In July of this year Jobs for Florida’s Graduates awarded Abby Shidel three thousand dollars which she will use to assist in paying for college where her plan is to obtain a degree in nursing. The monetary award was given to Abby at the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Training Seminar at the Disney Coronado Resort.
Abby enrolled in two programs offered by The Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates while she attended Indian Trails Middle School; Jobs for Florida’s Graduates and Girls Get I.T. “Both impacted my life in many ways by teaching me leadership, commitment, teamwork and compassion” Shidel wrote in her winning essay.
Abby gives credit to her Jobs for Florida’s Graduates teacher, Ed Heafey for her understanding that academic success would lead to her career success while the encouragement of Melissa Fox, her Girls Get I.T. teacher lead to a love for science. The Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates, headquartered in Flagler Beach, has served over 20,000 students throughout Florida since 2003.
Shidel will start her senior year at Matanzas High School with a 4.0 GPA. Her intention is to graduate high school with an Associate of Arts degree from Daytona State College which she can accomplish due to Florida’s dual enrollment program. The Florida State University campus houses her dream nursing program.
“My drive to become a nurse all started when my father passed away when I was ten years old due to complications of pneumonia. There’s not a day passes that I don’t think about how I could have helped him so he’d still be here with me today” Sidel said. A year later, her mother was diagnosed with Lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. At only thirteen, Sidel was calling 911 as the only witness to her grandmother’s fatal stroke. “These experiences reassured my passion to be a nurse because I know I can to make a difference in not only my family’s life but in many people’s lives” Abby said.
“Well, that is exactly the mission of each program respectively so I suppose all I need to do now is take Abby with me when I speak to potential donors as a living breathing advertisement because, through her, it is obvious that inspiration is like lightening in a bottle. It can’t be contained” said Heather Beaven, CEO of The Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates.