By Jill Fox
In memory of Jaime Guttenberg and Gina Montalto, two community volunteers who lost their lives in the Parkland school shooting, a local organization is awarding a scholarship in their names.
Before their untimely deaths on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, both Jaime and Gina were volunteers for the organization that connects children with special needs and their peers.
In recognition and memory of them, The Friendship Initiative is providing scholarships to eligible graduating high school seniors and college or trade school students who have volunteered with kids with special needs participating in their programs.
To apply for one of the scholarships, students need to show how they are committed to embodying the values of inclusivity, kindness, and empathy within their communities.
The graduating seniors must have a minimum of eighty volunteer hours with The Friendship Journey, and have been accepted at a college, community college, university, trade school, institute of technology, seminary, vocational rehabilitation, or other approved program.
The annual scholarships awarded will be determined by the Scholarship Committee based on the applicant’s commitment to service and availability of funds each year but will not exceed $4,000.
Other eligibility requirements include a short essay explaining how applicants will continue to share their journey with friends of all abilities beyond high school, and how their experiences with The Friendship Journey have shaped their perspectives.
The application is available here, and the deadline is April 10.
To make a donation or learn more about The Friendship Initiative, please visit TheFriendshipInitiative.