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InVEST Awards 70 Academic Student Scholarships
Financial literacy program is key to attracting talent to insurance industry.
InVEST dot.jpgALEXANDRIA, Va., July 18, 2014 – InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, has awarded $87,000 in scholarships to 70 students pursuing insurance-related degrees, breaking previous scholarship records. The program is a key incentive in attracting new talent to the insurance industry.
 
“InVEST congratulates the 70 students representing 17 schools and from eight states who earned scholarships this year,” says Robert G. Slocum, CPCU, CIC, InVEST board chair and president of The Slocum Agency, Inc., an independent agency in Warwick, R.I.  “InVEST develops future industry professionals by educating high school and college students about insurance, risk management and financial services. Students from more than 500 InVEST programs across the country are equipped with knowledge to help them pursue careers in an agency, company or other insurance industry organization.”
 
InVEST contributes to the education and development of future insurance professionals through academic programs and scholarships. In high schools, the program offers students a business curriculum which teaches them about the dynamics of insurance agencies and companies. At the college level, the program develops students’ risk management and financial analysis skills. Along with direct contributions, scholarships are funded through proceeds generated by the InVEST Silent and Live auctions held in conjunction with the Independent Insurance Agents & Broker’s (IIABA or the Big “I”) Legislative Conference.
 
“A successful InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole and to the financial literacy of our young people,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Many are concerned that the average age of an insurance professional is around 54 and as baby boomers retire, the InVEST program has the potential to replenish our workforce and produce the next generation of industry professionals and leaders.”
 
InVEST awarded two Bob Betters Memorial Scholarships and one Classroom to Career Scholarship.
The Bob Betters Scholarship is the newest component of the InVEST program and was established in 2011. The scholarship awards the highest dollar amounts; this year they are $5,000. Bob Betters with Watson Insurance Agency in Gastonia, N.C., passed away in February 2011, after battling brain cancer. Betters, who was appointed to the InVEST board of directors in 2009, served as the InVEST state champion for North Carolina. The InVEST board has agreed to award the top scholarships for five years to honor his commitment to the InVEST program. 
 
The Classroom to Career was developed for students who would like to enter the insurance industry immediately after graduating from InVEST. These students are eligible for $500 reimbursement for licensing or designation expenses.
This year’s scholarship winners represent 18 schools and hail from California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia:
 
Bob Betters Scholarship Winners ($5,000):
• Danielle Dacanay, Deep Run High School, Glen Allen, Va.
• Erin Dudley,  William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
 
$3,000 Scholarship Winners:
• Andres Alvarez, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Manuel Carmona, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Gabrielle Cotilla, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Sean Coughlin, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Madeline Haller, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
• Tyler Moffit, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Ashley Palmer, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
 
$2,000 Scholarship Winners:
• Thomas Christino, Deep Run High School, Glen Allen, Va.
• Diana Estrada, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Peyton Holl, Groton Central School, Groton, N.Y.
• Josh Hutchinson, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Katherine Johnson, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Jenna Renaud, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Taylor Schneider, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
 
$1,000 Scholarship Award Winners:
• Irene Aranda , Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
• Jonathan Becker, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Chloe Beemer, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Margaret Brown, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Chris Caplan, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• James Dawson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Megan DeVice, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
• Joseph Eddy, Maple Valley High School, Vermontville, Mich.
• Melanie Ferreira, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Reilly Gibbons, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Gretchen Gutierrez, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Ronald Heinkel, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Claudia Hernandez, Woodrow Wilson High School, Dallas, Texas
• Kimberly Horner, McGraw Central High School, McGraw, N.Y.
• Michael Humphrey, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
• Daniel Hurtado, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Colleen Kelly, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
• Tai Lam, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Jordan Lynch, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Montana Marshall, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Soyoung Moon, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
• Tristan Sanders, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Zachary Schaja, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
• Tess Schneeberger, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
• Kevin Schoeppler, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• John Slater, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Stephanie Steinhauser, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
• Troy Sutfin, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Taylor White, Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center, Dallas, Texas
• Tabias Wimby, B.E.S.T. Academy High School, Atlanta, Ga.
 
$500 Scholarship Award Winners:
• Kristen Chucri, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Dylan Clapp, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
• Tiffany Clark, McGraw Central High School, McGraw, N.Y.
• Dylan Endlich, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
• Brett Fielder, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Ragan Hagaman, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
• Angelo Harris, B.E.S.T. Academy High School, Atlanta, Ga.
• Connor Haughey, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
• Jerick Johnston, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Vicki Lang, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Kamaye Nichols, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
• Rachel Poirier, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.
• Courtney Poirier, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.
• Shazid Rahman, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Maria Rangel, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Zachary Robinson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Pierce Smith, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Danielle Trinkler, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
• Joseph Uhatafe, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Chanceller Waters, ACE Technical Charter High School, Chicago, Ill.
• Paris Williams, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
• Simon Wilson, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
• Aaron Witt, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
 
$500 Classroom to Career Scholarship:
• Yashira Torres, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
 
This year, scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence and benefits InVEST had on their educational plans. The quality of the essay, combined with the applicant’s grade-point average and extracurricular activities, were factors in selecting the recipients. Scholarship checks are mailed directly to the institute of higher learning that each student is attending and will be used exclusively for educational expenses.
 
As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons.
 
Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and colleges. The high school curriculum is a business-education program that utilizes a hands-on approach which simulates an insurance agency and company operations to prepare students for various business careers and create more knowledgeable insurance consumers. At the college level, InVEST is an information-intensive curriculum of risk management and financial services. These courses provide students with a working knowledge of the basics needed to pursue careers in the insurance industry. For more information, go to www.investprogram.org.
 
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.
 
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