For years, Dolphin Aviation has presented local students with scholarships to help them on their way through college.
Founder Ron Ciaravella was always present at these ceremonies and was able to give out more than 100 scholarships in two decades.
Rather that focusing strictly on academics as criteria for the scholarship recipients, Ciaravella made it a priority to award hard-working B or C students who need an extra push to start their college futures. The students often have been from single family homes who need the additional financial support.
The aviation services company owner often talked about how he never expected to be in a place where he could provide such financial support, but that he was grateful to do so.
With Ciaravella’s passing in 2021, his wife, Shannon Ciaravella, has picked up the torch and welcomed high school students to Dolphin Aviation to present them with scholarships on June 20.
The 21st annual ceremony recognized six local students — from Sarasota High School, Booker High School, Riverview High School and elsewhere — with checks that will help them in their first year of college.
“I am honored to continue the philanthropy Ron began 20 years ago,” Shannon Ciaravella said in a statement. “Today’s winners exemplify attributes that mirror Ron’s conviction that determination, tenacity and hard work are integral to achieving success. … We want to help hard-working students from single parent homes who need help to launch their collegiate careers. We are proud to honor today’s scholarship winners and it is our hope that they bring their talents back to our region.”
The recipients were:
- Sephena Jackson, Venice High School; will be attending Florida State University
- Gabriel French, Braden River High School; will be attending the University of Central Florida
- Halden Parker, Riverview High School; will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Jaxson French, Sarasota Military Academy; will be attending Concord University
- Delaney Hampton, Sarasota High School; will be attending Florida Atlantic University
- Chloe Sebiro, Booker High School; will be attending Florida A&M University
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