STRIVE Awards Celebrate Student Resilience and Strength

Apr 19, 2021

Thirty-five high school seniors and 32 juniors will be applauded Friday, April 23, at the 23rd annual STRIVE awards recognition, presented as a streaming experience for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The community is invited to participate at no charge. Guests can join the streamed event by logging on at noon Friday, April 23, at Facebook.com/educationfdn, the Education Channel (Comcast channel 20 or Frontier channel 33), or youtube.com/TheEdChannel20.

The annual event, hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, celebrates juniors and seniors who have demonstrated resilience and determination in overcoming academic and personal challenges to make significant improvements and stay focused on their goals.

Students were nominated by counselors, teachers, and principals at Sarasota County Schools’ seven district high schools, and seniors completed interviews with an Education Foundation committee.

During the interviews, seniors selected as STRIVERS provided clear and compelling answers about how they are applying lessons learned after overcoming obstacles, and they demonstrated a drive, passion, and plan to complete their educational journey.

Each senior STRIVER will receive a laptop and cash award of $1,000 to help them pursue education after high school. Junior STRIVERS will receive award certificates and gift cards.

Excerpts from some seniors’ stories will be shared during the event and in coming weeks in print and social media.

“The indomitable, courageous spirit of our STRIVE award recipients is inspiring, and we want the community to share our pride in these amazing young people,” said Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation president.

Participants in the streaming award celebration will include SCS Superintendent Brendan Asplen; Vigne; and high school principals Rachel Shelley (Booker), David Jones (Sarasota), Brandon Johnson (North Port), Steven Covert (Pine View), Eric Jackson (Venice), Erin del Castillo (Riverview), and Jack Turgeon (Suncoast Polytechnical).

The STRIVE awards celebration was founded by Jack Hunkele and is made possible through the generosity of the H. Jack Hunkele Charitable Foundation. Additional support for this year’s event is from Evelyn Sadlier Jones Foundation, Harold & Jacqueline Bladel Charitable Trust, Suncoast Credit Union, Florida Blue, Bruce J. Heim Foundation, and Freeman Orthodontics.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County swiftly adapted its delivery methods to continue supporting Sarasota County students, families and educators during the COVID-19 crisis. Donations to the COVID Education Relief Fund may be earmarked for specific schools at EdFoundationSRQ.com. The EFSC is an independent, philanthropic partner of Sarasota County Schools with a mission to enhance the potential of all students, promote excellence in teaching and inspire innovation in education, guided by strategic philanthropy and the belief that education changes lives.