- September 12, 2018
When Windermere High opened, some of the themes that surrounded it immediately were plentiful: create new traditions, foster the Wolverine spirit and leave a legacy.
The school just graduated its inaugural senior class, but there is still another first to be celebrated — the Wolverine Legacy Fund recently awarded its inaugural scholarships.
On May 17, the members of the legacy fund officially awarded six of those scholarships to Sava Glisic, Zoe Wong, Diego Chavez, Carter Zavada, Max McGouirk and Ryan Singh. In total, the legacy fund awarded 11 scholarships and five club grants. Of those 11, five are Teacher's Choice senior scholarships and six are Leave a Legacy scholarships.
Scholarships are funded primarily by the school’s diamond and sapphire sponsors. Businesses such as Tech Hero, Southern Realty and Central Florida Toyota were among the sponsors who made the scholarships awarded possible.
John and Amy Ricketts, parents of a Wolverine themselves, own Tech Hero and were happy to get involved with the legacy fund.
“Being a technology company in Orlando, it seems like (when) interviewing people nowadays it’s hard to find qualified people,” John Ricketts said. “…We definitely want to support anyone going into that field. That’s ultimately who we selected (for the scholarship), was people going into technology.”
To be eligible to receive a scholarship, students had to first meet certain criteria. The Legacy Scholarship in particular is only available to seniors and is awarded to students that display integrity, respect, a drive for excellence and a passion to leave a legacy for future Wolverines.
Students had to have at least a 2.5 GPA, participate in the CLAW mentorship program, submit an essay, complete a certain number of community-service hours, interview with the scholarship committee and be in good standing with Orange County Public Schools.
Chavez, for example, completed his community-service hours by volunteering each summer at OCA, a local special-needs organization. McGouirk facilitated a clothing drive for young men in the Dominican Republic, as well as organizing a trip to the DR to distribute the clothing.
“For us, what we wanted (the Legacy Scholarship) to be was about mentorship and leaving a legacy, and leaving what we hope others will aspire to do and be in the community,” said Julie Sadlier, a member of the Wolverine Legacy Fund committee. “Of course their grades are fantastic, but we wanted to show character, because that’s what it’s all about — leaving a legacy and the character of the candidates that we chose.”
Sadlier and other members of the scholarship committee are always looking for more businesses and families who would like to donate and become sponsors. They hope to continue adding sponsors and growing the scholarship fund as the years go on. Another hope, they said, is for the Class of 2019 to establish an alumni scholarship for the next senior class.
“Our motto is, ‘It’s not what you take from the world, it’s what you leave behind,’ and that’s really the idea of what leaving a legacy is about,” said Jane Dunkelberger, another member of the Wolverine Legacy Fund committee.
“It’s a great fund and hopefully it’s going to keep growing year after year,” said Amy Ricketts. “Hopefully they can get more parents involved and help raise funds for the kids for next year and just exceed that every year.”