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Jun 20
InVEST® Awards 37 Academic Scholarships

​Last week, InVEST® awarded $53,500 in scholarships to 37 students pursuing insurance-related degrees. This year's winners hail from FL, ME, GA, LA, MI, NY, CA and NH.

“InVEST congratulates the students—representing 15 high schools, colleges and universities in eight states—who earned scholarships this year," says Lindsey Shank, InVEST board chair and vice president of McGriff Insurance Services in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Students from more than 890 InVEST programs across the country are better equipped to pursue careers in an agency, company or other insurance industry organization thanks to InVEST."

Scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence of InVEST on their educational plans and answered questions about a real-world insurance case study. InVEST board member judges selected recipients based on the quality of their essay combined with the applicant's grade-point average and extracurricular activities.

The $5,000 Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship went to Michael Skora of Hamburg High School in Hamburg, New York. Established in 2017, the award honors the memory of Randy Roth, who was dedicated to developing young talent for the insurance industry. Roth served as Applied Systems' director of talent acquisition and passed away several years ago.

The $5,000 Vertafore Scholarship went to Alexis Schneider of Dryden High School in Dryden, New York. The award is provided by Vertafore, Inc., a developer and provider of cloud-based software and services for the insurance industry worldwide.

Three $500 Second Round Scholarships, 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:

  • Taylor Sheley, Thomas College, Waterville, Maine
  • Tyler Sheradsky, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Christopher Ouwerkerk, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Three $500 Classroom-to-Career Scholarships, 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:

  • Matthew Shulman, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, New Hampshire
  • Teresa Berumen, Grossmont College, El Cajon, California
  • Yessica Flores, Grossmont College, El Cajon, California

Additional scholarship recipients are as follows:

$3,000 Loren Shoemaker Memorial Scholarship: Amanda Smith, William R. Boone HS, Orlando, Florida

$2,500 scholarships:

  • Thomas Riffaud, Windermere High School, Windermere, Florida
  • Daniel Ballagh, Okemos High School (Wilson Talent Center), Okemos, Michigan

$2,000 scholarships:

  • Andrew Paluch, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Ethan Pohlman, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Samantha Goldberg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida

$1,500 scholarships:

  • Timmy Stuart, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Andrea Hengber, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Averie Williams, Hanson Memorial High School, Franklin, Louisiana
  • Christian Walk, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Florence Yared, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • David Becker, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Alyssa Fletcher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Gabriela Matute Gonzalez, Windermere High School, Windermere, Florida

$1,000 scholarships:

  • Nicole Park, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Stanley Nkereuwem, Meadowcreek High School, Norcross, Georgia
  • Russell Dagon, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Sydney Watson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • William McGowan, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Carson Abt, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Emma Asaf, Lansing Public Schools, Lansing, Michigan
  • Madelyne Alexander, Dryden High School, Dryden, New York
  • William Cox, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Aaron Gould, Windermere High School, Windermere, Florida
  • Lauren Chiacchia, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Christopher Damiani, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, New York
  • Austin Wendling, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida
  • Ashley Arzonico, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs, Florida
  • Austin Creese, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida

InVEST develops future insurance professionals through academic programs, online education, mentoring and scholarships. In high schools, the program offers students a business curriculum focusing on insurance, as well as the dynamics of insurance agencies and companies. At the college level, the program develops students' risk management and financial analysis skills. Throughout their InVEST education, students learn about exciting and well-paying career opportunities in an industry that is rapidly evolving through technology.

“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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