Alexandria, VA – July 11, 2018 – InVEST, the insurance industry's premier classroom to career education program, announced today that it has awarded $62,500 in scholarships to 46 students pursuing insurance-related degrees. A non-profit organization, InVEST works in high school and college classrooms across the U.S. to educate, train and attract the next generation of insurance professionals to the industry which is estimated to need over 400,000 workers by 2020.
“InVEST congratulates the 46 students — representing 17 high schools, colleges and universities in eight states — who earned scholarships this year," says Cindy Hower, InVEST board chair and president of Kellerman Insurance, an independent agency in Holton, Kansas. “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."
InVEST develops future insurance professionals through academic programs, online education 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.
“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 Robert Rusbuldt, president & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. “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."
Scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence of InVEST on their educational plans. Recipients were selected based on the quality of the essay, combined with the applicant's grade-point average and extracurricular activities. InVEST mails scholarship checks directly to each student's institute of higher learning and money will be used exclusively for educational expenses. InVEST funds scholarships through corporate and direct contributions.
This year's scholarship winners hail from California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and New York.
$5,000 Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship Winner:
- Nishka Ahuja, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
$3,000 Bob Baxter Honorary Scholarship Winner:
- Katherine Leyonmark, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
$2,000 Scholarship Winners:
- Elijah Abraham, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
- Drew Bartelo, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Brayden Cox, Van Wert High School, Van Wert, OH
- Danielle Randazza, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, FL
$1,750 Scholarship Winners:
- Maria Chamberlain, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
- Lauren Crooks, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, CT
- Madeleine Fry, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Amelia Kanner, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Jillian Murzynski, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Ariana Ortega, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
- Corey Seymour, Dryden High School, Dryden, NY
- James Shields, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Ivy Van Dyke, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Kaylyn Wenzel, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
$1,500 Scholarship Winners:
- Alex Clouser, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Diamond Daley, Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta, GA
- Tori George, Lake Shore High School, Saint Claire Shores, MI
- Josh Gibson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Allison Kerce, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,
- Jacob McCarey, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Erin Quinlivan, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Elizabeth Reitebach, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
$1,250 Scholarship Winners:
- David Crowe, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
- Ryan Franzese, Dryden High School, Dryden, NY
- Kailee Herbst, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Elizabeth Hines, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, FL
- Michael Hollman, River Oaks High School, Monroe, LA
- Monica Sadil, Newington High School, Newington, CT
- Gabriel Servi, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, FL
- Jake Storey, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
$1,000 Scholarship Winners:
- Joseph Donato, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
- Sandra Escobar-Gonzalez, Dryden High School, Dryden, NY
- Stefan Marjanovic, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
- Amanda Okulanis, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
- Nathan Payne, Manatee High School, Bradenton, FL
- Julia Rentas, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, FL
- Trevor Wilson, Okemos High School (Wilson Talent Center), Okemos, MI
$500 Second Round Scholarship:
- Austin Gonser, Northwood University, Midland, MI
- Deepa Naraine, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
- Melanie Keusch, Olivet College, Olivet, MI
- Phillip Hawes, Olivet College, Olivet, MI
- Stephen Butler, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
$500 Classroom-to-Career Scholarship:
- Dhurgham Aljanabi, Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA
- Melissa Dewitt, Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA
The Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship, established in 2017, awards the highest dollar amount which this year is $5,000. Roth served as Applied Systems' director of talent acquisition and passed away last year “The Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship is a tribute in memory of Randy and his passion and enthusiasm for bringing talent to the industry," said Reid French, Applied Systems chief executive officer. “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 Bob Baxter Honorary Scholarship, established in 2017, awards a $3,000 scholarship to a high-performing InVEST student. Baxter is the retired CEO of Dryden Mutual Insurance Company and was a dedicated member of the InVEST board of directors. He also was a tireless volunteer for the InVEST program, teaching insurance classes for decades in upstate New York. Today, 25% of the employees at Dryden Mutual are InVEST graduates thanks to Baxter's pioneering efforts in New York.
The Second Round Scholarship is awarded to previous InVEST scholarship recipients who are currently in college and have completed at least three years of college. Their intended degree must relate to a career path within the insurance industry. These students are eligible for a $500 scholarship.
The Classroom-to-Career Scholarship is 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.
Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, 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. As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers.
The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I") was founded in 1896 and 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 and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products.