Scholarship Winners!

Meet our deserving winners, read their bios and leave a few words of encouragement.

= multi-year scholarships awarded!

Crishawn Gayle


Haines City High School

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

2020 AAO Scholarship Winner

Crishawn will graduate from Haines City High School with a 3.7 GPA after also captaining the soccer team his junior and senior years. He is planning to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and earn his B.S. in meteorology. He then hopes to gain his masters in environmental meteorological sciences. He wants to acquire a job in meteorology where he can tour the world and research different aspects of the Earth’s environment and explore and experience the world from a different perspective. This would allow real world research by being able to adapt to different obstacles presented in unfamiliar environments. Once Crishawn has completed his research of exotic environments on Earth, he would like to write a book about his experiences and findings. He was elected to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and completed over 120 community service hours in Haines City.

At 7 years old, Crishawn witnessed his father being murdered by police officers in his native country of Jamaica. This tragedy was very difficult to cope with. With his very strong mother by his side, it became easier to cope and heal. Although his death was the most impactful event in his life, it was not the defining moment. Soon after his father’s burial, his mother, Crishawn and sister left their home country behind and moved to the United States of America. Leaving Jamaica to pursue a better life in the U.S.A. was what they needed to do to keep their dreams alive. Jamaica is always going to be what his heart calls home, but he wanted to have a better future and his defining moment was immigrating here. Moving to a new country gave Crishawn a new environment to refocus and work hard. With everything being so different, he was not able to get complacent. He was always learning and working because he had to adjust to his new country. Crishawn’s future was not in Jamaica, but in the United States! The immigration risk has been very rewarding and he has been able to envision the man he wanted to become and is working towards it. Instead of worrying about his next meal, he was able to focus on working hard to make it to his dream of attending college.

His father always preached “Always be a leader, never be a follower.” This quote is branded in his mind and he lives it everyday. His soccer teammates look to him for leadership and setting high standards. He is the first one to practice and to their games and the last to leave. Teamwork makes the dream work. Crishawn’s mother has supported him with love and encouragement throughout the whole journey. He tries to repay her everyday by going to school and working hard to get good grades and performing well on the soccer pitch. Good luck, Crishawn!


6750 Crescent Woods Circle

Lakeland FL 33813

CELL:  863.557.6143