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HomeAt Home & Beyond48th Annual Student Recognition Celebration earns an "A"

48th Annual Student Recognition Celebration earns an “A”

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Organizers of The Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce 48th Annual Student Recognition Celebration earned a grade of A this year, setting a record in 2022 for the number and dollar amounts of scholarships given.

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The celebration took place April 28 at presenting sponsor The Legends at Silverthorn, Silverthorn Community Club in Spring Hill.

“We gave out $30,000 in scholarships to 53 students,” said Jenn Monaco, senior event specialist at The Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce. “We gave out two scholarship grants donated by Wal-Mart, each of which was $2500. The school superintendent gave a scholarship for $1500. Spherion Staffing gave two scholarships worth $500 each. Every student walked away with at least $300 (for nominees) and a gift bag.”

“Every student walked away with something,” she said.

It is Hernando County school principals and guidance counselors that nominate students for chamber scholarships, co-sponsored by local businesses and organizations and presented by CETA (The Chamber Education Training Association, a 501(c)3 organization which offers the community support in the education and training of the community) and co-organized by Nicole Miller, Pasco-Hernando State College. Additional sponsors are United Way and Kiwanis International.

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Miller says that the recognition program honors students in five vital categories.

“These categories are career/technical, academic, leadership, the arts and community service,” she said. “Scholarships ranged from $500 to $1500, with Davis Family Hearing among those giving $1500 scholarships.”

These categories allow for students to be recognized in a variety of areas of excellence.

“Some of these students have GPAs that you would not believe,” said Monaco. “Other scholarship categories include the arts, community service and volunteering.”

Students must be nominated, and were required to fill out an application and write an essay to qualify for these scholarships. Winners were treated to a lush celebration brimming with appetizers, photos, and the broadcast talents of Stephen Schurdell of HITS 106.3.

“Students got gift bags filled with gift cards from local businesses, for food, oil changes, and much more,” said Monaco. “They got supportive letters from Sen. Wilton Simpson and others.”

And the ultimate reward, in Monaco’s view, is the recognition of top students in Hernando County.

“We want to let the kids know they’re appreciated, and show how much they’ve accomplished,” she said. “And we welcome the opportunity to let them know that there is opportunity right here in Hernando County.”

Co-coordinator Nicole Miller feels that the The Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce 48th Annual Student Recognition Celebration is a fine show of community spirit.

“This shows students that the community is behind them,” she said. “This is a good way for local businesses to help our students get off on the best foot in life.”

First Name / Last Name / School / Category / Scholarship / Sponsor
Brooke / Culp / Nature Coast Technical High School / Academics / $1,500.00 / Davis Family Hearing
Baylee / Holcomb / F. W. Springstead High School / Academics / $1,000.00 / Ackley Dental Group
Skyler / Marosi / Hernando High School / Academics / $1,000.00 / Brooksville Elementary School
Andrew / Escamilla / Nature Coast Technical High School / Academics / $750.00 / Bravera Health
Angela / Paulson / F. W. Springstead High School / Academics / $750.00 / Bravera Health
Natalie / Torres / Weeki Wachee High School / Academics / $500.00 / Superintendent’s Award (Hernando Education Foundation)
Katharine / Manuel / Hernando Christian Academy / Academics / $500.00 / Brijbag Law
Alexa / Kalhorn / Weeki Wachee High School / Academics / $500.00 / Brijbag Law
Piper / Sullivan / F. W. Springstead High School / Academics / $500.00 / Coastal Engineering
Brandon / Lambutis / Weeki Wachee High School / Career & Technical / $1,500.00 / Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board
Nathanael / Monroe / Hernando High School / Career & Technical / $1,000.00 / Pasco-Hernando State College – President’s Award
Connor / Pullen / Nature Coast Technical High School / Career & Technical / $1,000.00 / Kiwanis Club of Brooksville
Michael / Pratt / Nature Coast Technical High School / Career & Technical / $500.00 / Holmes’ Family Foundation
Kayla / Nixon / F. W. Springstead High School / Career & Technical / $500.00 / Spherion Staffing
Liel / Shachr / Weeki Wachee High School / Community Service / $1,500.00 / Maria Sanvenero Memorial Scholarship
Jessica / Sapp / F. W. Springstead High School / Community Service / $1,000.00 / Kiwanis Club of the Adventure Coast
Olivia / Tracy / Hernando High School / Community Service / $1,000.00 / Rotary Club of Brooksville
Hannah / Barry / Hernando High School / Community Service / $1,000.00 / Massage Envy – Spring Hill and Brooksville
Emma / Rodriguez-Pajerski / F. W. Springstead High School / Community Service / $750.00 / Junior Service League
Hailee / Proctor / Nature Coast Technical High School / Community Service / $500.00 / Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church
Asher / Gibson / Hernando High School / Leadership / $1,500.00 / Chamber Education Training Association (CETA)
Megan / Jenkins / Weeki Wachee High School / Leadership / $1,000.00 / United Way of Hernando County
Sofia / Frank / F. W. Springstead High School / Leadership / $750.00 / HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital
Katherine / Kavanagh / Hernando High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Spherion Staffing
Cali / Berenis / F. W. Springstead High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Jerry Campbell for Hernando County Commission – District 4
James “Tre” / Joyner / Central High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Hernando Education Foundation
Kendal / Haff / Nature Coast Technical High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Whiting Insurance
Lisa / Rosario / Nature Coast Technical High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Connor / Ross / Weeki Wachee High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Pasco-Hernando Workforce board
Hayley / Frazier / Central High School / Leadership / $500.00 / Kiwanis Club of Brooksville
Misa / Viveiros / Hernando High School / The Arts / $1,000.00 / Tasha Vincent Memorial Scholarship for the Arts
Brenna / Maloney / F. W. Springstead High School / The Arts / $1,000.00 / Florida Garage Door Pros
Sylvia / Preston / Nature Coast Technical High School / The Arts / $1,000.00 / Lucas, Macyszyn, and Dyer Law Firm
Makayla / Messaris / F. W. Springstead High School / The Arts / $1,000.00 / Hits 106
Lily / Patterson / Nature Coast Technical High School / The Arts / $500.00 / Whiting Insurance
Ella / D’Angelo / Hernando eSchool / The Arts / $500.00 / Century 21 Alliance Realty
Sophia / Bohto / Weeki Wachee High School / The Arts / $500.00 / Red Mule Pub
Molly / Shannon / Nature Coast Technical High School / The Arts / $500.00 / Suncoast Credit Union

Audrey / Adams / Hernando Christian Academy / Community Service / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Jenna / Bahnken / Hernando High School / The Arts / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Hayle / Carlisle / Central High School / Leadership / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Fernando / Correa III / West Hernando Christian School / Community Service / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Pierre / Creantor / Central High School / Academics / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Michelle / Geiger / Central High School / Leadership / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Russell / Goldner / Weeki Wachee High School / Career & Technical / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Bridget / Hemphill / Hernando High School / Career & Technical / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Elyzian / Marulanda / Central High School / Academics / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Eva / Newhall / Weeki Wachee High School / Community Service / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Leonardo / Padro / Central High School / Leadership / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Angel / Rodriguez / Central High School / The Arts / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Jacob / Thompson / Hernando High School / Academics / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Noah / Tomas / Weeki Wachee High School / The Arts / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grants
Chelsea / Trattles / Central High School / The Arts / $300.00 / Walmart Community Grant

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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