Kiwanis Club awards local student college scholarship - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Kiwanis Club awards local student college scholarship

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Ashley Milfort Ashley Milfort

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida civics organization has awarded a local student a $30,000 scholarship for her college education.

The Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club awarded Booker T. Washington High School senior Ashley Milfort the scholarship Tuesday morning.

"I can't really believe that I got it," said Milfort. "I know it was between a lot of people... and for it to be me is a blessing."

The awards committee reviewed 280 pages of material from 14 applicants before selecting a winner. "They're a member of the National Honor Society," said Rick Freedman, who is with the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club, as he read the qualities they look for in their recipients. "They played sports for this school, they're graduating in the top ten percent of their class, graduating with over a 4.2 GPA and completed over 1,300 hours of community service in the past four years."

The scholarship is of particular importance to seniors, many of which lack the resources to attend college. "I know it's gonna take a lot of the burden off of my mom and my family," said Milfort as she held back tears of joy.

"She's overcome an amazing amount of obstacles," said Freedman. "She grew up in a single-family home in Overtown. Very difficult family life, very difficult parent upbringing, that type of thing. She lives in Overtown where there has been 80 shootings within one-square mile of this school in the past 12 months. All the obstacles that she has had to overcome she has done an amazing job with."

Milfort's mother, Donna Milfort, said, "I did not have to tell her come home and do her homework. She was always diligent in that, always."

Milfort said she will be attending the University of Florida's business administration program starting June 30. "Classes start in the summer, and I'll be getting a fresh start and ahead of most people," she said. "I want to start my own business. I don't know exactly what it is yet. I wanna have something of my own."

She is the youngest of several siblings and the first in her family to go to college.

"We're gonna be able to hand her a four-year, fully-paid college scholarship worth over $30,000. This will not stand in her way. She will be able achieve her goals," said Freedman.

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