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InVEST Awards 37 Academic Scholarships

Jun 12, 2019

Financial and insurance literacy program is key to attracting young talent to insurance industry.

InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, has awarded $53,500 in scholarships to 37 students pursuing insurance-related degrees. A non-profit organization, InVEST works in high school and college classrooms across the U.S. to educate, train and attract the next generation of insurance professionals for an industry that will need more than 400,000 workers in the next five years.

“InVEST congratulates the students — representing 15 high schools, colleges and universities in eight states — who earned scholarships this year," says Lindsey Shank, InVEST board chair and vice president of McGriff Insurance Services in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Students from more than 890 InVEST programs across the country are better equipped to pursue careers in an agency, company or other insurance industry organization thanks to InVEST."

InVEST develops future insurance professionals through academic programs, online education, mentoring and scholarships. In high schools, the program offers students a business curriculum focusing on insurance, as well as the dynamics of insurance agencies and companies. At the college level, the program develops students' risk management and financial analysis skills. Throughout their InVEST education, students learn about exciting and well-paying career opportunities in an industry that is rapidly evolving through technology.

“A successful InVEST program is vital to the financial literacy of our young people, to the future of the independent agency system and to the insurance industry as a whole," says Bob Rusbuldt, president & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. “We are concerned that the average age of an insurance agent is almost 60. As baby boomers continue retiring in record numbers, the InVEST program has the potential to replenish our workforce and to produce the next generation of insurance industry professionals and leaders."

Scholarship hopefuls from across the country submitted essays describing the influence of InVEST on their educational plans and answered questions about a real-world insurance case study. InVEST board member judges selected recipients based on the quality of their essay combined with the applicant's grade-point average and extracurricular activities. InVEST mails scholarship checks directly to each student's institute of higher learning and the money will be used exclusively for educational expenses. Scholarships are funded through corporate and direct contributions.

The 2019 scholarship winners hail from Florida, Maine, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, California and New Hampshire.

$5,000 Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship Winner:

  • Michael Skora, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY

$5,000 Vertafore Scholarship Winner:

  • Alexis Schneider, Dryden High School, Dryden, NY

$3,000 Loren Shoemaker Memorial Scholarship Winner:

  • Amanda Smith, William R. Boone HS, Orlando, FL

$2,500 Scholarship Winners:

  • Thomas Riffaud, Windermere High School, Windermere, FL
  • Daniel Ballagh, Okemos High School (Wilson Talent Center), Okemos, MI

$2,000 Scholarship Winners:

  • Andrew Paluch, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Ethan Pohlman, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Samantha Goldberg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL

$1,500 Scholarship Winners:

  • Timmy Stuart, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Andrea Hengber, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • Averie Williams, Hanson Memorial High School, Franklin, LA
  • Christian Walk, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • Florence Yared, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • David Becker, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Alyssa Fletcher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • Gabriela Matute Gonzalez, Windermere High School, Windermere, FL

$1,000 Scholarship Winners:

  • Nicole Park, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Stanley Nkereuwem, Meadowcreek High School, Norcross, GA
  • Russell Dagon, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
  • Sydney Watson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • William McGowan, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Carson Abt, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • Emma Asaf, Lansing Public Schools, Lansing, MI
  • Madelyne Alexander, Dryden High School, Dryden, NY
  • William Cox, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Aaron Gould, Windermere High School, Windermere, FL
  • Lauren Chiacchia, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Christopher Damiani, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY
  • Austin Wendling, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
  • Ashley Arzonico, Lake Brantley High School, Alamonte Springs, FL
  • Austin Creese, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL

$500 Second Round Scholarships:

  • Taylor Sheley, Thomas College, Waterville, ME
  • Tyler Sheradsky, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
  • Christopher Ouwerkerk, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

$500 Classroom-to-Career Scholarships:

  • Matthew Shulman, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, NH
  • Teresa Berumen, Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA
  • Yessica Flores, Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA

- The $5,000 Randy Roth Applied Memorial Scholarship, established in 2017, honors the memory of Randy Roth who was dedicated to developing young talent for the insurance industry. Roth served as Applied Systems' director of talent acquisition and passed away several years ago.

- The $5,000 Vertafore Scholarship is provided by Vertafore, Inc., a developer and provider of cloud-based software and services for the insurance industry worldwide.

- The Second Round Scholarship is awarded to previous InVEST scholarship recipients who have completed at least three years of college. Their intended degree must relate to a career path within the insurance industry. These students are eligible for a $500 scholarship.

- The Classroom-to-Career Scholarship is awarded to students who are not going to college but intend to start an insurance career and need financial assistance with licensing, entry level courses, CISR or ACSR designations.

Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, VA,InVESTpromotes 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.

InVEST is part of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I").