By Jill Fox
Three Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduating seniors each received a $20,000 scholarship from Pediatrix, one of the largest neonatology physician-led organizations in the country.
The company created the Pediatrix Supporting Students Foundation to assist families and the students after their lives were shattered in the February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Since the shooting, we’ve been able to award 16 scholarships totaling over $250,000 to graduating seniors from the school our kids attend,” said Todd Foote, who co-founded the program with Pediatrix Founder Dr. Roger Medel.
Foote has one child graduating this year and two more remaining at MSD.
After his eldest son lost five friends and his cross-country coach, Scott Beigel, Foote struggled to figure out a way to give back after the massacre. As part of the Pediatrix MSD Strong Scholarship, seniors can further their education and become an inspiration to others, while the funds provide financial assistance to them as undergraduates.
These three women will receive $5,000 each year during their four years of college from the foundation.
Elaine Chen, who plans to major in business, will attend the University of Florida for pre-law. According to Foote, Chen was also recognized for having the most service hours of any student in the graduating class.
Brooke Kessler hopes to pursue a career in the medical field and plans to study health administration at the University of Central Florida.
Mackenzie Muller, a pre-biology major, will attend Florida State University. She has volunteered at Cleveland Clinic for the past four years and plans to be a physician.
Foote, the Sunrise-based company’s associate vice president of finance, believes its mission has resonance and value. “The recent shootings only reinforce the need for what we are doing to help support students impacted by tragic events,” he said.
Pediatrix is a national medical group that comprises the nation’s leading providers of neonatal, anesthesia, maternal-fetal, and pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty services in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The scholarship selection process focuses on academic performance, leadership potential, community service, volunteering, and financial need.
To donate to the Pediatrix Supporting Students Foundation, visit here.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.