Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Moffitt scholarships boost students aiming at STEAM careers

Spoto High salutatorian Jessica Beavers was one of five students to win one of the inaugural Moffitt STEAM Role Model Awards. The $1,000 scholarships aim to help students looking at careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Courtesy of Moffitt Cancer Center

Spoto High salutatorian Jessica Beavers was one of five students to win one of the inaugural Moffitt STEAM Role Model Awards. The $1,000 scholarships aim to help students looking at careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

TAMPA — Riverview High senior Jessica Beavers walked into Moffitt Cancer Center's Stabile Research Building last week uncertain of her chances of winning one of the inaugural KIDZ STEAM Role Model Awards.

Yet from all accounts, Beavers reacted with remarkable cool after one of the presenters, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, called her name as a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship aimed at promoting future leaders in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Beavers, the Spoto High salutatorian, will attend the University of Florida and major in dietetics.

"I'm very excited because you get recognized for being a role model and I think that's really important in the community," said Beavers, who credited the Powerstories program and its founder, Fran Powers, as a mentor.

Four others joined Beavers as recipients of the inaugural award: Freedom High's Benjamin Bryant (University of South Florida), Steinbrenner High's Carlos Carrasquillo (Florida), Robinson High's Sarah Jennewein (Dartmouth) and Countryside High's Eleanor Kappeler (Mount Holyoke). More than 30 applied for the inaugural rewards by writing an essay, and each received an invitation to the June 9 reception.

The awards are part of Moffitt's Healthy KIDZ, a community outreach program offered by the center for children and adolescents of all ages. It focuses on cancer prevention and healthy living.

Molina Healthcare also made a significant donation to help ignite the program.

Murman, Molina Healthcare regional community engagement manager Angela Hall, Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez, Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson and Lee Green, Moffitt vice president of diversity, public relations, served as presenters. Moffitt center director Thomas Sellers served as emcee.

"We are all very proud of the Moffitt Healthy Kids Program and the impact it is having in our community," Green said. "It is very rewarding for us to have the opportunity to directly support students financially who are interested in science, technology and math. This is just a small investment in our future researchers and doctors."

Healthy KIDZ founder and Moffitt community relations coordinator Nikki Ross-Inda beamed about the winners, but also took pride in the fact she connected two finalists who didn't win with Hillsborough Community College officials in attendance. She aims to build on the foundation of the initial event.

"The bar has been set high," Ross-Inda said. "In the spring of 2018, we plan to have more sponsors, award more STEAM scholarships and roll out the red carpet."

Ross-Inda said Moffitt will follow up with the winners throughout their college journey.

Moffitt scholarships boost students aiming at STEAM careers 06/15/17 [Last modified: Thursday, June 15, 2017 11:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  2. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  3. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  4. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  5. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”