Students in State College Florida’s College Reach-Out Program Recognized


From left Jessica Montiel, Jaela Dennis and Winshelle Pierre were named CROP
(Bradenton, Fla., May 10, 2016) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) honored graduating seniors from area high schools and other students in the College Reach-Out Program (CROP) at the 18th annual CROP Awards ceremony at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center.

SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld welcomed students and their families, and CROP alumni and SCF students Armando Cruz Vazquez and Sofia Paschero were the featured speakers for the May 2 event.

Paschero, a CROP alumna, will be graduating in December with an Associate in Arts degree from SCF and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Cruz Vazquez attended the Black, Brown & College Bound 10th Annual Summit in Tampa with SCF student Zabdi Saint-Cyr. Cruz Vazquez, also a CROP and SCF Summer Bridge Program alumnus, plans to graduate from SCF with the goal of becoming a pharmacist.

“ The amount of knowledge I’ve gained at SCF since high school is an abundance. Participating in the Black, Brown & College Bound Summit allowed me to network with other people in my field and pointed me in the right direction for my career,” Cruz Vazquez said .

Yvette Benton, CROP activities coordinator for SCF and assistant principal of Miller Elementary, introduced the site coordinators, who gave school presentations and announced Students of the Year.

CROP Students of the Year, listed by school, are: Bayshore High School, Brandon Amspaugh; Booker High School, Sherrod Lee; Booker Middle School, Jaela Dennis; Lee Middle School, Ku’tur Williams; Manatee High School, Eddy Pelegrin; Palmetto High School, Domingo Jaimes-Diaz; Riverview High School , Winshelle Pierre ; Southeast High School, Jessica Montiel; Other Participants, Marcus Mitchell CROP site coordinators from participating schools included Raven Cokley from Booker Middle School; Lem Andrews from Booker High School; Sandra Alanis from Manatee High School; Kelli Douglas from Palmetto High School; Tommie Wheeler from Riverview High School; Laura Roberts from Bayshore High School; Keenan Wooten from Lee Middle School, and David Soles from Southeast High School.

Jessica Torsell, CROP retention specialist , Paschero and Elizabeth Bazan, CROP and SCF alumna, presented a video highlighting the program activities throughout the year.

Kristen Anderson, special programs director for SCF, announced special recognition’s and Summer Bridge Program awards, and Dr. Mike Mears, vice president of strategic initiatives at SCF, gave closing remarks.

Others who attended the ceremony included Xtavia and Ed Bailey, SCF board of trustees chairman; Gary Tibbetts, representing U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan; Manatee County Schools Superintendent, Diana Greene and Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Saunders; Manatee School Board member John Colon; Dr. Donald Bowman, SCF vice president of student affairs; Julie Jakway, SCF vice president of business and administrative services; and Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the SCF Foundation.

CROP, a statewide program funded through a grant from the Florida Department of Education, is designed to increase the number of students who successfully complete post secondary education.

Out of 52 seniors in this year’s program, 50 plan to continue their education after graduating from high school, two plan to join the military. Twenty-six will start college in June through SCF’s Summer Bridge Program, which students earned $900 program scholarships to attend. CROP graduates who attend SCF also are eligible to receive tuition and book scholarships.