Thank you for your interest in the Charlotte Community Foundation Higher Education Scholarships. The 2021-2022 application process has closed. Please refer back to our page at a later date for updated scholarship information. 

                                                                                                                          Scholarship Information

Thanks to our generous donors, the Charlotte Community Foundation has awarded over $1.9 million in scholarships to Charlotte County students pursuing higher education in fields of study  including  Healthcare, Engineering, Education, General Studies and Real Estate.

  This site will provide you with an overview of our different scholarships.   Please review the requirements for each scholarship before applying and be sure to follow us on social media!

 Scholarship Questions?

 We are happy to assist you with any of your scholarship questions! 

Should you need assistance, please contact us at  or call 941-637-0077.

Scholarship Timeline

*December 1, 2021 —— Scholarship Applications Open

*January 23, 2022 —— Scholarship Applications Close

*Mach 23, 2022 —— Scholarship Recipients Notified

 *TBD —— Scholarship Award Presentation

Click Here for Important Information Before You Apply
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    You can begin the FAFSA on October 1st of your senior year, with the prior year’s tax return.  The SAR (Student Aid Report) shows each student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and is required for all scholarships.
  • The most recent High School and/or College Transcript will be required with your application. For current students, fall 2020 grades should be uploaded into your application.
  • Test Score Report(s) most applicable to your academic level (TABE, PERT, TEAS, ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, DAT, OAT) must be uploaded into your application.
  • Brief Written Essay will be required covering field of major, mentor, leadership ability, importance of continuing education, and impact of a scholarship.
  • A Letter of Recommendation is highly recommended, but not required. Recommender may submit their letter directly to online platform from student request.
  • A Resume of extracurricular activities, volunteer work, employment, awards and leadership roles may also be uploaded.
  • Review specific scholarship eligibility requirements before applying.

Determination Process

  • Scholarship recipients are selected based upon the specific criteria made by each fund’s donor. Scholarship applications are internally vetted for completion of all required elements.
  • Every application is reviewed by a member of the Charlotte Community Foundation’s volunteer Scholarship Review Committee.
  • After all applications are reviewed, the Charlotte Community Foundation’s Board of Directors will evaluate all recommendations and approve the scholarship awards.

Notification of Scholarship Awards

  • Recipients of each scholarship will be notified by Charlotte Community Foundation by the end of March.

Payment of Scholarship Awards

  • Payments are mailed directly to the school’s financial aid office once the Charlotte Community Foundation receives an invoice. Checks are made payable to the school and not to the individual recipient.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to inform the school of a scholarship award.
Cherian Family Scholarship - 1) General Studies 2) Medical Field


This scholarship was established by Mrs. Sushila Cherian in memory and honor of her late husband Dr. J.V. Cherian who was not only a successful Otolaryngologist but a caring philanthropist. Dr. and Mrs. Cherian believe investing time and energy into the local community and its residents for the betterment of local community as a whole. Mrs. Cherian’s belief is that, “One should first invest in their education because it will provide opportunities and a gateway to the future. Once you begin your life, then invest in your community by giving your time to others. Ones’ time and talent is a great treasure”.

 *Two separate Cherian Family Scholarships are available 

 *These Scholarships are renewable up to 4 years.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  Scholarship #1 (General Studies)

  • Female Charlotte County public high school graduate or Charlotte County resident for at least 1 year
  • Attending or accepted to an accredited Florida Technical School, College, or University with any area of interest excluding cosmetology or similar beauty service field.
  • Must demonstrate financial need

  Scholarship #2 (Medical Field)

  • Female high school senior or graduate
  • Attending or accepted to any Florida University, 2-year Associate’s or 4-year Bachelor’s Degree program in the Medical Field
  • 2021 Cherian Family Scholarship Recipients

      •  Gianna Centrangelo  –  Florida International University College of Law (Law, Juris Doctorate)
      • Amy Enberg – Florida Gulf Coast University ( Communication) 
      • Lexi Picket  –  University of South Florida (Health Science)

David Gerdel Memorial Scholarship - Engineering or Physical Science

Mrs. Gerdel established the David Gerdel Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of her husband: “It’s so rewarding to help a promising student succeed. You never want financial need to be the obstacle to a student’s success. My scholarship fund is named in memory of my late husband and every year I honor his memory by providing a scholarship in his name to a young person pursuing a degree in engineering or physical science. This is something David strongly believed in.”

