PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- One Belle Glade student received a life-changing surprise Wednesday that will help her go to college worry free. Glades Central High School student Marie Sintulaire was awarded a $40,000 scholarship.
"What I’m feeling is not expressible in words, I’m happy, I’m excited, I’m overwhelmed, relieved, everything," she says.
Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County made it happen. Marie is a participant in the mentoring program.
Nancy Stellway, Executive Director of Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County says: "She’s already receiving our four-year scholarship, and this is on top of that. This is going to cover all of her college-related expenses so she is never going to have to worry about working her way through college; we want her to just stay academically focused."
Stellway says Marie truly sets herself apart. "She’s never let her circumstances define her, both of her parents work in agriculture, and so she’s grown up in the Glades community and resources have been limited for her. She just has this internal drive to give back to others, she volunteers at her church every single day helping young Haitian immigrant children learn to read, she’s volunteered here at school, she just truly wants to help others."
Her mentor, Cecelia Harriott, says: "She sees her parents working hard every day and she wants to be an example to her friends and neighborhood. She makes every effort to learn every thing that is required of her and more. She will lose sleep, take less sleep just to make sure she gets her assignments done."
Marie hopes to attend Florida State University and study finance.
"It's an amazing feeling not to have to worry about how I'm going to pay for college. Just being able to focus on my education, organizations or clubs, or giving back to the community and being able to focus on other things instead of how I’m going to pay for it."
She hopes this shows other students in her community that if you work hard, you can make things happen.
"They’re not alone and there are people out there who are willing and able to help them in whatever way they can and just that they have have to be able to and willing to apply themselves and try their best," she says.
Marie is one of only a handful of students in the state, and the only one in Palm Beach County, to become a "Leaders 4 Life" fellow and receive the $40,000 college scholarship. She’s currently valedictorian of her Glades Central High School senior class, an early admit, full-time, dual-enrolled at Palm Beach State University and accumulated more than 1,100 community service hours.
Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County is a non-profit organization that provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income youth, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. It offers students volunteer mentors, college scholarships, post-secondary retention services and more.