Deborah Thurman is the first in her family to attend college and fears that financial hardships may prevent her from achieving her full academic potential.

“Every semester I take on loans and pray for grants and scholarships to help with school and living expenses,” said Thurman.

Now Pinellas County high school graduates are only limited by the scope of their dreams thanks to generous donors like you.

During the 2015-16 academic year, Thurman was among 700 deserving St. Petersburg College students to benefit from the First Generation Matching Grant Program established by the Florida Legislature.  Universities and community colleges that provide scholarships to students who are the first in their family to attend college, and are working on a bachelor’s degree, are eligible for matching funds from the state.

Thanks to a PCF scholarship gift made possible by the Francis Kiernan Schoonmaker Memorial Award Fund, ambitious, first generation college students like Thurman now have the opportunity to pursue their college education.

An honor student already with her Associate of Science in Human Services degree in hand, Thurman now has her sights set on one day earning a master’s degree thanks to your continued support.

“Your generous scholarship is making a difference in my life by lessoning the financial burden I am accumulating in order to achieve my goals,” said Thurman who plans to return the favor by working hard to continue to do her best to contribute to our community.

Every year, generous PCF donors like Margaret Schoonmaker, who strongly believed in investing in our community’s next generation of leaders, open doors to help make college possible for deserving Pinellas County students.

PCF now administers 12 scholarship funds helping local students pursue careers in medicine, law and other fields of impact. To learn more about how you can create a lasting legacy of scholarship, please call our office at 727-531-0058.

A copy of the official registration and financial information for Pinellas Community Foundation (CH3646) may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state 800-453-7352 or visiting WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state of Florida.