Criteria for Scholarship Recipients

  • Must be a Charlotte County public high school senior or graduate.
  • Accepted to or attending in good standing in an accredited post-secondary education institution or technical program in  the field of engineering or physical science.

2021  David Gerdel Scholarship Recipient

 Colby Gielow – University of Florida (Engineering )


Dennis Munholand Memorial Scholarship - Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, or Dental Assistant

Dennis Munholand, DDS, MBA, was a prominent dentist in Port Charlotte for more than 20 years prior to his passing.  Dr. Munholand is credited with creating the Harbor Heights Peace River Rotary Club.  He was the Chapter’s first president and later named a Paul Harris Fellow, an award given to those who make significant contributions to Rotary. He also was honored as the club’s Rotarian of the Year in 2000.   Dennis’ heart showed in the way he helped young people become productive adults, in the charities he fostered, in the hours he spent teaching others, and in the care he showered on patients.  He helped start Charlotte High School’s Project Graduation, an alcohol-free party for graduates.  He worked for eight years on Project Graduation, and was involved in many charitable organizations and events in support of local youth. 

Upon Dr. Munholand’s death in a car accident at the age of 52, The Harbor Heights Peace River Rotary established this scholarship fund in his name.  This fund provides scholarships for graduating high school seniors looking to enter the dentistry field.   According to Eugene Heitman, Rotary president at the time of Dr. Munholand’s passing, “It’s a little something extra for the youth, and Dennis was very involved with doing things for the youth in our community. The HHPR Rotary has lost a dear friend.  We will never forget him, and in his honor, have established a memorial fund to provide support for young people seeking a career in dentistry.”

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a graduate of a Charlotte County high school
  • Accepted to or attending in good standing an accredited post-secondary education institution or technical program in the field of dentistry, dental hygiene or dental assistance, or other related field or educational pursuit that promotes excellence in dentistry.

2021 Dennis Munholand  Scholarship Recipient

Ana Beltran – University of South Florida ( Health Science)


Douglas Thatcher Memorial Scholarship - Healthcare ( Must be a High School Basketball Player Pursuing Healthcare)

Douglas Brian Thatcher was born in Long Beach, CA and lived in North Port for 22 years.  Doug was a registered nurse and a medical sales representative for Johnson and Johnson Depuy Synthes Orthopedics.  Patients, physicians and his coworkers looked to him as a leader in the medical community.  Doug loved windsurfing, fishing and cooking.  Doug also had a love for learning, and his most recent project was creating a koi fishpond in his backyard.  His koi fish are now permanently living at the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens.  Doug truly impacted every person he ever met in a positive way.  Doug was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend to all those he loved.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:

  •  Must be a Charlotte County high school senior that has participated on the boys’ or girls’ basketball team
  •  Must be accepted to a post-secondary educational institution to pursue a career in Healthcare.
Health Professions Scholarship - Healthcare


 The donors who established these scholarships are retired professionals in the healthcare industry. They desire to provide Charlotte County residents  entering or already enrolled in a health professions degree program with enhanced higher learning opportunities.  Their belief is that these healthcare roles are much needed positions that cannot be outsourced overseas like so many other jobs. 

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a resident of Charlotte County entering or attending a 2-year or 4-year Health Professions Program in a college in Florida or an accredited online Health Professions program.
  • If high school senior, must attend a Charlotte County High School.
  • Must remain in good standing with their school
  • Scholarship automatically renews 1 time if the student remains in the program and in good standing.  Must reapply for additional years.

