The Florida Swims Foundation has announced the more than 30 recipients of college and continuing education scholarships totaling $70,000 through the Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund.
This year’s initial award total came in at almost $35,000 and was then matched through the generosity of the Dr. Bill Kent Family Foundation. More than 25 FSPA members served as the donors contributing to $70,000 to be distributed to recipients.
The Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund is available through the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) to dependents of owners and employees of member companies. This program helps members meet the high cost of college expenses for their children. The award is presented by the Florida Swims Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that also funds swim lessons for children throughout the state in addition to managing the scholarship fund.
“FSPA and the Florida Swims Foundation take pride in providing these scholarships to deserving students each year thanks to the Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund,” says Elizabeth McMurray, FSPA chief executive officer. “This program not only encourages and supports our industry dependents as they pursue their studies and academic accomplishments, but it is also a wonderful membership benefit that alleviates some of the financial burden for the families and students themselves.”
Students at all levels of post-secondary education are eligible for merit scholarships based on academic accomplishment, extracurricular activities, contributions to their community and a research paper on a pool industry related topic. In the past, an average of $25,000 per year has been distributed to dependents of pool industry professionals with more than $850,000 gifted since the program’s inception.
“It is with great pride that the Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund has remained an esteemed and valuable asset to both students and their families within the pool and spa industry for more than 30 years,” says Derek Brown, scholarship chair of the Florida Swims Foundation, and whose mother is the namesake of the scholarship fund. “My father, Ken Brown, introduced this fund over three decades ago in my mother’s honor. The Brown family is a proud supporter of both FSPA and the swimming pool industry, as well as continuing education for our state’s most deserving young minds.”
“This advancement in my academic career would not have been made possible without the support of the scholarship program,” says Noelle Knowlton, a 2023 Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Recipient pursuing a specialized communications degree at Florida State University. “Thank you [to the Foundation] for your valued contribution to my education, which has enabled me to pursue extracurricular opportunities that allow my aspirations to come to fruition.”
Applications for the 2024 scholarship will open next spring. For more information, visit the Florida Swims Foundation website.