College Scholarships Awarded in Brevard High School Senior Awarded $80,000
By Teri Jones
On January 28, 2017, Infinite Scholars Foundation sponsored a College Fair at Rockledge High School and during the course of the College Fair awarded seniors fully paid scholarships to primarily Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I spoke to Pam Rendel, the mother of Andrea Rendel, a Viera High senior. She said, “I have never seen anything like this! The students stopped at the college tables, and if they met certain criteria, they were given scholarships on-the-spot!” Unfortunately, Mrs. Rendel did not have her daughter with her, because Andrea was at her after-school robotic class preparing for an upcoming global robotic competition. Mrs. Rendel described the energy at Rockledge High as “frantic while at the same time charged with excitement and disbelief!” She noticed the students had most likely been prepped, because they had their packets with resumes, transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores and essays ready for review. There were about fifteen colleges/universities at Rockledge High’s college day event and most of them were offering the onsite scholarships.
Disappointed that Andrea could not be a part of this event, but not discouraged, Mrs. Rendel inquired if there were other scheduled dates and locations where Infinite Scholars Foundation would be present for a College Fair. The good news was, “Yes!” The not-so-good news was that the next event would be in Desoto, Texas a week later. Just like Infinite Scholars Foundation logo says, “The Possibilities are Infinite!” The Rendel family believed this and ventured on the overnight drive to test the possibilities for their daughter, Andrea. After driving all night through stormy weather, they arrived at a Missionary Baptist Church in Desoto, Texas and waited patiently for the event to begin. Andrea shared that when she entered the room full of colleges, she became very nervous. There were over 50 colleges in the room and the majority of them were offering the Infinite Scholars Foundation scholarship. The evening before, Andrea and her mom had prepared her scholarship portfolio, so although she was nervous she knew she was ready. While standing in line to learn about Xavier University, her younger sister Renee, a tenth grader at Edgewood Jr/Sr High, pulled her out of line and insisted that they stand in a line that was much longer and seemed to be popular among her peers. The college line was for Philander Smith College, a private HBCU in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Eventually, Andrea’s turn arrived, and she was face-to-face with the recruiter. He chatted with her for a few brief moments and reviewed her portfolio. He looked at her with a slight grin and announced that she was being awarded a four-year scholarship of $80,000! Andrea was overjoyed and looked at him in disbelief. The only thing she could think to say was, “Are you sure?” The recruiter commented that he was very impressed with her scholastic achievements, and maybe even more impressed that her family traveled from Florida to take a chance on a program they had very little information on and even less experience. Andrea accepted the scholarship and was admitted on the spot! She received the contact information for her advisor and since that date has received her student ID. She and her family have a pre-registration date for April 1, 2017. The reality of the scholarship is slowly sinking in with Andrea and her family. Prior to taking the drive to Texas, Andrea had applied to nine colleges, and all nine had accepted her. Her major will be Biology and her career goal is to be an Anesthesiologist. She has already made new friends through Group Meet, which is a Facebook chat room. Andrea is also dual-enrolled at the Melbourne Campus of Eastern Florida State College since she was a sophomore and will graduate with both her diploma and AA degree.
Andrea shared that it was her mentor, Wendy Felton, who informed her family of the scholarship College Fair that was sponsored by Infinite Scholars. She and her parents are grateful to Ms. Felton and wish more of her peers could have taken advantage of this amazing opportunity. Next year, the plan is to have direct contact with the Infinite Scholars Foundation to ensure Brevard youth are counted and present for this life changing opportunity. Just this past weekend, Andrea and her robotic team (Pink Alliance) entered their robotic competition at UCF and placed 8th out of 56 competitors. Congratulation Andrea! You are already soaring to new heights! Ebony News Today wishes you well in your academic and career endeavors!