2021 Health Professions Scholarship Recipients

  • Emily Anderson – State College of Florida ( Nursing )
  • Morgan Barham – Florida Southwestern State College (Nursing)
  • Lucita Gomez – Florida Southwestern State College (Nursing)
  • Jamie Gonzalez -Florida Southwestern State College(Nursing)
  • Davon  Keyes – University of South Florida (Biomedical Science)
  • Kaitlin McCausland – Florida Southwestern State College (Nursing)
  • Tamara Paul – State College of Florida (Nursing)
  • Chelsea Raines-State College of Florida (Nursing)
  • Kellie Redmann – State College of Florida (Nursing)
  • Emma Sweiderk-State College of Florida (Nursing)
  • Megan Winter – Florida Southwestern State College (Nursing)
  • Laura Yepes – Florida Southwestern State College (Nursing)
Jennifer A Young Memorial Scholarship - Education

Jennifer was born April 25, 1949 in Madison, Wisconsin. Growing up on a farm outside Mequon, Jenny attended private schools. She went to Smith College, earning a Bachelor of Science in math and education. She furthered her education, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Applied Math at Brown University, and a PhD in Leadership and Public Policy at The Ohio State University. Worthington Schools in Worthington, Ohio, hired her as a math teacher in 1972. Among her many responsibilities during the next 30 years were teacher, department chair and President of the Worthington Education Association. She retired as an assistant principal at Worthington Kilbourne High School in 2002. She also was a leader in the OSU Graduate Principal Development Program.

Not only did she encourage learning in others, but she herself was a lifelong learner. She dedicated herself to making schools more responsive to students, to helping teachers achieve their maximum potentials and to developing more competent and humane administrators. After retirement she returned to the east coast where she had residences in Virginia, Florida, and Maine. Jenny and her life companion, Michele Matto, enjoyed traveling with and showing their Samoyeds in their RV. Other interests included bridge, golf, sailing and woodcarving. She was considered by everyone who knew her as one of the kindest, most loyal, and caring of friends. She had a gentle nature that belied her competitiveness.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • High school senior or graduate pursuing a career in education at a 4-year accredited college. (not restricted to graduates of Charlotte County high school)
  • Must demonstrate a “need” for college funding
  • Must submit a resume that reflects personal integrity and honor


2021 Jennifer A Young Memorial Scholarship Recipients

  •  Sara Drake – American College of Education  (Master’s in Education)
  • Trinity Gohl – Florida Gulf Coast University  (Elementary Education)


Karen Wynn Memorial Scholarship - Real Estate

The Karen Wynn Memorial Scholarship was established by her husband Doug, family, friends and colleagues. The Karen Wynn Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Charlotte Community Foundation  to memorialize Karen and her passion for Real Estate. 

This scholarship will benefit local Charlotte County residents who wish to pursue a career in Real Estate by allowing them to attend the needed classes, help to provide funding for registrations, certifications, and necessary dues.

Criteria for Scholarship Recipients

  • Must be a Charlotte County or Sarasota County resident pursuing a career in Real Estate.
  • Must be a high school graduate
  • Must be 18 years of age

2021 Karen Wynn Memorial Scholarship  Recipient

  • Jessica Howard – Magnolia School of  Real Estate 


Leo Wotitzky Scholarship - General Studies

Leo Wotitzky was born in Punta Gorda in 1912 and resided here until his death in 2005.   Leo had an illustrious life as a teacher, newspaper editor, state legislator and attorney at law.  Due to his intellect, personality and sense of humor, Leo was a leader in every activity he ever undertook.  As a teacher, he was able to inspire the best from the gifted and the not so gifted.  Not just in the subject material, but in life.  As a newspaper editor, he consistently advocated and promoted community concerns.  His tenure as a state legislator proved Leo to be a leader in addressing the needs of public education, elevating the standards and providing the funding so that every child in Florida would have a quality educational opportunity.   As an attorney, Leo represented both the rich and the poor.  He provided free legal services to many nonprofit organizations.

If not for a teaching scholarship, Leo’s education would have been interrupted by the economic depression of the 1930s.  Leo would have been forced to drop out of college.  In both his personal and professional life, he always identified with people who might have been economically disadvantaged, but had the intellect, the inner strength and motivation to reach their life goals.

 His family, friends and former students have contributed to create the Leo Wotitzky Scholarship Fund to last in perpetuity in the memory of one of Florida’s finest citizens. 

