The Coroavirus may have shut down business in Key West, but it hasn’t stopped the business community from fulfilling its promise to local educators and students in 2020. The Key West Chamber of Commerce has selected nine recipients of grants and scholarships totaling nearly $40,000—funds that will be used for continuing and enhancing their educations.
The premier prize each year is the HR 100/Charlie P. and Orsolina Toppino Memorial Scholarship, the largest award given to a Key West High School senior. The 2020 recipient is xxx.
The Appelrouth Scholarship recognizes one male and one female student from Key West High School who has performed outstanding community service. This year’s $1,000 awards will go to Leislany Montero and Roosevelt Joseph.
The “Moe” Mosher Scholarship, funded by Historical Tours of America, honors a student who has plans for a vocational career. In 2020, the Chamber’s Education Committee doubled the number of recipients, recognizing one male and one female with scholarships of $2,000 each. Jose Pichardo plans on attended fire college in Ocala and Leela Sorbelli will attend nursing school at the College of the Florida Keys.
In addition, the Chamber makes available to teachers a pool of grant money that funds summer conference travel. Four educators were selected this year and funds increased to $6,500. One teacher has since had to delay travel because of COVID-19.
The Chamber still has one round of Teacher Recognition awards and is hoping to celebrate seven educators at the next in-person General Membership Meeting. Three times per year, area principals nominate teachers from their schools and winners are presented with cash and gifts totaling almost $1,000 each.