(Mirror) After announcing the first open application period for its new scholarship initiative on Dec. 1, officials at the onePULSE Foundation said the response has been “overwhelming.”
The group is offering 49 scholarships in honor of the 49 people who died at the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016.
The Foundation was established after the shooting to “honor and preserve the legacy of those killed and to create a sanctuary of hope.”
Officials at onePULSE said they are working with the families and loved ones of those who were killed so the scholarship awards match up with the respective victims’ interests, careers or aspirations. In other words, the scholarships are designed for students who share similar dreams, ambitions and goals of those who died.
“We will never forget the 49 Angels taken from us that day,” onePULSE Foundation chairman Earl Crittenden said in a statement. “This scholarship program will honor each victim and continue their legacy. Each Angel was special and loved, and we hope that through these scholarships, generations of students and professionals will continue to be empowered and inspired by their lives.”
The initiative intends to award 49 scholarships each year for up to $10,000 each. Recipients can use them at any accredited institution of higher learning, including career and technical schools.
The first scholarships will be for the 2020-2021 academic year.
“We know that Shane is sitting with the Angels now, and we believe that he would be so delighted that a scholarship fund of this kind could enable aspiring vocalists to reach their full potential professionally,” Corliss and Stephan Tomlinson said in a statement.
The Tomlinson’s are the parents of Shane Tomlinson, a singer who was among the 49 victims.
“We know that this scholarship will also do a lot to ensure our son will never be forgotten,” they said.
$1 million boost
AdventHealth announced in December that it has donated $1 million to help build the National Pulse Memorial & Museum and to develop educational curriculum focused on diversity and inclusion.
Part of the donation will also go to the onePULSE Legacy Scholarship Initiative.
In addition, AdventHealth University will provide a $15,000 scholarship each year to a recipient seeking a career in health care.
More than a dozen victims of the shooting were treated at AdventHealth Orlando.
“Our hope is this memorial will foster the healing process, and inspire a spirit of love and compassion, as well as a sense of gratitude for the first responders, clinical professionals, and other heroes who acted so selflessly after the unspeakable attack on our community,” Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, said in a statement.
AdventHealth is also a founding sponsor of the National Pulse Memorial & Museum, expected to open in 2022.
Scholarship eligibility, timeline
onePULSE Foundation officials want prospective applicants to be aware of updated guidelines and dates for the Legacy Scholarship Initiative.
Any person — no matter age, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability or faith, is welcome to apply.
Students will be limited to applying for one scholarship.
Officials said there are many factors in play when assessing applicants, including personal story, financial need, track record of leadership, community involvement and/or work experience and academic or self-improvement interest.
Preference will be given to applicants who are immediate family members of a Pulse Nightclub shooting victim and those who are survivors of the tragedy.
Donations to the entire mission of onePULSE can be made at onepulsefoundation.org. Donations can also be specifically earmarked for the Legacy Scholarships Initiative.
For more information about the scholarship program, call 407-675-6456.
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