On Sunday, April 13, 2014, the Trump Hotel was host to the 4th Annual City of Sunny Isles Beach College Scholarship Awards presentation. This annual event is held to recognize and reward high school seniors who have applied for financial assistance toward their college tuition. The program is restricted to residents of the City of Sunny Isles Beach, senior high school students, preparing to enter college. This year, more than 100 attended the lovely brunch and were introduced to the (7) seven recipients. Five of the scholarship recipients were from Sunny Isles Beach and (2) were from Golden Beach, who have their own application program but join with our city for the gala event. The highlight is the recognition of students who have been selected for the respective scholar awards. This year, the focus was on the students themselves. Short Bio’s were related about each one and what they had accomplished and hope to accomplish by end of college with their degree. This group of young men and women were terrific as were those from past years as well. Their community service was commended and their interests were varied but all seemed to have a clear path as to what they wanted to be in life. One very common characteristic that was noted about all of them was a true sense of gratitude. They were grateful to the City Commission who established the program four years ago and for all the opportunities that were availed to them to perform their community service right here in our city. Several commented that the programs such as Egg Scramble, Booogie by the Beach, Lifeguard Camp, etc, were what connected them to the city, first as attendees, then later as junior and senior counselors and volunteers. All of them were grateful to City Manager Chris Russo, and Program Director Susan Simpson who started and developed these programs and initiatives way back in 2000, when there was nothing. This year’s recipients also were notably grateful to their parents, who had sacrificed so much in order to get each of them to this goal – college. They shared their love and fondness for all that had been done for them. For the first time in the history of the program, a special scholarship was created and financed by Mr. and Mrs. Jules Trump in the name of our outgoing Mayor Norman Edelcup. It was specifically designed for a certain student who met the qualifications and possessed the qualities, symbolic of the Award. The Mayor himself presented the award to: Dayana Arzumanova who will be attending Florida International University. Additional awards were presented to: • Kiwanis Award Alexander Setuain • City of Sunny Isles Beach Award Jennifer Sitiaev • City of Sunny Isles Beach Award Jasmine Michaels • Sunny Isles Beach School Trust Award Jason Chao • Golden Beach Scholar Award Allison Samowitz Jillian Samowitz During the program, Mr. Bob Welsh, President of the School Trust addressed the students. Mr. Milton Fisher, President of the Kiwanis Chapter of Sunny Isles Beach and North Miami Beach spoke about the importance of the Kiwanis and doing for the community, as did so many of the student scholars. City Manager Chris Russo spoke of the City’s commitment to the program, and to the resident seniors and rewarding them for years of volunteer service. He spoke on behalf of the City and the City Commission. In the end, there was an excitement among the recipients who are soon, on their way to college. But I am sure there will always be a connection and home base here in their city. So all you juniors in high school out there get ready and get going to apply for your share of college financial assistance for next year. Applications will be open in November of 2014. Good Luck.