University of Florida; and Darius Turner of South Lake High School.
“The high cost of postsecondary education is one of the biggest barriers to earning a degree,” says Chuck Farah, co-founder of Farah & Farah. “We created this program to recognize and support students who demonstrate a passion for community service while excelling in the classroom, a need that has been accentuated by this pandemic.”
Embrace Families Hosts Graduation Parades
With many milestones being put on hold amid the pandemic, Embrace Families wanted to make sure 40 youths in foster care received the recognition they deserved. On June 9, 16 and 17, the nonprofit agency overseeing foster care, adoption and child services in Central Florida hosted drive-by graduation parades in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. All students, who were honored with car honking, sign waving and “contactless” gift delivery, either graduated from high school, college or vocational school.
According to the National Foster Youth Institute, approximately 50% of youth in foster care complete high school. However, young adults in foster care in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties have a higher success rate of completing high school and pursuing secondary education. More than 76% of young people ages 18-22 under the care of Embrace Families have earned a high school or equivalent degree.
Congratulations to these students on their accomplishments!