Rotary of Boca Raton Gives $153K Give to 2 Paramedics at Palm Beach State College

From left, The Rotary Club of Boca Raton president-elect Gerry Purdy; club scholarship chair Pia Giannnone; CEO of The Foundation for Palm Beach County David A. Rutherford; PBSC president Ava L. Parker; Club finance chair Bill Riddick

Stretchers and an ambulance parked outside were the backdrop for $153,000 in scholarships for paramedic/firefighter and other trade and industrial students at Palm Beach State College.

Lake Worth, FL – The scholarships are a first for non-academic students and the sum is a record for The Rotary Club of Boca Raton. The money will impact 35 students. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Club is providing 12, $7,000 scholarships to students in the trades: HVAC Technology, Automotive Mechanics and Marine Services Technology. The Club also approved eight paramedic scholarships at $7,000 per award to student who have completed the EMT/firefighter curriculum at PBSC.

Beyond tuition, scholarships in all trade programs include professional quality tools, exams and certifications for students who meet the criteria by achieving required grades and submit an essay describing their passion for their chosen field and dedication to personal excellence.

“This is starting over; thank you for believing in me,” said EMS student Lindsay Barron, speaking for her fellow scholarship recipients at the presentation in the EMS training lab on the main college campus in Lake Worth. “I have three children and a special needs son.”

“Your story is important. You need to know how you are going to make a difference,” said Club scholarship chair and a PBSC foundation board member Pia Giannone.

“What really struck me was ‘Service Above Self’,” said David A. Rutherford, CEO of The Foundation for Palm Beach State College, citing Rotary International’s motto. “Our president embodies that, and your occupations embody the same thing.” PBSC foundation sponsored the check presentation, reception, tour of the Public Safety Complex.

“There are so many things you could do with your resources, we’re honored,” said Ava L. Parker, Palm Beach State College president. Her husband Joe Gibbons is a Rotary member and a Paul Harris Fellow in the international service organization. “Eighty percent of our students stay right here in Palm Beach County,” Parker noted. “It made me feel like Santa Claus to give these scholarships.”

“In 10 years, I want you to be leaders; we are thrilled to be part of making this happen,” said Club president-elect Gerry Purdy.

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