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Beach kids earn $26,000 for college

June 19, 2019
By LEAH SANKEY ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Beach Kids Foundation gave a record-breaking $26,000 worth of scholarship money to 26 "beach kids" at an award ceremony held Monday at the Lani Kai's Island View Restaurant.

Each student received $1,000 to go toward their education. Last year, there were 18 scholarship recipients, and in 2017, 15. Linda Beasley, the president of the organization, said that she thinks the mumber of scholarships given out will get bigger every year.

Beasley said that the emphasis for the Beach Kids Foundation Scholarships is on giving students of all collegiate levels the chance to get a scholarship, since the majority of scholarships are offered only to first-year students. Another unique aspect of the Beach Kids Foundation Scholarship is the student's ability to receive the scholarship more than once.

Article Photos

Recipients of the Beach Kids Foundation scholarship that attended the award ceremony and president of the foundation, Linda Beasley. 


Mindy Paniagua has received the scholarship two years in a row. This year, it's helping her pay for graduate school.

"I think everyone should be very appreciative, they work so hard to raise the money for us each and every year," said Paniagua. "I'm so thankful, from the bottom of my heart. I know what it takes for them to raise this money." Paniagua just graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's going back to FGCU to obtain her master's in business.

The scholarship is also available to those applying for trade school. They didn't receive any trade school applicants this year, but Beasley hopes to in the future.

"We want this to be available to any Fort Myers Beach kid who wants to better their education," said Beasley.

Most of the scholarship winners are Fort Myers Beach residents, and many of them attended Fort Myers Beach Elementary School.

"I've watched these kids grow up," said Beasley. "This organization is my heart. My son is a beach kid; my husband was a beach kid."

List of scholarship recipients:

Allison Jones

Annie Salyers

Cameron Fancher

Ben Faircloth

Bailey Faircloth

Jacob Franklin

Summer Ray Johnson

Samantha Muller

Luciano Christian Gilberti

Sarah Bestrom

Randy Paniagua

Mindy Paniagua

Andy Paniagua

Masen Sudduth

Jacksen Sudduth

Josey Mayer

Bridgette Myers

William Holt Wallace

Aidan Kahn

Sydney Wallace

Jordan Wallace

Ben Hourigan

Keara E. Haataja

Madison Tezak

Austin Tezak

Alexis Gore



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