Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017
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Seminole State student receives scholarship from The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation

(back row, from left) President and CEO of Central Florida Foundation Mark Brewer, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Francis Rivas, Colin Reilly, Seminole State student Alejandro Ceron, Johnathan Gonzalez, Christopher Furino and attorney Barry Miller. (front row, from left) Jesse Ridge, Clark Levi, Abigail Workman, and Orlando City Commissioner and Seminole State alumna Patty Sheehan.

Alejandro Ceron, an incoming freshman at Seminole State College of Florida, is one of eight Florida college students to receive a $4,900 scholarship from The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation. The scholarships, which were awarded June 10, honor those who lost their lives in the Pulse tragedy.

Ceron, a 2017 high school graduate, plans to pursue an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree at Seminole State starting this fall and eventually move on to a career in nursing so he can help others.  

"Receiving the 49 Fund Scholarship helped me realize that I can achieve great things and can inspire change within my community simply by speaking up," Ceron said. "I aim to be the voice for the 49 people that can no longer speak. I aim to bring together the people of our community and take such a tragic event and turn it into something that makes Orlando even stronger."

To qualify for the scholarship, students must be self-identified as “out” and a member of the LGBT community, attend an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher learning on a full-time basis, earn a 3.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate a commitment to improving the Central Florida community.

The recipients from other Florida colleges and universities are:

  • Christopher Furino – University of Central Florida
  • Jonathan Gonzalez – Keiser University Orlando
  • Clark Levi – Flagler College
  • Colin Reilly – Florida State University
  • Jesse Ridge – Eastern Florida State College
  • Francis Rivas – University of Florida
  • Abigail Workman – Florida Southern College

The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation worked closely with local LGBT organizations to identify potential applicants from local high schools and universities. The scholarship committee interviewed applicants and made recipient recommendations to Central Florida Foundation’s board of directors. 

Local attorney Barry L. Miller, president of The Closing Agent, and the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida launched The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation in March 2017. The fund will continue to provide scholarships to LGBT students in Central Florida on an annual basis. 

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