|Florida Gov. Rick Scott, center, poses for a photo in Tallahassee with Palm Beach Atlantic University's ICUF Presidential Fellows Johann Lilly, left, and Aris Rogers.|
Palm Beach Atlantic University students are grateful for the Florida Resident Access Grant and hope to see it continued, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) Presidential Fellows Johann Lilly and Aris Rogers told several state legislators in Tallahassee last week.
Lilly and Rogers, both seniors, joined other ICUF Presidential Fellows and mentors from across the state in Tallahassee to voice support for the FRAG.
The ICUF Presidential Fellows already have a supporter in Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who told the group that he would like to see an increase the FRAG, which provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students attending an eligible private, non-profit Florida college or university.
Lilly said he appreciated hearing from the governor, who said he wanted to see the grant increased roughly 11 percent to $2,400 per student.
Afterward, Lilly and Rogers met with several legislators, including District 27 Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington and Florida House District 97 Rep. Martin Kiar, D-Davie, both PBA alumni; District 28 Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart; District 84 Rep. Mack Bernard, D-West Palm Beach; District 91 Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale; District 83 Rep. Pat Rooney, R-West Palm Beach; District 87 Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton; and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
In the weeks before their trip, Lilly and Rogers took to the University’s Rinker Green to educate students about the FRAG and to urge them to write to their state legislators in support of it.
The two students, both seniors, set up a table and assisted their classmates by looking up each student’s legislators. They also collected and mailed the letters, which totaled between 30 and 40, the students said.
“We just tried to make it convenient for the students to do that,” said Rogers, a finance major from Valrico who is pursuing a corporate finance track.
“That was a wonderful blessing,” Lilly said, “and I even noticed one of the letters and a torn open envelope on a legislator’s desk while Aris and I were in Tallahassee.”
Lilly is a biology major with a concentration in pre-health professional preparation, and he is minoring in business administration. The Hobe Sound resident is a student in PBA’s Supper Honors Program.
ICUF is a diverse association of 29 private, not-for-profit, educational institutions all based in Florida and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its Presidential Fellows organize student-led campaigns in support of independent higher education in general and the Florida Resident Access Grant in particular.