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a recent graduate or high school senior of a Charlotte County public high school
  • Must be accepted to or attending in good standing at an accredited post-secondary educational institution or technical program
  • Must exhibit leadership skills
  • Must exhibit service to the community
  • 2 year renewable scholarship

2021 Leo Wotitzky Scholarship Recipients

  • Fanny Arnyek – University of Southern California (Computer Science)
  • Talon Bottonfield – University of South Florida (Environmental Science)
  • Tyler Caron – University of Central Florida  (Journalism)
  • Stephen Donaldson- Full Sail University (Graphic Design)
  • Dylan Hogan – New College of Florida (Political Science) 
  • Krista Leo- University of South Florida (Exercise Science)
  • Raphael Maunahan – University of South Florida (Biomedical Engineering)
  • Justin Rotolo – Florida  Southern College (Theatre Performance)
Nora Penton Beatty Nursing Scholarship - Nursing

Nora Penton Beatty graduated from the Cooper Hospital School of Nursing (NJ) in 1934.  After marriage to her childhood sweetheart William G. Beatty in 1935, they started a family in 1937, eventually having two sons and one daughter.  Mrs. Beatty was guided to nursing because in that generation, women usually were educated as a nurse or as a school teacher.  Her older sister was a teacher.  Nora was a kind and empathetic person, so she followed those natural inclinations to care for and comfort people.  Her gentle spirit was a good fit for what was expected of a nurse in those days.

Mrs. Beatty’s daughter, Joanne Amendola-Phenix writes this about the scholarship: I chose to fund a memorial scholarship at the Charlotte Community Foundation in my mother’s name to honor an intelligent, gentle and caring woman who died too young at the age of fifty-two from breast cancer. My two sons were not yet born when their grandmother died. By this scholarship, I hope to encourage them to think about their grandmother and the influence she had on me. Education was important to her and she would be delighted to be helping nursing students reach their life goal. I hope this “giving” in turn influences my sons to give to others and come to the knowledge in their hearts that you are truly blessed when you are but a channel for God’s goodness to others.  Personally, my Christian faith compels me to reach out and share the blessings God has showered on my life.  For the scholarship recipients this Bible verse says it all: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).”

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a Charlotte County resident
  • Must be enrolled and in good standing or pursuing enrollment in an accredited Charlotte County post-secondary educational institution nursing program or technical program in nursing
  • Has maintained a “B” (3.0) average or better in previous course study

2021 Nora Penton Beatty Nursing Scholarship 

  • Nicole Pulaskie – University of South Florida  (Health Science)


Nursing Scholarship - Nursing

 The donor who established this scholarship fund is a retired nurse. After serving on the Charlotte Community Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, she was moved by the numerous applications from students who overcame unfortunate obstacles yet excelled in school while working outside the home, caring for family members, or participating in their community.  

 “Each one was an inspiration to me and each one deserved the opportunity to achieve their dreams”

                                    ~Anonymous Donor/Nursing Scholarship

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a Charlotte County public high school  senior or graduate
  • Accepted to or attending in good standing at an accredited post-secondary educational institution or accredited on-line program for nursing or technical program in nursing (RN, BSN, MSN)
  • Must maintain a “B” (3.0) average or better 

2021 Nursing Scholarship Recipients

  • Sabrina Lefebvre – University of South Florida (Nursing & Sociology)
  • Hannah Roushia – State College of Florida (Nursing)
  • Penelope Thacher – State College of Florida (Nursing)


