The Founders Fund Awards Scholarships to 37 Collier County Students

College scholarships were awarded to 37 Collier County students by The Founders Fund during an annual ice cream social held on April 20.

The Founders Fund, a local non-profit organization, awarded $370,000 in renewable scholarships to local students during their annual reception which honors scholarship recipients and their families. Each student was presented with a renewable scholarship in the amount of $2,500 per academic year totaling a $10,000 overall scholarship.

Each year, scholarships are awarded to Collier County students seeking financial assistance in order to pursue a higher education. The scholarships are non-restrictive and are given to help students with college and post high-school educational expenses. Students receive the renewable scholarships with the agreement they are a full-time student and maintain a B average or better in their college studies.

With the addition of this year’s 37 students, the total number of students receiving Founders Fund scholarships this coming year will be 102. This year, the scholarship award amount was increased from $2000 to $2500 per year along with the number of students awarded scholarships increasing from an average of 25 each year to 37.

The commitment and annual budget needed to distribute scholarships is approximately $230,000 each year. Funds needed to grant the scholarships are raised through a fundraising golf event held every other year, donations from Club members, and the generous support of local business sponsors.
The Founders Fund, Inc., founded in 1991, is a non-profit/tax-exempt charitable organization. Since its inception, over 642 students have been awarded more than $3.4 million in scholarships.
2017 Scholarship Recipients:

Barron Collier High School: Jason Randall, Fiona Pashollari, Kala Ashlee Parkinson, Cecilia Sofia Peregrin
Community School: Tiffany Morina, Corey Hixson
Golden Gate High School: Michelle Lauren Schubert, Lisa Tseng, Maria Martinez Reyes, Marlene Ruiz-Perez
Gulf Coast High School: Nicole Garcia, Federico Martinez
Immokalee High School: Azariah Howard, Rosalinda Matayer, Erick Hidalgo
Lely High School: Zuleima Toro, Patrick Joseph, Erick Joseph, Watson Marcelin, Robert Garcia, Jason Francoeur
Lorenzo Walker: Aurora Medellin-Gutierrez, Milagros Jerez, Brady Lee Marshall Sharbaugh
Naples High School: Cameron Mary Bonk, Leo Gonzalez, Oscar Rodriguez, Camila Cal
Palmetto Ridge High School: Andrea Vargas, Angie Emily Joseph, Ariel Marie McCrary, Taylor Sorrell
St. John Newman: John Zizzo
The Club Pelican Bay (Children of a Club Pelican Bay employee): Thomas, DeMallie, Maddeline Gross, Brendan Fieger, Donna Taylor

The scholarship fund, originally set up to help the children of the Club Pelican Bay employees, has expanded over the years to include Collier County high schools. Employees of the Club Pelican Bay and their families are also eligible for scholarships. This year three children of employees were chosen to receive a scholarship.

For more information about scholarships or sponsorships, contact Stacy Lee-Williams at 239-593-0124 or visit
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.