Tallahassee, FL – Former First Lady Columba Bush and the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced the 2014 Arts for Life! scholarship winners. These winners were selected from over 600 outstanding applicants from 47 counties across Florida. Students in public, magnet, charter, virtual, and private schools as well as home education programs vied for the prestigious award. This year’s scholarship winners were selected by a committee of respected experts in one of the scholarship’s five disciplines: creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual art.
“Each year I enjoy meeting the wonderful students and their family members,” said Mrs. Bush. “I am proud to support these young artists as they continue their creative pursuits. Their vision and passion for the arts is so inspiring.”
A passionate advocate for the arts and arts education, former First Lady Columba Bush established Arts for Life! in 1999 to recognize the creativity and artistic talents of Florida’s high school students. This year, Arts for Life! will award $2,000 cash scholarships to 25 Florida graduating high school seniors who excel in the visual arts, music, creative writing, drama, and dance. Since the program began, more than 350 talented students have been awarded a scholarship.
performed at an Arts for Life! fundraiser last month.
In addition to the $2,000 cash award, the Arts for Life! College Matching Program provides an additional matching in-kind scholarship – worth a minimum of $1,000 – to award winners attending one these participating Florida institutions of higher education: Broward College, College of Central Florida, Flagler College, Florida Atlantic University, Florida College, Florida Institute of Technology, Jacksonville University, NOVA Southeastern University, and Stetson University.
The 2014 Arts for Life! winners are invited to attend a luncheon in their honor next month hosted by former Governor Jeb Bush and Columba Bush. Prior to the luncheon, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Artist Symposium, a panel of professionals representing several arts disciplines offering guidance and advice based on their experiences. Winners in attendance will also perform or exhibit in the discipline in which they were awarded.
The 2014 Arts for Life! scholarship winners are:
Khadeine Ali – Cypress Bay High School, Broward County
Kristina Boyett – Manatee School for the Arts, Manatee County
Deeani Gonzalez – Chaminade–Madonna College Preparatory, Broward County
Jamal Parker – Colonial High School, Orange County
Cassidy Spaedt – Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County
Andrew Lott – Pine Crest School, Broward County
Thomas Nightingale – Ponte Vedra High School, St. Johns County
Hayley VerValin – Viera High School, Brevard County
Andrew Cheshire – Merritt Island High School, Brevard County
Kaila DeLany – Tarpon Springs High School, Pinellas County
Lyudmilla Fuentes – Kathleen Senior High School, Polk County
Nina Morales – Frank W. Springstead High School, Hernando County
Rebecca Tutunick – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward County
Steve Aviton – Dillard High School, Broward County
Amy DeVries – Fort Myers High School, Lee County
Jamilette Diaz–Rivera – Lake Howell High School, Seminole County
Brynna Kaplan – Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy, Palm Beach County
Laura Laufer – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Chloe Lewis – Cypress Lake High School, Lee County
Julieta Londono – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Samantha McVety – Pine View School, Sarasota County
Stephanie Navarrete – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Brandon Rodriguez – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Kevin Savillon – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Juan Urbina – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Arts for Life! scholarships are made possible through the generosity of Mr. Ronald O. Perelman.
The Foundation for Excellence in Education thanks the following patrons for their support of the 2014 Arts for Life! program: Maestro: William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Composer: Kyra InfoTech, Publix Super Markets Charities, Raymond James; Surrealist: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami–Dade County, Florida House on Capitol Hill, Jeanne Godwin, Robert & Margaret Rothman, Publix Aprons; Protégé: Britto Central, Florida Lottery, Hyatt Regency, Independent Living Systems, and Keiser University.