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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Local High School Seniors Recognized at FGCU Event

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nearly 200 high school seniors from the local area were recognized during a special parent and student workshop on May 7 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. The students are members of the Florida Gulf Coast University's (FGCU) College Reach-Out Program (CROP) and Scholars Program.

Students and their guests were inspired by speeches from FGCU President Dr. Wilson Bradshaw and former World Bank Executive and Naples resident, Cornelius (Pat) Cacho. During President Bradshaw's speech, he stated, "As a first generation student myself, I understand the importance of this program. When you earn a college degree, you change a whole generation for the better."

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Kente scarves, academic stoles that outreach students can wear during their high school graduation ceremony. The FGCU outreach programs' Scholars advisors and CROP coordinators representing the on-site public school programs were given the honor of placing the Kente scarves on their seniors. The event closed with a moving performance by the FGCU Dance Company.

This year's event provided a venue where seniors, parents, and staff could interact and share their experiences. Many of these students have been in the FGCU outreach programs since elementary school. All seniors in attendance who plan to enroll at FGCU in fall 2013 qualified for a $200 book card.

Of the nearly 200 students in attendance that evening, 72 percent had a graduating GPA of over 3.0, including 13 percent who had a GPA exceeding 4.0. Ninety-five percent of the students in attendance indicated they have plans for post-secondary education.

About Florida Gulf Coast University's Scholars Program

The Scholars Program, the brainchild of Fort Myers High School junior, Christian Duffus, began in 1989 as a way to promote and reward academic achievement among minority students. With support from the principal, and the dedication of its first faculty advisor, Alberta Allen, the program was launched.

The Scholars Program has since expanded to embrace "at-risk" students at public elementary, middle, and high schools. Membership is open to all students who embrace the Scholars' Program philosophy and ideals of academic excellence, leadership, service, and citizenship.

There are currently 24 Scholars programs covering a five-county radius, serving over 600 students from 4th - 12th grades.

About Florida Gulf Coast University's College Reach-Out Program (CROP)

The College Reach-Out Program was established by the Florida Legislature in 1983 in order to identify, motivate, and prepare disadvantaged middle and high school students to complete post-secondary education. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college graduates. The College Reach-Out Program is funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Education through the Office of Post-Secondary Education, and Florida Gulf Coast University.

The CROP program is currently active in 23 middle and high schools in Lee, Hendry, Collier, and Glades counties, and serves over 600 students throughout the year.

For more information on the programs, contact Susan Genson at 239-590-7836.

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