Scholarship Awards

Sarasota Orchid Society Scholarship Award

Each academic year, the Sarasota Orchid Society awards scholarships of $1,000.00 to one or more high school seniors or college students from Sarasota or Manatee County with a declared major in the study of horticulture, botany, environmental science, landscape design or other natural science subjects. The scholarship is for a one year period. Scholarship recipients attending college may reapply annually for a period of three additional years, if they continue to meet the criteria for the award. Scholarship money is released upon verification of the applicant’s status as a full time student ( at least 12 credit hours) and at least a 3.0 GPA.

To be eligible for the Sarasota Orchid Society Scholarship, applicants shall:

  1. Have been a resident of Florida for at least one year preceding the academic year for which application is made.
  2. Be enrolled in a Sarasota or Manatee County High School as a full time student or enrolled as a college student with legal residence in Sarasota or Manatee.
  3. Declare a major in the natural science fields of study listed above.
  4. Submit 2 letters of recommendation; one from a staff member of the applicant’s current school and one from a person unrelated to the applicant.
  5. Submit a resume of extra-curricular activities, honors, leadership, job experience, and non-school activities and community service.
  6. Submit a statement explaining your interest in earning a degree in a natural science field.
  7. Submit a transcript with an 3.0 unweighted Grade Point Average or more, including SAT and/or ACT scores.
  8. Return the application by April 15th to: Barbara Delgato, Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee email: or FAX: 941-953-5736

HS Scholarship Application                        HS Eligibility Requirements

College Scholarship Application                 College Eligibility Requirements

2016 Scholarship Winners:

Rachael Puleo is a senior at Pine View School for the Gifted who plans to major in Geoscience at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Her volunteer service includes working with children as a camp counselor at St. Martha’s Church, tutoring preschoolers at the Brickhouse Academy, and as an education intern at Marie Selby Botanical Garden managing the Children’s Rainforest Garden and Kids Corner as well as Little Sprouts events.

$1000 scholarship award


Elizabeth Pluta is a National Honors Society Member and a senior at Sarasota High School who plans to major in Conservation and Environmental Science at either Florida State University or the University of Central Florida. She is a member of La Sertoa Community Service Club, as well as a volunteer at Colonial Oaks Park for the Relay for Life, the Miracle League, the animal shelter, and as a summer camp counselor.

$1000 scholarship award


Kasey Ray is a senior at Lakewood Ranch High School who plans to major in Agriculture with an emphasis in Horticulture at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. She is a Vice President of the Lakewood Ranch FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter and has been working at Florida Suncoast Orchids for the last year learning orchid propagation and nursery management. Her volunteer service includes the Florida Parrot Rescue, the Honor Animal Sanctuary, and the Bradenton Twirling Academy.

$2000 scholarship award

Previous Scholarship Winners:

University of Florida – Robert M. Scully, Sr., Student Enhancement Fund in Orchids – 2013

$2000 donation

Chad Papa – 2011

$2000 scholarship award

While pursuing a B.S. in environmental science at the University of Florida, Chad participated in the restoration and conservation of rare orchids and ferns in Florida’s Everglades National Park, worked as a volunteer in Marie Selby’s horticulture department, served as president of the UF Chapter of Invisible Children which works to alleviate the suffering of children in war-torn Uganda,  and served on UF’s Ethnoecology Society which is devoted to the exchange of ideas on permaculture, ethnobotany, agroforesty, and sustainable agriculture.

In Chad’s own words, his career goal is “to become an environmental scientist that works to better protect our environment and natural ecosystems.”

Jennifer Frederico – 2010

$1000 scholarship award

Jennifer’s Academics & Honors includes member of National Honor Society – 4 years; member of National Technical Honor Society her junior and senior years; enrollment at both Sarasota High & State College of Florida. Community Service includes volunteering over 200 hours with the following programs: Keep Sarasota County Beautiful & Sarasota County 4-H program. Leadership positions includes 4-H Club President for 2009 and 2010; Other Officer positions held included Vice-President, Secretary & Historian. Awards & Recognition included on awards and Superior Exhibitor awards at county, district and state events, some of which included both Best President, Best Secretary, Best V/P & Best Historian and Best Show Plants, Best Plant Display, Best Self-propagate Plants.

Jenny is enrolled at the State College of Florida in Bradenton  – Fall 2010

Heather Hill – 2007

$2000 scholarship award

As a Selby Gardens’ intern and graduate student, Heather far exceeded our qualifications.We wish her continued success in her research in symbiotic orchid propagation of the endangered Oncidium ensatum in the Everglades National Park.

Anne Rosenbarger – 2004

$500 scholarship award

Anne Rosenbarger is a student whose career goal is to become a researcher in the field of botany. She will be attending Duke University in Raleigh, North Carolina in the fall.

“My interest in research brought me to Dr. George Banez of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Under the mentorship of Dr. Banez I developed my interest in botany into a project dealing with native versus invasive plant species, specifically Florida’s omnipresent nuisance, the Brazilian Pepper verse native species of the same ecological niche. Solidified by a trip to the La Selva Biological Institute in Costa Rica with the Earthwatch program, my curiosity in research has become the cornerstone upon which I plan to pursue my education.”

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