A college education can provide hope, encouragement and new possibilities for young people facing physical challenges.
It's in this spirit that ChairScholars Foundation Inc. provides college and vocational school scholarships to young people with physical disabilities. The organization awards 34 scholarships to Florida students this Sat., April 9, at the 15th Annual ChairScholars Festival, its annual family-fun fest and scholarship celebration.
The festival begins at 1 p.m. with adaptive games and activities for the kids, followed by the awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. and a barbecue dinner. Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is scheduled to present the scholarship awards.
In addition, keynote speaker Rondé Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addresses the crowd, Bucs Coach Raheem Morris and one of the past ChairScholar recipients, Labrawn Saffold, provide stories and inspiration.
Saffold (pictured above, right) is paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a car accident . "Hes a great kid!," said ChairScholars development coordinator Janine Awai. "Saffold started a mentorship program with former Buccaneer Safety, Will Allen, called Quest before leaving Tampa to pursue degrees in Mass Communications and History at FSU."
The first two ChairScholar recipients, Joel Post and Wanda General will also be in attendance. They received their awards in 1992, and have gone on to have very successful careers as a result of their scholarships. The festival is staged on the property of the founders in Odessa. Visit chairscholars.org for more information.