College scholarship to help minority girls

Posted at 1:45 AM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 10:44:44-04

Inside a church in Riviera Beach, plans are being made to make dreams come true.

“It was everything, everything you needed.” Karen Benitez is a sophomore at Florida State University and the pride of her community. She is a graduate and former valedictorian of Glades Central High School and this year, she’s giving back to those who helped her achieve success.

“I was mind blown, I did not know I was going to receive all those things,” Benitez said.

Benitez is a recipient of the Ladies of Futurity, Trunks for Success scholarship. It puts simple things like shampoo and hangers in the hands of first generation college students. The items seemingly insignificant, make a world of a difference.

“There are these flip flops that I got, and I use them as shower shoes,” Benitez explained.

“For me, I  go to Tuskegee University in Alabama and Walmart is 30 minutes away, so to have a trunk with all of these items inside of it, makes it easier for me,” Amaris Graham and her mother Tracey founded Trunks for Success. Both felt there was a real need among minority students.

This year they are putting together close to a dozen trunks, valued at $2100 a piece to help students just like Benitez.

The program has been ongoing for 3 years and it has helped more than 50. Tracey Graham says they are still collecting monetary donations and supplies to fill their trunks. The goal is to collect the items prior to June 1st, they will be delivered on June 4th at their annual gala.

To donate contact Tracey Graham (561) 351-0106,,

Here are some of the stories of 2016 Trunk Recipients:

1. Young lady was abandoned by her mother at the age of fifteen and forced to find somewhere to live.

2. Young lady lived in a single parent home in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Palm Beach County. Forced to study by candle light many nights and was molested by a close family member.

3. Young lady came to America with her as a little girl. Her father died, and her mother still resides in another country. She has no family in America. She has had to raise herself and is paying for college by herself.

4. Young Lady’s parents are migrant workers. Father had to ride a bike just to pick up groceries for his family. Her father and sister were both diagnosed with cancer and while taking care of her father and her family she had to attend school.