OHS seniors receive surprise visit from IRSC ‘Prize Patrol’

OKEECHOBEE — On Wednesday, May 6, thirty-seven Okeechobee High School seniors were surprised with a visit from the Indian River State College (IRSC) “Prize Patrol.” A team comprising college, IRSC Foundation and Okeechobee High School officials recognized these special students outside their homes for their outstanding academic accomplishments.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/IRSC
Briana Hight, Okeechobee High School senior and IRSC associate in arts degree graduate, was visited by Cheryl Worlow, the IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus adviser specialist. Briana is also the 2020 Patricia Jo Bryant Scholarship recipient.

“Each year, we recognize the achievements of students who, through participation in the dual enrollment program, have earned their associate degrees at IRSC at the same time they earn their high school diplomas, as well as those students who are recipients of scholarships awarded through the IRSC Foundation,” said IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus Provost Russ Brown. “Typically, this event occurs at the high school each spring, but this year we went door-to-door to show our students how proud we are of their successes, and to encourage their continuation of post-secondary education.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/IRSC
Cera Elliott, Okeechobee High School Senior and IRSC associate in arts degree graduate, was visited by Janine Merriman, IRSC Dixon-Hendry Campus ounselor. Cera is also the 2020 George P. Stanich Scholarship recipient.

This year, 18 Okeechobee High School students graduated with associate degrees from Indian River State College. Twenty-five students were presented with scholarships collectively valued at more than $192,000. Scholarship recipients were also greeted with cookie cakes, generously donated by Publix.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/IRSC
Hailey Korpi, the 2020 C. Harold Porter Memorial Scholarship recipient, was visited by Betty Saffioti, IRSC Foundation Take Stock in Children student services coordinator.

The “Prize Patrol” was coordinated in conjunction with Okeechobee High School. Principal Lauren Myers and Assistant Principal Vicki Goggans participated in the day’s events, and the “patrol” was escorted by deputies from the Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/IRSC
Haley Joles is a 2020 Take Stock in Children Scholarship recipient.

Each fall and spring, about 300 Okeechobee High School students are dually enrolled in college-level courses at the IRSC Dixon Hendry Campus. Okeechobee County dual enrollment associate in art degree recipients are: Ashley Snyder, Aubrey Pierce, Cera Elliot, Dallan McGowan, Derrick Chen, Edmundo Cruz, Emily Land, Esrat Jahan, Hailey Korpi, Itzel Guereca, Julie Garcia-Arias, Kendall Harrison, Lillian Henry, Makalyn Jones, Natalie Banuelos, Paisley Rhoden, Rebecka Mims and Stephanie Ortega.

Scholarship recipients:
IRSC scholarship recipients from Okeechobee are: Abraham Benitez, Take Stock in Children Scholarship;Alexis Llanas, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Antonio Vega-Hernandez, Bank of America Public Safety Education Scholarship; April Vega-Gonzalez, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Ariana Diaz Jaime, Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club Scholarship; Artemio Virto, Access and Opportunity Scholarship; Briana Hight, Patricia Jo Bryant Scholarship; Bryan Leal, Kenneth Pruitt Scholarship; Cera Elliot, George P. Stanich Scholarship; Cole Verano, Agricultural Endowment Scholarship; Edmundo Cruz, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Elizabeth Casas, Donald C Hicks Scholarship; Gloria Seca, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Hailey Korpi, C. Harold Porter Memorial Scholarship; Haley Joles, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Johnathan Rivera, Dr. Robert and Nancy Bedingfield Scholarship and Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Julie Garcia-Arias, Dawn Marie Snow Fertitta Scholarship, Kaydra Bradley, President’s Challenge Scholarship; Laura Rodriguez-Gomez, Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Luis Alanis, Lawrence G and Laura Clayton Scholarship; Maria Aguirre, Hefflebower Endowed and Take Stock in Children Scholarship; Solomon Albright, Hefflebower Endowed Scholarship; Stephanie Ortega, Frank and Betty Williamson Scholarship; and Veronica Trejo, President’s Challenge Scholarship.

About Indian River State College
Indian River State College is the 2019 recipient of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The college’s five campuses provide unparalleled educational environments for those residing in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties. IRSC serves nearly 30,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas.

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