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Jul 19
InVEST® Awards 46 Academic Scholarships

​Last week, InVEST®​ awarded $62,500 in scholarships to 46 students pursuing insurance-related degrees. This year's winners represent 17 schools from CA, CT, FL, GA, LA, MI, OH and NY.

Scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence InVEST had on their educational plans. Selections were based on the quality of the essay, combined with each applicant's grade-point average and extracurricular activities.

The $5,000 Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship went to Nishka Ahuja of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Established last year, the scholarship honors Randy Roth, who served as Applied Systems director of talent acquisition and passed away in spring 2017.

"The Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship is a tribute in memory of Randy and his passion and enthusiasm for bringing talent to the industry," says Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems. "I can think of no finer way to memorialize Randy and his contributions to our company and the industry than by expanding our partnership with InVEST to support this annual scholarship."

The $3,000 Bob Baxter Honorary Scholarship went to Katherine Leyonmark of Hamburg High School in Hamburg, New York. Also established last year, this scholarship awards $3,000 to a high-performing InVEST student and honors Bob Baxter, retiring CEO of Dryden Mutual Insurance Company, who was a dedicated member of the InVEST board of directors, as well as a tireless volunteer for the program for decades in upstate New York.

The $500 Second Round Scholarship, awarded to previous InVEST scholarship recipients who are currently in pursuing an insurance-related collegiate degree and have completed at least three years, went to:

  • Austin Gonser of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan
  • Deepa Naraine of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut
  • Melanie Keusch of Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan
  • Phillip Hawes of Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan
  • Stephen Butler of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida

The $500 Classroom-to-Career Scholarship, awarded to students who are not going to college but intend to start an insurance career and need financial assistance with licensing, entry-level courses, CISR or ACSR designations, went to:

  • Dhurgham Aljanabi of Grossmont College in El Cajon, California
  • Melissa Dewitt of Grossmont College, El Cajon, California

Additional scholarship recipients are as follows:

$2,000 scholarship winners

  • Elijah Abraham, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Drew Bartelo, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Brayden Cox, Van Wert High School, Van Wert, Ohio
  • Danielle Randazza, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, Florida

$1,750 scholarship winners

  • Maria Chamberlain, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Lauren Crooks, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Madeleine Fry, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Amelia Kanner, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Jillian Murzynski, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Ariana Ortega, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Corey Seymour, Dryden High School, Dryden, New York
  • James Shields, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Ivy Van Dyke, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Kaylyn Wenzel, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York

$1,500 scholarship winners

  • Alex Clouser, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Diamond Daley, Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tori George, Lake Shore High School, Saint Claire Shores, Michigan
  • Josh Gibson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Allison Kerce, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Jacob McCarey, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Erin Quinlivan, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Elizabeth Reitebach, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York

$1,250 scholarship winners

  • David Crowe, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Ryan Franzese, Dryden High School, Dryden, New York
  • Kailee Herbst, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Elizabeth Hines, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, Florida
  • Michael Hollman, River Oaks High School, Monroe, Louisiana
  • Monica Sadil, Newington High School, Newington, Connecticut
  • Gabriel Servi, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, Florida
  • Jake Storey, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York

$1,000 scholarship winners

  • Joseph Donato, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Sandra Escobar-Gonzalez, Dryden High School, Dryden, New York
  • Stefan Marjanovic, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Amanda Okulanis, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Nathan Payne, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Florida
  • Julia Rentas, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, Florida
  • Trevor Wilson, Okemos High School (Wilson Talent Center), Okemos, Michigan

InVEST develops future insurance professionals through academic programs, online education 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.

“A successful InVEST program is vital to the financial literacy of our young people, to the future of the independent agency system and to the insurance industry as a whole," says Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I" president & CEO. “We are concerned that the average age of an insurance agent is almost 60. As baby boomers continue retiring in record numbers, the InVEST program has the potential to replenish our workforce and to produce the next generation of insurance industry professionals and leaders." ​

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