PRAS Awards $2,000 in College Scholarships The Peace River Audubon Society is proud to announce that two $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students. This year we had 6 eligible applications. While all were excellent, intelligent, highly motivated students, only two could be chosen to receive the scholarship. We are proud to announce that our top 2 candidates were Felicia Nudo and Gabriella Placido. Felicia Nudo is from Fort Myers and is attending Florida Gulf Coast University. She appears to be highly intelligent, motivated, and has very clearly focused career goals in environmental education. Combined with her strong extra-curricular experiences, strong reference letters, and demonstrated ability to produce results, including a children’s book about gopher tortoises, we believe she is an excellent and deserving awardee. Gabriella Placido is from Ft. Myers and is attending the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. In addition to being strong academically and receiving strong reference letters, Gabby is a member of the UF student chapter of the Wildlife Society and has been a biodiversity intern with the UF Office of Sustainability. A recent project she initiated is attempting to reduce bird collisions with campus building windows. As an alumni of UF, our Scholarship Committee Chair, Dr. Gregg Klowden, remembers that bird collisions were extremely common with buildings located along wooded areas of campus. Thanks to Gabby’s efforts, supported by Dr. Mark Hostetler, some buildings which often encounter bird strikes have now installed vertical wires on windows. This has been a long time coming and we are happy to see it come to fruition. Please join us in congratulating these two deserving students and in thanking them for their contributions to conservation.
PRAS believes that recognition for excellence is vital to fostering a new generation of environmental stewards. To encourage students from Charlotte and Desoto Counties to pursue a degree in environmental studies, the PRAS Scholarship for Environmental Education was established in 2008, thanks to a generous donation from LaDonna Kennedy who, upon her passing, donated $5,000. Thanks to the generosity of donations from several members and others accumulated through PRAS’s yearly Bird-a-thon, the fund has gradually grown. However, without additional funds the award amount and frequency will likely have to be reduced. It is our hope that this fund can continue to grow, thereby allowing for continued scholarships. Please consider donating now and, like Ms. Kennedy, leaving a legacy by amending your will to include the PRAS Scholarship Fund. Your gift will be enjoyed in our community by generations to come. For more information contact us at scholarship1@PeaceRiverAudubon.org