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MCF Scholar Profile: Alicia E.

Thanks to generous donors who believe in the impact that higher education can have on our communities, the Manatee Community Foundation has the pleasure of awarding scholarships to local students. Since 1998, we have been able to award over $50 million in scholarships and grants.

We enjoy following our scholars through their educational journey and we will periodically highlight these exceptional students.

Alicia E. – Lakewood Ranch High School Graduate

Alicia E.

High School: Lakewood Ranch High School

College: Florida State University 

Major: Exceptional Student Education (Bachelors and Masters)

College Graduation Date (Month, Year): May 2013

Next Steps: (Residency, etc.) Continue working as a Care Coordinator as well as a Community Engagement Specialist with The Patterson Foundation. 

Why did you choose your major? When I was 13 years old my mother enrolled me to volunteer at a camp for children with disabilities. Little did I know that experience would change my life forever. I quickly learned we’re a lot more alike than different and I wanted to work with individuals with disabilities in the future. 

Favorite thing about Manatee County? My favorite thing about Manatee County is the family and friends I have here. That is what made me come back and want to raise my women children here. Tied for second place would be the beautiful beaches at AMI and Ice Cream at American Honey Creamery. 

How have MCF scholarships helped you? The MCF Scholarship was a huge help financially when I was in college. I did not have any help financially from my family so scholarships, loans, and work-study were how I got through it. I was beyond grateful for the scholarship awarded to me from MCF every semester for four years. It was truly a blessing. 

What piece of advice would you give to high school seniors? DREAM BIG! Leaving High School and jumping into the real world is a huge step. It can be overwhelming and scary and that’s normal. Know that if you have dreams and aspirations those should be the focus and always try to find ways to accomplish them. If you are going to college or trade school there was advice that my mother gave me. Try to meet two new people every day when you are away. Make connections with people and build relationships in the new community you are in. 

What would you like to share with scholarship donors? As a college student with no financial support from my family, I can not stress enough how important scholarships are. They played a huge role in my academic success and greatly impacted my educational journey.

Keep dreaming big and continue making an impact on our community, Alicia!

Our general scholarship application cycle opens in December. We take rolling applications for those going to vocational programs at either Manatee Technical, State College of Florida, or University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

If you’d like to support access to education for well-deserving students in our area, you can send a check to Manatee Community Foundation, 2820 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205, with MCF General Scholarship Fund in the memo line or call Alicia Chalmers at 941-747-7765 to discuss.