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Scholarships & Awards
2013 InVEST AWARDS 65 ACADEMIC STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS
Financial literacy program key to attracting talent to insurance industry.
InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, has awarded $70,500 in scholarships to 65 students pursuing insurance-related degrees, breaking previous scholarship records. The program is a key recruitment strategy in attracting new talent to the insurance industry.
 
“InVEST congratulates the students who earned scholarships this year,” says Heather Minkler, chair of the National InVEST board of directors and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent insurance agency in Keene, N.H. “InVEST continues to have phenomenal growth in the number of new programs started each year. With support from the industry, we provide education to more than 14,000 students each school year and work to provide opportunities for students interested in working in the insurance industry. Graduates from more than 400 InVEST programs across the country are armed with knowledge to help them pursue careers in an agency, company or other insurance industry organization.”
 
InVEST contributes to the development of future insurance professionals by educating high school and college students about insurance, risk management and financial services. In high schools, the program offers students a business curriculum which teaches them about the dynamics of insurance agencies and companies. At the college level, the program develops students’ risk management and financial analysis skills. Along with direct contributions, scholarships are funded through proceeds generated by the InVEST auctions and Young Agents YAC Gives Back event held in conjunction with the Independent Insurance Agents & Broker’s (IIABA or the Big “I”) Legislative Conference.
 
“Continuing success of the InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole and the increase in financial literacy of our young people,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Many are concerned that the average age of an insurance professional is around 54 and as baby boomers retire, the InVEST program has the potential to replenish our workforce at this crucial time.”
 
InVEST awarded four Bob Betters Memorial Scholarships and five Classroom to Career Scholarships.
 
The Bob Betters Scholarship is the newest component of the InVEST program and was established in 2011. The scholarship awards the highest dollar amount; this year each scholarship is $3,000. Bob Betters, with Watson Insurance Agency in Gastonia, N.C., passed away in February 2011 after battling brain cancer. Betters, who was appointed to the InVEST board of directors in 2009, served as the InVEST state champion for North Carolina. The InVEST board has agreed to award the top scholarships for five years to honor his commitment to the InVEST program. 
 
The Classroom to Career was developed for students who would like to enter the insurance industry immediately after graduating from InVEST. These students are eligible for a $500 reimbursement for licensing or designation expenses.
 
This year’s scholarship winners represent 18 schools and hail from California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Virginia:
 
Bob Betters Scholarship ($3,000):
  • Sandra Chavez, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.   
  • Emily   Collins, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Danielle Columbus, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Logan  Garfield, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
 
$2,000 Scholarship Winners:
  • Courtney Carter, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Megan Cornelius, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
  • Parker Del Medico, Cardinal Mooney High School, Sarasota, Fla.
  • Christine Dessemond, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Michelle Frost, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Haley  Hassinger, Wadsworth High School, Wadsworth, Ohio
  • Joseph Horan, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Nicole Kelley, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Karynn Kilts, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
  • Christy Lyons, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Soukitar Soundara, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.
  • Matthew Steinberg, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Austin Tedesco, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Danielle Vinciguerra, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
           
$1,000 Scholarship Award Winners:
  • Leighann Bennett, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
  • Elizabeth Demers, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, N.H.
  • Dillon  Espey, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Shanice Gregory, Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, Conn.
  • Samuel Guthrie, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Kylee Hart, Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.
  • Raquel Johnson, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.
  • Taylor Mindlin, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Devin  Putnam, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Alexandra Schelle, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Jessica Stroebel, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Katherine Swol, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Anthony Weisler, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Hannah Wildenstein, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.
 
$500 Scholarship Award Winners:
  • Rhapsody Arias, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • John Auden, Naperville North High School, Naperville, Ill.
  • Melissa Biro, Granby High School    , Norfolk, Va.
  • Nathan Bobbitt, Cardinal Mooney High School, Sarasota, Fla.
  • Corin Burton, Grossmont Community College, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Kelsey Carvalis, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Kaytlyn Day, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.
  • Merarys Diaz, Miami Springs Senior High, Miami Springs, Fla.
  • Zachary Dyce, William R. Boone High School, Belle Isle, Fla.
  • Mary Cate Hicks, Dryden High School, Dryden     , N.Y.
  • Lynn Horne, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.
  • Benjamin, Huizinga. Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Tiffany James, Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.
  • Broderick Johnson, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Melissa Lore, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Theresa Luu, Grossmont Community College, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Christine Maloney, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Arianna Martinez, Miami Springs Senior High, Miami Springs, Fla.       
  • Nicholas McLean, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Rachel Neely, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Angel Pulido, Grossmont Community College, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Anthony Tran, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.     
  • Erick Sanchez, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Allyson Shatz, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Ryan Silverman, Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
  • Giusseppe Theodoredis, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Anita Velgara, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Caitlin Wyant, McGrawCentral High School, McGraw, N.Y.
 
$500 Classroom to Career Scholars:
  • Rosetta L. Brown, Roosevelt High School, Washington, D.C.
  • Rydell Davis, Roosevelt High School, Washington, D.C.
  • Phyllis Dyson, Roosevelt High School, Washington, D.C.
  • Joanna Gutierrez, Grossmont Community College, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Elimary Joaquin, Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.
 
This year, 94 scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence and benefits InVEST had on their educational plans. The quality of the essay, combined with the applicant’s grade-point average and extracurricular activities, were factors in selecting the recipients. Scholarship checks are mailed directly to the institute of higher learning that each student is attending and will be used exclusively for educational expenses.
 
As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons.
 
Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and colleges. The high school curriculum is a business-education program that utilizes a hands-on approach which simulates an insurance agency and company operations to prepare students for various business careers and create more knowledgeable insurance consumers. At the college level, InVEST is an information-intensive curriculum of risk management and financial services. These courses provide students with a working knowledge of the basics needed to pursue careers in the insurance industry. For more information, go to www.investprogram.org.
 
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.