Sanchez awarded SOE scholarship

For the first time, a student from Hendry County applied for and received a scholarship from the Supervisor of Elections Association. These scholarships are only awarded to three students in the State of Florida each year.

“We have some GREAT NEWS! to share with everyone. The Supervisor of Elections Association awards scholarships each year. This year is the first year we have ever had someone from Hendry County apply. Drum roll please we want to announce that our Hendry County applicant Nathalie Sanchez has been awarded one of the scholarships! A big thank you to Nathalie for following through and applying CONGRATULATIONS! on winning we are so proud of you!” wrote Brenda Hoots, in a post on the Hendry County Supervisor of Elections (HCSOE) Facebook page.

To be eligible for the Florida Supervisors of Elections Scholarship the applicant must be a Political Science, Public or Business Administration, or Journalism/Mass Communication major, with two years of junior college or undergraduate work completed. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted as full-time students in a senior college or university in Florida.

When she found out she had been awarded the scholarship, she was ecstatic. “Not too often a person expects to win, as this scholarship is only awarded to three students throughout the state of Florida,” said Nathalie. “I was really taking my chances with it and I did not expect anything at first. And when I first heard from Ms. Brenda Hoots telling me the news, I was genuinely surprised. I was smiling ear to ear for most of that day.”

“I first heard about this scholarship through my professors at the University of Central Florida, they had really pushed students to take advantage of the opportunities for a scholarships,” Nathalie Sanchez said. “The application was straight forward and not very challenging to complete. What I think was the most difficult is gathering all the required documents together from long distance. At the moment I was in the Orlando area, pretty far from where Hendry County is, thankfully with the use of technology I was able to compile all the scholarship paperwork before the deadline. I have to thank my UCF professor and my former boss from back home, as they both wrote generous and positive letter of recommendations, knowing their impressions about me and how I am eligible for the scholarship was very motivating.”

Nathalie Corazon Sanchez is a student at the University of Central Florida, who has lived in Hendry County for most of her life. After achieving her Associates of Arts degree at Palm Beach State College, she decided to pursue higher education at the University of Central Florida. UCF offers bachelors and master degrees programs, for Public Administration, for which she plans to continue studying.

“I like the strong relationships among the people within the community. Gaining lifelong friends, settling with a sense of closeness between each other that is reliable and supportive,” Nathalie said about living in Hendry County, “I wish that the community was more progressive, and offered opportunities for innovation and growth for success. There are many cases of limits placed onto people and much of the time it delays the individual from their own potential success and achievements.”

Coming from a very close knit family, Nathalie says her parents were always encouraging. “They are my biggest motivators and are a pillar of support that I can always count on.”

“Growing up was very ordinary. Like many in the community I had a parent working for U.S. Sugar and numerous times, whenever my dad would get home, the smell of the mill would linger on his work clothes,” Nathalie recalled. “My dad has a very strong work ethic, and he raised me and my siblings to believe the principle of always working hard for the things you want to achieve and to not easily give up on matters.”

When asked to describe what high school was like for her, “High school was a really good time for me; I was able to make friends and grow relationships with my teachers. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do after high school, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to pursue in college. I really enjoyed my history and government classes and I researched areas to continue studying in the general area, so I discovered about Public Administration. I enjoy learning about public administration, since I can gain an understanding about federal, state, and local governments, and how important it is to implement and construct the correct policies onto a community. Along with keeping up with satisfying the citizens, encouraging their involvement in the policy-making process, and learning from them to improve on policies or regulations. Ultimately, making sure that adminstration is performed effeciently for the benefit of the public community.”

“Ms. Monica Deittrick and Mrs. Tiffany Groves, they were my history and government teachers back in high school, they are no longer there anymore but these two really left an impact,” Nathalie explained. “Although their classes were very challenging, they were my favorite ones throughout the day. I was able to enjoy the subject and topics of the course and learn a lot more on how history and the ways government has rooted itself in much of the major institutions of an individuals life.”

One of the most defining moments in her life, so far, has been, “Moving away from home and continuing my education in a new place. Adapting to be a mature and independent person in a totally new environment,” said Nathalie.

Despite this challenge she has thrived, at both school and as a member of the community. She is very proud of the volunteer work she has done for nonprofit organizations like United Against Poverty, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and the Latinos In Action UCF Conference.

“Knowing I have a made an positive influence or difference to the community and have achieved my goals makes me feel the happiest,” said Nathalie.

“My advice to those starting high school this fall, is that the future is very unpredictable so do not try to be dead set on what your career might be so early in life as things are possible to change,” Nathalie replied, when asked if she had any advice for local youth. “Lastly, enjoy yourself in high school, making the most memories to hold onto for the rest of your life, deepening freindships, and do not give into peer pressure. Just be yourself and try your best!”

“It is an honor to represent Hendry County for the FSE scholarship, and I encourage other students to take a chance at it whether it is this specific scholarship or another one,” she went on, “I am thankful for my family, my parents, the relationships built with members of my community and my former or present teachers or professors. I will use the reward thoughtfully and responsibly, to further assist me in the cost of tuition, for the continuation of my education, and my possible professional career in the future.”

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