Virginia B. Andes Scholarship - Healthcare

Virginia  was born and raised in Canton, OH and graduated from McKinley High School in 1937. She attended Ohio University and Kent State University, was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and received her degree in Business Education.  In 1944, during World War II, Virginia was hired by IBM. She retired in 1975 as an Advisory Systems Engineer, paving the way for other women in the industry. In 1980 she moved to Naples, FL and began her next ‘career’ as a volunteer for the University of Florida’s Extension Homemakers. She became the secretary of this organization on the state level in Gainesville, FL, and most often could be found teaching classes to other women in the area of money management. From Naples, she moved to Fort Myers, FL in 1991 and spent four years volunteering at Southwest Regional Hospital. Then in 1995 her travels brought her to Port Charlotte, FL.  She continued to volunteer at Fawcett Memorial Hospital, through Senior Friends. In 2009, Virginia was awarded an honoree of the HCA Frist Humanitarian Award given to outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer activities. Virginia’s generous contribution to the Charlotte Community Foundation for a clinic that provides free healthcare to the underserved working poor in Charlotte County embodied the significance of this award. Her contribution purchased the building for the clinic that will live on into perpetuity as the ‘Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic’. She was again honored by the national society, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) – Charlotte Bay Chapter, with their prestigious Community Service Award in 2013. 
When Virginia was asked, ‘What is the most important thing people should know about life, from your perspective?’ she shared, ‘Take responsibility for yourself – be proactive to advance yourself. Choose to be a survivor and take responsibility in your life to get ahead.’ 

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a Charlotte County public high school graduate or has lived or worked in Charlotte County for at least the last 2 years.
  • Must be currently enrolled in and have already completed at least two years of a traditional four year Bachelor’s degree program (or more advanced degree educational program) in a healthcare related field at either Florida Gulf Coast University or Florida Southwestern State College or accredited online program.
  • Recipients must agree to provide a minimum of 10 volunteer hours per month at  the Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic, Englewood Community Clinic, or other local health related philanthropic organization approved by CCF during the semester(s) the scholarship is received.

2021 Virginia B. Andes Scholarship Recipients

  •  Nicole Allen – University of West Florida (Master’s in Social Work)
  • Vincent Bauer – Rasmussen University (Nursing)
  • Mary Calitri – Florida Gulf Coast University (Biology)
  • Jenna Dunakey – University of Florida (Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Bana Jarrah – University of Florida (Public Health)
  • Kaylee Marr – University of Central Florida (Nursing)
  • Samantha Martinez – University of Miami (Nursing)
  • Taryn Morneau – University of South Florida (Biorchemistry/Pharmacy)
  • Lorrie Norman – University of South Florida (Adult Gerontology  NP)
  • Bianca Vales – Keiser University ( Nursing)

Scholarship Recipient Testimonial

I received my BSN in 1985 and after 33 years of practicing nursing I made a decision to go back to school to earn a master’s degree in nursing leadership.

The scholarship I received from the Charlotte Community Foundation is extremely valuable as it eases the financial burden of the cost associated with seeking an advanced degree. This allows the opportunity to focus on my studies and alleviates the worries associated with the financial obligation of tuition. Since receiving the scholarship I have a feeling of connection with the Charlotte Community Foundation as their generosity is assisting me to gain additional education in nursing leadership.

I am currently enrolled in the Nurse Executive track at the University of West Florida’s online MSN program. I am in my fourth class and will complete the four core classes once this class finishes in December 2018. My spring and summer 2019 semesters will include three specific classes for the Nurse Executive program. In the fall of 2019 I will begin the first of three semesters for my practicum which will lead to the completion of the MSN program in the summer of 2020.

The Charlotte Community Foundation holds education in high regard as demonstrated by the generous gifts they give in the form of scholarship funds to Charlotte County residents. This affords many the opportunity to complete higher education at levels they may not have been able to afford without the scholarship. The outcome is positive for the community as this results in more highly educated Charlotte County residents who in turn utilize their education in many ways to better the community.


Scholarship Recipient Anna Bonilla

Thank you to the donor who provided my scholarship.My name is Anna Bonilla, and I would like to share my story. In my 20s, I decided to leave my hometown and pursue an education in California. I graduated from California State University with my Bachelors…

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Scholarship Recipient Bessie Connor Switzer – Leo Wotitzky Scholarship

The Charlotte Community Foundation scholarship that I received was the Leo Wotitzky Scholarship.  This scholarship has helped me to achieve my goal of going to college without loans.  I have been able to focus on my studies and become involved in…

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Charlotte Community Foundation

 227 Sullivan Street • Punta Gorda, FL  33950

 (941) 637-0077 •

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