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InVEST Awards 55 Academic Student Scholarships

Financial literacy program key to attracting talent to insurance industry.

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 5, 2012 - InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, has awarded $61,500 in scholarships to 55 students pursuing insurance-related degrees. The program is a key incentive in attracting new talent to the insurance industry.
 
“InVEST congratulates the 55 students representing 20 schools and from five states and the District of Columbia who earned scholarships this year,” says Heather Minkler, chair of the National InVEST board of directors and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent insurance agency in Keene, N.H. “Each year, InVEST develops future industry professionals by educating high school and college students about insurance, risk management and financial services. Graduates from more than 275 InVEST programs across the country are armed 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 & Convention.
 
“Continuing success of the InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole and the increase in 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, which is a crucial challenge.”
 
InVEST awarded two Bob Betters Memorial Scholarships and five Classroom to Career Scholarships. These two categories were awarded last year.
 
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 $4,000. 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 scholarship is another form of aid which has been added this year. This program is 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 20 schools and hail from California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois and New York:
 
Bob Betters Scholarship ($4,000):
  • Shanice Burnett, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Eric Womack, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
 
$3,000 Scholarship Winners:
  • Charles Collins, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Patrick James, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Haeley Mulholland, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.
  • Madison Saganowich, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
 
$2,000 Scholarship Winners:
  • Joseph Charles, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.      
  • Kelsie Dunckley, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
  • Katherine Gibson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.  
  • Melissa Johnson, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
  • Leslie Keegan, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.           
  • Emily Nehl, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.
 
$1,000 Scholarship Award Winners:
  • John Auden, Naperville North High School, Naperville, Ill.
  • Amy Bonilla, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.          
  • Scott Carnevale, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Lindsay Carreno, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Jonathan Deveny, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.       
  • Marie  Durocher, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
  • Chris Graham, Groton Central School, Groton, N.Y.         
  • Colton McCorkle, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.  
  • Brooke McDowell, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Dahn Nguygen, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Ryan Ocasio, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami Fla.
  • Helen Ramon, Southwest Miami High School, Miami, Fla.
  • Hannah Reiss, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Julianna Sciandra, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.
  • Kali Supples, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y. 
  • Brent Ziegler, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
 
$500 Scholarship Award Winners:
  • Melanie Akah, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Washington, D.C.
  • Jeremy Bean, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Jeremy Bloom, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Kristina Brown, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Robert Burns, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.
  • Connor Casey, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Katie Coates, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y. 
  • Brett Conger, Groton Central School, Groton, N.Y.
  • Margaret Dalessio, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Miranda Decker, McGraw High School, McGraw, N.Y.   
  • Brian Firth, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Sarasota, Fla.         
  • Edison Garcia, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Gabrielle Garsten Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.         
  • Summers Hardy, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla. 
  • Jaryd Hearn, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
  • Vivian Horn, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif. 
  • Janina Lara, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Hanifa Marhosevic, Samuel W. Wolfson High School, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Mishka Marsh, Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, Conn.
  • Jonathan Rousseau, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Kyle Shaw, Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.
  • Heydi Yannelli, John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami, Fla.
 
$500 Classroom to Career Scholars:
  • Nicole Bilbao, John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami, Fla.
  • Patricia Gallagher, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Eryann Hubbard, McGraw High School, McGraw, N.Y.
  • Armando Carcas, Barbara Goleman High School, Miami Lakes, Fla.
  • Steven Treminio, Barbara Goleman High School, Miami Lakes, Fla.
 
This year, 123 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 community 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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