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Need scholarships, anyone?

Comcast recently announced its annual scholarship program, as have several other providers. All of them offer strong support and belief in local students across Palm Beach County (PBC). Read the list, which we’ll be continually updating, below. And remember: the Comcast application deadline is December 6, 2019.

Comcast Leaders & Achievers

High school seniors from across Florida can apply for the Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program, which recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding community service, exceptional academic performance and strong leadership skills. The award, funded by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, is a one-time, $2,500 scholarship to be used toward undergraduate education-related expenses. Last year, the national Foundation awarded $236,000 in scholarships to 90 students in Florida alone.

High school seniors who meet the eligibility requirements can learn more and apply here. Questions? Call 800-537-4180 or send an email to leadersandachievers@scholarshipamerica.org.

And did we say the deadline to apply is Friday, December 6, 2019?

At Title 1 Schools, Countywide

Teamwork USA Education Foundation is a Palm Beach Gardens-based nonprofit that provides a series of scholarships to any eligible PBC students who attend Title 1 schools. Only. Here are two currently available:

  • 12th Grade Scholarships. The $4,000, scholarships will be awarded this season to 20 high school seniors across PBC. Applications are being accepted now through January 31, 2020. Students must plan to attend a Florida-based college, university or trade school and the scholarships can only be used for tuition, books and fees. Students must have a 3.25 GPA, community service, financial need, two recommendation letters and a 500-word essay on a topic of the student’s choice. Click here for the application.
  • Renewable College Scholarship. A new lineup addition, it allows an awarded student to continue to receive one of up to 15 more $4,000 scholarships to support that student’s continuing attendance at college, university or technical school. If awarded, the additional funds may be used for tuition, fees and books, but only at a two- or four-year college, university or technical school in Florida. Learn more here.

For more information about TeamWork’s good work, click here.

More Than 100 Local Scholarships

The Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of the largest providers of established scholarships in the two-county region. Since 1983, it has awarded more than $10 million in scholarship grants and helped nearly 2,000 students. All scholarships are based on need, unless otherwise noted, and can be seen here. (Note: there are four parts, each of which has lists of scholarships, for a total of 100 scholarship categories.) The deadline to apply is January 2, 2020. Questions? Call 561-659-6800 or send an email to scholarships@cfpbmc.org. There is also a list of external scholarships, which are those provided by outside, private organizations; see the list here.

For ‘Dreamers’

TheDream.US is a scholarship for DACA- and TPS-eligible immigrant students that opened earlier this month for applications and closes on February 27, 2020. Graduating high school seniors as well as community college graduates are eligible to apply. ‘Dreamers,’ by the way, are undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and are covered by federal legislation called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) that was meant to provide a pathway to permanent legal status. Students with TPS—Temporary Protected Status—are those nationals from countries, such as Haiti, experiencing issues that make living there unstable or unsafe. There’s lots of specific information available on its website, here, about focus, intent and eligibility.

A Four-Year Focus

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and historically black 1890 Land-Grant Universities in an attempt to increase the number of minorities studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences and related disciplines. The scholarships are awarded annually and must be used at one of the 19 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in that category around the country, including Florida A & M University in the Sunshine State. Selected students will receive each year for up to four years a scholarship that covers full tuition, employment, employee benefits, fees, books and room and board. The list of schools can be found here, along with eligibility requirements, a program overview and links to applications for new high school applicants and rising college sophomores and juniors. Deadline to apply: January, 31, 2020.

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Lifelong learning? Here

By now, Palm Beach County residents have received the school district’s ‘Palm Beach Adult and Community Educator’ in the mail. Don’t throw it away: inside is a treasure trove of lifelong learning classes—from those focused on adult education and job training to those that are fun and teach a single, targeted skill. Like crochet, for example. Each year, more than 30,000 people take after-hours classes at some 26 school sites, countywide. Those classes range from CPR certification at Inlet Grove High School in Riviera Beach and a pre-apprenticeship program in the trades at West Technical Education Center in Belle Glade to how to start, grow and manage a business at Palm Beach Central High in Wellington to belly dancing at Jupiter High School (And that crochet class? There’s one at Atlantic High in Delray Beach.) The variety is broad, the prices are friendly and some classes and registration are also available in Spanish and Creole. On-site registration begins January 8, 2019, while online registration can be done here, now. That same website lists all of the information provided in the 31-page mailer. Indeed, classes in ESOL, GED and Adult high school diplomas are also available online. Learn more about those work-at-your-own-pace options here. The goal of all this is simple, according to Dr. Donald E. Fennoy, the superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County: to increase the number of adult education students who enter post-secondary education and earn a degree, certificate and/or industry credential. And if you just want to learn Basic Web Design or how to Tango or do yoga, this is for you too. Most classes begin January 22.

