Rainy weather and a semester with cuts to Florida Bright Futures scholarships were not enough to deter the spirits of students at the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom on Wednesday, where the sponsors of the Bright Futures program hosted an ice cream social.
The event, funded by the Florida Lottery, honored Bright Futures recipients and commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Florida Lottery.
Since the creation of the program in 1997, Bright Futures has granted 166,294 USF students financial aid totaling more than $369 million, Bill Hancock, Tampa sales manager for the Florida Lottery said, and scholarship recipients, coordinators, state officials and USF President Judy Genshaft spoke about the impact of the scholarship.
Earning a Bright Futures scholarship requires dedication and hard work, Genshaft said. Our students are here achieving dreams (because of Bright Futures).
At the event, attendees received free ice cream cups donated by Winn Dixie, along with promotional items from the Florida Lottery, including 300 free T-shirts, and three $100 gift cards for gasoline and beach gear packages were raffled off.
I was grateful to meet all the people who awarded me the scholarship, Nathalie Mompremier, a sophomore majoring in statistics who was awarded the Florida Medallion Scholarship, said. I couldnt be a Bull without it.
Audrey Anderson, Special Events Coordinator for Florida Lottery, said the gifts to students were donated as promotional items from the Florida Lottery. Anderson said, these promotional items for students cost between $4,000 and $5,500, but that the Florida Lottery donated that amount to the USF Foundation instead of spending it on the event.
Organized by the USF offices of Student Success and the Vice President for Student Affairs, the event cost virtually no expense to USF or the Bright Futures program, with the MSC venue, food and gifts all donated.
The scholarship is an important cause to many students and benefits students throughout the state, Paul Dosal, senior vice provost for the office of student success said.
In addition to the event at USF, the Florida Lottery is also hosting 12 other events at major universities around the state to spread awareness about the connection between the Lottery and education, Mike Purcell, district manager for the Florida Lottery, said.
In years past, the scholarship could cover up to the full cost of tuition and fees for students seeking higher education, but now covers $100 per credit hour at the highest levels and $75 at the secondary level.
According to the Florida Lottery website, since its inception, the program has awarded more than $3.6 billion in scholarships to Florida students.