FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – At Fort Lauderdale’s Madeleine Halmos Academy and Jack & Jill Learning Center, all 87 students and future graduating 5th graders are set to receive two-year Florida college plan scholarships.
“I wanna be a pediatrician and I want to help children,” fifth-grader Olivea Smith said.
The path to becoming a pediatrician just got a lot clearer for Smith, thanks to an unprecedented partnership by philanthropists Steve and Madeleine Halmos that was matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.
“This is extraordinary. I am not aware of anything in the state of Florida like this, to provide each graduating fifth grader the opportunity to attend a two-year college in the state of Florida,” Director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation Cindy O’Connell said.
This investment is worth more than $700,000.
“I want to give these kids a shot at the same kind of American dream that I had,” Halmos said.
For football enthusiast Thomas, this day meant a clearer sight on his road to Tallahassee.
“The college that I want to go to is FAMU. I can go to where my brothers and sisters are and go play football there,” Thomas said.
However, these lucky students will have to put in the work before they can get to their college plans.
“They have to stay in school, they have to get decent grades, they have to stay out of trouble, stay away from drugs, but if they do their part, they’ve got a scholarship waiting,” Halmos said.
These scholarships can be used at any Florida college or university.