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SOS Community Band provides support–and needs it

From the time he was in elementary school until he created the Sounds of Success (SOS) Community Marching Band in February of this year, Antoine Miller, 29, has been in love with bands. Not stage bands; traditional marching bands. With drum majors. And tubas. The SOS Band has nearly 70 members who range in age from 10 to 40 and they practice nearly every day at the Boys & Girls Club in Riviera Beach. Currently, they play somewhere, every single weekend.

“I don’t know, I’ve always just loved marching bands,” said Mr. Miller, who played for the FAMU Marching 100–of course—and is planning to do a documentary on the subject. “And the more I work with young people, the more I see why: bands keep you focused, active, involved. Plus, you learn stuff and have a lot of fun.”

Some of their upcoming events:

  • The SOS Band will be perform at the MLK Parade in Riviera Beach on January 19, which starts at 10 a.m. They will march with Mayor Thomas A. Masters.
  • Following the parade, the band will also perform in the Battle of the Bands at Suncoast Community High School, which starts at 4 p.m.
  • On January 21, it will perform in St. Petersburg., Fla., at another MLK-related parade.
  • And it will be the only band from the state of Florida at the African-American Day Parade in Harlem, N.Y. on September 21, 2019.

Watch a video report of the busy band below:

From WPTV Channel 5:
Kids, adults make music together through Riviera Beach community marching band.

Mr. Miller said he is also planning a Battle of the Bands in Fort Pierce in September. How can he put an event together with a dozen bands? Because he knows everybody in the marching band industry–from Willie Pyfrom, the Belle Glade resident who “taught pretty much all of us in Palm Beach County,” Mr. Miller said, to Timothy E. Nance, who was a band director at J.F. Kennedy Middle School for 22 years before, in 2011, being appointed an assistant principal. Mr. Miller calls them both ‘maestros.’

And remember we mentioned tubas? They cost thousands of dollars a piece and the SOS Band needs five. Got any to donate? Want to make a financial contribution? Click here, use the band’s code, FBMRRKS, and just follow the prompts. And to reach the hard-working Mr. Miller: soundsofsuccessmusic@gmail.com.

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The gift of reading…

As the holiday season approaches, what a great time to give the gift of reading to children of all ages! An array of wonderful literature is available online and at your local bookstores. Books that spark children’s imaginations, their sense of adventure and their appetite for information. Check out a few titles below, their covers pictured above:

  • Birth-age 4Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
  • Ages 4-8Dad, who will I be? by G.Todd Taylor
  • Ages 9-12Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Ages 14 and upHidden Figures by Margot Lee Shettery

This post was provided by Jonella Mongo, Ph.D., a Detroit-based education consultant who often visits us here in south Florida. Contact her at drjmongo@gmail.com.

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Interested in FAMU? 2019 Spring Preview in March

Founded in 1887, Florida A & M University is the fifth largest historically black college or university (HBCU) in the U.S. by enrollment and the only public historically black university in Florida. It also offers 54 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, three professional degrees and twelve doctoral degrees. But what it is, really? Perhaps the most popular college with students in Palm Beach County–and, we might add, a really fun place to be, too! And on March 29, the FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA)’s Palm Beach Alumni chapter will host its 2019 Spring Preview trip to their alma mater for students interested in learning more–on campus, in Tallahassee, for a full day. And during that daylong stay, there’ll be a campus walking tour, plus meetings and workshops with: Admissions and Financial Aid offices, including individual assessments of entrance requirements and financial aid options; administrators, deans and professors from each department’s offered major; athletic coaches, including in football and golf; the Student Government Association; and the Royal Court. The fee includes overnight travel by bus, departing from and returning to the Urban League of Palm Beach County within 24 hours. For more information, click here or contact 561-951-1621 or amccullough1228@gmail.com.  And, if you want to attend the alumni chapter’s free annual Christmas partay on Friday, click here for more information on that.