Glades, Boys & Girls Clubs and PBSC community celebrate as new Smith & Moore Family Teen Center members set to begin at PBSC
Three new Smith & Moore Family Teen Center members will start their higher education journey at Palm Beach State College as recipients of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County-Belle Glade Teen Center Scholarship.
The students, Anny Hails, DeQuan Holly and Madison Freeman, were announced during a recent luncheon at the center in Belle Glade. They will each receive up to $1,500 per semester to cover costs to pursue an associate degree or career certificate at PBSC.
The scholarship fund was created in 2021 by a seed donation to the College from community partner and philanthropist Laura Finfrock. The Foundation for PBSC worked closely with her to create the inaugural scholarship.
“The right thing at the right time can make a huge difference in anyone’s life,” said Finfrock, who was introduced to the needs in the Glades region when the family business, FINFROCK, expanded their operations into Palm Beach County. “I think the time is now to help teens pursue higher education. Thank you for being here to support these kids and creating more opportunities for more kids in the future.”
One past scholarship recipient is De’Mario Sims who is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.
“Not knowing of a way to help pay for college has led to a lot of early mornings and sad nights,” said Sims at the luncheon. “The Boys and Girls Clubs and Finfrock have lifted those thoughts off me. I could not begin to fathom where I would be if it was not for this scholarship. Thank you to the Finfrock Corporation, Boys and Girls Clubs and PBSC for seeing this diamond shining through the mud.”
Serving as mistress of ceremony for the luncheon was Tammy Jackson-Moore, co-founder of Guardians of the Glades and a Health Care District of Palm Beach County board member.
Others in attendance included PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda, who gave greetings; Executive Dean of the PBSC Belle Glade campus and chair of the Marjorie S. Fisher advisory board for the Boys & Girls Clubs Palm Beach County Dr. LaTanya McNeal who introduced the recipients.
McNeal is the former Belle Glade Teen Center Advisory Board Chair who also had the vision to initiate a pipeline scholarship from the Teen Center to PBSC and along with Assistant Dean of Student Services Jernae Thomas and Senior Director of Special Projects at the Boys & Girls Club Chilondra Sheppard.
Also in attendance was PBSC former president Dennis P. Gallon; South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles; South Bay Vice Mayor Betty Barnard, Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson; President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties Danita DeHaney; Aides to Palm Beach County Commissioner Sara Baxter Jon Carter and Regina Bohlen; and Col. Antonio Araujo who oversees Law Enforcement Operations at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
The following Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County board and advisory board members were also present: Rev. Dr. Robert Rease, Captain Emory Payne Jim Spafford, Eddie Rhodes, Adrian Dowdell, attorney Donia Roberts and Michael Sharf.
Hails plans to major in education to become an early childhood educator. Holly will study criminal justice to become a sheriff and Freeman will study science in the hopes of becoming a pharmacist.
The scholarship is available to active members of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Smith & Moore Family Teen Center who have been a member of a Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County for at least two consecutive years, have a current GPA of 2.0 or higher and have completed 20 volunteer hours at the Club.
For more information on applying for the scholarship or donating to the fund, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/foundation/student-scholarships/BGCPBC/
To view photos of the luncheon, click below.