Democratic Women’s Club Awards Scholarships

Life won’t go how you think it will, School Board member Mara Schiff told this year’s recipients of the Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River County’s annual scholarships.

For the 31st year, the club has presented $1,000 awards to impressive seniors attending the county’s public high schools. The presentations were held during a luncheon at the Grand Harbor clubhouse.

Honored for excellence in academics, involvement in school activities, dedication to community service, and commitment to Democratic principles were Tamara Green, Zoe Nevins, Kassandra Alvarez, Heather Nevins, Margaux Schiffeleers, and Anna Birnholz.

Speaker Schiff used her own experiences to illustrate 10 things she wished she had known at the scholars’ age. They were:

·      Life is full of choices. Choose wisely.

·      Take big risks.

·      Always ask yourself, who am I and does it serve me?

·      You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. Choose them carefully.

·      You don’t know everything, and you’re not supposed to.

·      When you hear something three times, pay attention.

·      Ask a lot of questions, then listen.

·      Find your heroes and study them.

·      Don’t be in a rush to grow up. 

·      Enjoy the journey.

This year’s awards included two named: the Albert and Josephine Gallo scholarship for study in science, technology, engineering or math and the Steve Erickson music scholarship.

The recipient of the Gallo scholarship was aspiring mechanical engineer Zoe Nevins. The Vero Beach High senior hopes to link her loves of the arts and science to become an engineer in the entertainment industry.

A flutist, piccoloist, and saxophonist, Heather Nevins is this year’s winner of the Erickson scholarship. She has played in the marching, symphony and jazz bands and plans to become a band director.

DWC merit scholarships were awarded to Green, Alvarez, Schiffeleers, and Birnholz.

Vero Beach High student body president Green sees herself as a future entrepreneur. The budding business major has founded two school clubs: Open Minds and the Minority Student Union.

 Alvarez plans to pursue a degree in child psychology. The Sebastian River High student is an aid at Fellsmere Elementary, where she was named Volunteer of the Year in 2017.

Spurred by hundreds of hours of selfless service to others, Schiffeleers’ goal is to become an emergency physician. The Vero Beach senior intends to major in biology at Florida State University.

Combining her two loves of anthropology and theater, Vero Beach High’s Birnholz envisions using theater to tell historical stories and to reach out to at-risk or underprivileged youth. The National Merit finalist has also been a religious school teacher at Temple Beth Shalom.

The next meeting of the DWC will be held May 11.