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Mariners award six $1,000 scholarships

August 9, 2011
By FRAN THOMAS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha Mariners presented six $1,000 scholarships to deserving area students. The winners were Francisco Castaneda, Caleb Davis, Carolina Lerma, Michael Marzella, Brandi Schulte, and Dale Wagner.

The Mariners first gave a single scholarship away several years ago. Over the years, the total increased to a planned five.

"But we had six that were so well qualified we gave an extra one," Ross Stornello, the Mariners' Scholarship Committee chair, said.

Article Photos

Deborah Marzello, Karina Lerma, Francisco Castaneda, Ross Stornello, Brandi Schulte, Caleb Davis, Dale Wagner, Ron Mayhew.

Funds are raised through three yearly activities, the Mullet Toss, the Seafood Fest, and the Southwest Florida Blues Festival to be held on Nov. 19, 2011.

At the ceremony during which the checks were presented, each scholarship recipient got the opportunity to say a few words. Schulte cited the increasing costs of schooling and how grateful she is to be receiving funds for the second time. Davis appreciates knowing that the island supports its youth in this way. Castaneda is focused on his goal and thankful he has this help to get him there. Lerma is already busy studying at UF so her sister Karina read a gracious thank you letter from her. Marzella, too, was in Gainesville taking a chemistry final, his mother Deborah Marzella reported.

Francisco Castaneda graduated from Ida Baker High School and will attend Edison State College. His goal is to become a physician's assistant.

Caleb Davis is in his sophomore year at Edison. He is preparing for a career in medicine.

Carolina Lerma graduated from Mariner High School and is enrolled at the University of Florida in pre-law.

Michael Marzella graduated from Bishop Verot High School and is also enrolled at the University of Florida. He is working toward a degree in medicine.

Brandi Schulte is entering her sophomore at the University of South Florida. She is studying criminology and will pursue a career with either the FBI or the Homeland Security Bureau.

Dale Wagner graduated from Mariner High School and will attend Florida Gulf Coast University. He hasn't yet decided on a major.

Stornello explained the criteria for scholarship applicants. The Mariners look at grade point average, achievements, and community service.

"We want to honor kids who have done well and really worked hard," he said.



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