Meet our deserving winners, read their bios and leave a few words of encouragement.
= multi-year scholarships awarded!
Business Finance at
Florida Gulf Coast University
2021 AAO Scholarship Winner
Coleman will be majoring in Business Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University in the Fall semester 2021. With Bachelor of Business Administration degree he hopes to begin understanding various business markets and how they operate. With this knowledge, he plans to seek an Masters of Business Administration upon graduation from FGCU. He plans to seek internships with investment firms during his undergraduate college experiences. He to also wishes to take night courses, study for and obtain a Real Estate Broker license ftom the State of Florida.
Once Coleman has obtained his BA and MBA degrees, he plans to expand on the internships he participated in and hopefully begin working as a trainee with a large investment company that has trading seats on various stock exchanges.
While securing his primary income from working his way up to a broker position in the field of finance, Coleman hopes to hone his skills in real estate and become a successful broker in Florida during his evenings.
Coleman worked as a volunteer at the Polk Education Foundation at the Free Teacher Market beginning in his freshman year. Beginning in his junior year he became responsible for training new student volunteers, overseeing their work and ensuring the market runs efficiently.
In March of 2021, after having six (6) years of experience mountain biking, he realized that several of his peers had an interest in learning the outdoor activity. He therefore formed a mountain biking club and took the lead on training the members to ride safely on the many treacherous mountain bike courses in his community.
After joining the Mckeel Academy weightlifting team with a friend of his, Coleman quickly mastered the proper forms needed to compete at the high school matches. His close friend struggled understanding the techniques and technical aspects needed know to know to be ready for competition. This inspired me mentor him on the proper technique and form for competitive events.
After school and on weekends, Coleman began perusing a part-time job with Publix Supermarkets. His first interview with John Wentworth, Store Manager, went very poorly and the job was offered to someone else. He continued to visit John’s store asking for another chance. After a couple months of persistent persuasion, Coleman got his second chance and was hired on the spot. He now averages 12 hours of work per week and hopefully will be able to transfer to a Publix store close to FGCU in Ft. Myers this summer.
At the age of 3 years old, Coleman’s parents divorced, which had a hugh effect on his emotional and social development for next few years. He became very quiet and non-communicative at home and in school. After some private appointments and public school assistance, Coleman began to come out his shell and function as a normal child. The confusion as to why my parents divorced has lingered within him his entire life. While his parents have had a congenial relationship and he was raised equally with both parents and their immediate and extended families, balancing the back and forth has been a struggle Coleman and his young brother, Nathan. Each household is obviously different and one has one parent and the other has two. The intangible differences have had a bigger role in molding who he as a young adult. Two sets of parents with different ideologies and methodologies have left him feeling “in the middle” all the time. The differing views and expectations of each household keep me wondering.......what exactly is he supposed to be doing?
During Coleman’s junior year of high school, he finally got to a comfortable place with himself. He had developed a large circle of close friends and was excelling in his studies, garnered some confidence and had a desire to join the McKeel Academy weightlifting team. Fast forward to Coleman’s Senior year in high school when he began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. He graduated with Honors and a 3.65 GPA, earned a McKeel Academy Varsity Letter for Weightlifting while finishing 2nd in District competition and top 5 in Regional competition in his weight class of >199 lbs, and at the same he was working an average of 12 hours part-time each week. His hard work and perseverance paid off as he was awarded most improved team member at Varsity Weightlifting Awards Night. This was a whole new satisfying experience, while at the same time, he was developing brotherhood he never before personally felt.
As Coleman approaches, graduation, he is ready to embark on the new experience of college and living away from home, He now has a sense of independence and finally a feeling of belonging. Good luck, Coleman!
6 PINE FOREST DR.
HAINES CITY, FL 33844