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A Scholar's Reward

Featured Photo from A Scholar's Reward

Two Jack Kent Cooke Scholars from our community are ready to make their dreams come true

Membership, as they say, has its privileges. And those who earn the right to join the ranks of the nation’s Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Scholars can look forward to a life-changing reward.

Sanford’s Hayley Allison Furman and Jane Marie Lozada Foster of Lake Mary both won prestigious JKC Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships this year. The lucrative awards will pay each woman up to $40,000 a year to pursue bachelor’s degrees and up to $50,000 per year toward graduate school. 

Jane and Hayley recently earned their associate’s degrees from Seminole State College. Along the way, they maintained high grade-point averages, managed robust extra-curricular activities, and worked at least 30 hours a week. And both have faced adversity to reach this critical point of their lives and careers.

Hayley’s Higher Purpose
Hayley’s father passed away when she was only eight years old. She never received a high-school diploma, instead earning a GED while working office jobs in New Jersey. At 19, Hayley moved to Florida after her mom’s death, but not before experiencing some dark times and depression. 

A committed activist, Hayley came to Florida with a friend to protest the 515-mile Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline. Seeing some of her fellow protesters get arrested motivated Hayley to deepen her activism even more.

“I knew I had to pursue something different,” she says. “I needed to use education for change on a bigger scale.”

Having earned her associate’s degree in general education with an environmental studies focus, Hayley will put her scholarship to use at Stetson University. With an interest in researching food and the environment – specifically controversial agricultural practices such as monocropping – she’ll pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a concentration in geo-spatial analysis and a minor in sustainable food systems. 

Jane’s Journey
Jane and her parents moved to Florida from Puerto Rico in 2015 in search of new and better opportunities. For Jane, there were adjustments all around.

“I had never ridden a bus,” Jane recalls. “In Puerto Rico, I had been in the same school for 15 years. The whole setting  was different.”

Jane’s father returned to Puerto Rico soon after the move, forcing Jane to adapt to her parents’ separation. Living with family in Sanford, Jane began working at Walgreens, where she is now a pharmacy tech.

She attended Lake Mary High School in her junior and  senior years, finding inspiration in social studies teacher Michelle Schwartz.

“I told her, ‘You’re so amazing, I want to be you,’” Jane says.

With an associate’s degree in social science education now under her belt, Jane will major in history at Penn State with a minor in urban education. Her goal is to teach and mentor kids in impoverished communities.

Jane sees education as the great equalizer for those who must succeed despite a socio-economic disadvantage.

“I am looking to help bridge the gap,” says Jane. “From urban schools to the Ivy League, there aren’t as many opportunities, and it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Master’s and More 
With the help of their JKC scholarships, both Hayley and Jane seek to go even farther. 

Hayley wants to earn a juris doctor degree and get involved in policy making, perhaps working for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Jane has her sights set on Harvard University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy.

Both Hayley and Jane were inspired by others to make their impact on the future, and there is no doubt they, too, will inspire the Jack Kent Cooke scholars of tomorrow.

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