Published On: Sat, Apr 28th, 2012

PTA/PTSA Council awards scholarships to volunteers, two from Boca

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BOCA RATON — The Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSA has awarded three scholarships to active PTA volunteers, two of them from Boca Raton.

The council selected two graduating seniors and an adult volunteer to each receive $500 to help offset the cost of their future educational endeavors.  Winners were chosen based on an original essay and letters of recommendation. Student applicants wrote essays responding to the prompt “Being a PTA member means…” while adult applicants wrote essays that shared their thoughts about “PTA…Empowering Families!”

Winners were:
Larry Harris, a PTSA volunteer as well as a teacher at Omni Middle School in Boca Raton.  His passion to inspire students to be educated and healthy generated an idea to train a group of kids for the Palm Beach Half Marathon.  The goal: “inspire the entire school to exercise and eat better”.  Together the PTSA and Mr. Harris developed a rigorous training schedule, running routes were varied with the help of a hunted down Garmin GPS watch; the students training was the subject of a local newspaper article, and PTSA parents provided breakfast on long run days.

Setutsi Dennis, a senior and active student volunteer at Spanish River High School. He stated, “Being a PTSA member means being a part of something much larger than yourself!” Setutsi’s scholarship application shows that she has always been an active student and volunteer at her school from the Step Team to Student Government.  However, it wasn’t until a PTSA mom casually asked “Why haven’t you joined PTSA? You participate in all our events…” that she joined PTSA.  After two years Setutsi said that by being a member of PTSA, “I’ve learned by example that doing for the greater good is better than doing for myself. The grandeur of our PTSA is quite humbling and being a part of it really means the world to me.”
The third winner was Wallis Stormont O’Hagan, a PTSA vice- president and active senior at Suncoast High School. She shared that “being a PTSA means opportunity” and she embraced the opportunity to “create a learning community that is both constructive and beneficial.”

The Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSA is a member of the largest advocacy group for children in the nation. PTA is comprised of millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, contact Jennifer Martinez, president, 561.254.9513 or palmbeachcountypta@yahoo.com.

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