Ninety members and guests at the May 22 luncheon at the Hilton-Naples met six of the eight NPC scholarship students. First, the two who graduated from college this spring were honored. Andrew Friedgen, a Journalism major at FGCU, gave a brief presentation thanking the Press Club of Southwest Florida for its support during the past two years. He told the group about some of his experiences as a student in the FGCU Journalism program and mentioned that he will soon depart on a road trip to California to celebrate his college graduation. The other FGCU J-student graduate, Mary Castro, was not able to attend. Both of them will receive a 2014 Associated Press Stylebook as a graduation gift from the Press Club of Southwest Florida.
The three continuing NPC scholarship students were then introduced: Oscar Santiago-Torres (Golden Gate High School-2011), FGCU Journalism major; Lauren Schoepfer (Barron Collier High School-2012), a University of Central Florida Emerging Media major; and Kyle W. Shatto (Naples High School-2013), a Florida Southern College Journalism/Sports Management major. Lauren said a few words about Arthur Hecht, her previous NPC mentor, telling how much he had helped her when she changed colleges. Arthur, a founding NPC member, passed away last October.
A special treat for those in attendance came when two of the three new Terrence J. Miller $1,000 Renewable Scholarship recipients received their award certificates instead of receiving them at their high schools’ May 19 award nights. Sarah Grace Davenport (Golden Gate High School-2014) and Melissa Gomez (Lely High School-2014) were presented their 2014-15 scholarship certificates by Scholarship Committee member Connie Kindsvater. Sarah Grace, a Collier County Graduate of Distinction, is enrolled at FGCU and plans to major in Journalism. Melissa, a Collier County Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete, is enrolled at the University of Florida in its Innovative Academy program. She also plans to major in Journalism.
The third new NPC 2014-15 scholarship student, John Marshall Wix III (Golden Gate High School-2011), was not able to be in attendance. A Journalism major, he is entering his junior year at FGCU.
Part of the NPC Scholarship Committee’s mission is mentoring the scholarship recipients. Mentors for the current group of six students are: Karla Wheeler (Sarah Grace Davenport); Carole Greene (Melissa Gomez); Phil Beuth (Oscar Santiago); Rhona Saunders (Lauren Schoepfer); (Connie Kindsvater (Kyle Shatto) and Jeff Margolis (John Wix). All students on NPC scholarships enjoy honorary memberships in Press Club of Southwest Florida while they remain scholarship students.