Regional Manufacturers Association Scholarships Support Student Success & Technician Education in Florida

Regional Manufacturers Associations (RMAs) play a vital role in supporting postsecondary education and technical training in Florida. Each year RMAs across Florida award numerous scholarships to outstanding high school and college students whose summer are defined by at least two big successes—graduating from high school and winning a RMA scholarship. Indeed, RMA scholarships have gone a long way in helping students like Danielle Marie Larson realize their ambitions and dream to succeed.

Larson was the recipient of the 2012 Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA) scholarship. Larson who recently graduated from Dunedin High School in Pinellas County with a 3.7 GPA says she is “no longer skeptical to pursue an engineering degree at the University of Florida due to financial reasons.” She was chosen from a pool of 20 applicants, and is planning to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Florida.

For over 20 years, BAMA has provided scholarships to local high school seniors continuing their education  in a manufacturing related field. In addition to the $1000 scholarship awarded to Larson, as part of its partnership with FLATE, the National Science Foundation Center of Excellence at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, BAMA gave another $1,500 to support FLATE’s state-of-the-art robotics camp for middle and high school students. Cliff Csulik, director at Jabil Circuit and president of BAMA says the organization “takes pride in supporting quality educational and STEM based programs” that strengthen its commitment to manufacturing across the state.

South Florida Manufacturers Association (SFMA) is yet another RMA that remains committed to supporting student success. The organization currently serves as a leading advocate for manufacturing initiatives in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach, Indian River, Monroe and Okeechobee counties in Florida, and is dedicated to promoting growth and success of manufacturing in its targeted region. SFMA recently awarded scholarships to three high school students, Adam Garey, Jessica Wilbo and Devin Brown, to pursue higher education at Florida State University.

Brown, Garey and Wilbo are high achievers, and beacons of academic achievement. Brown who is a resident of Hollywood, FL holds a current GPA of 4.48, received high honor roll, and was part of the national honors society throughout his junior and senior years in high school. Adam is an Eagle Scout, a member of the National Technical Honor Soceity, and a 2012 Communications Pathfinder nominee. Jessica Wilbor too has maintained a high GPA throughout her term in high school, and is member of several honors societies that include the Entrepreneurial Business Academy, the Spanish River High School National Business Honor Society, and DECA Business Program. She served as president of “No Place for Hate” club for two consecutive years, and was part of the girls varsity lacrosse team.

Scholarships continue making a positive impact in the lives of students across the nation, and serve as an effective mechanism in capturing fresh talent. The award amount, criteria and number of scholarships varies by each institution, nevertheless, to a large extent, is determined by candidates’ interest in pursuing a technical and/or manufacturing related program. Other RMAs who will tentatively be offering scholarships and/or announcing winners in the coming academic year include the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturers Association and the Marion Regional Manufacturers Association.

For more information on scholarships, deadline, criteria for application visit www.madeinflorida.org/scholarships, contact an RMA in your area, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org.