Two outstanding high school seniors will receive full, four-year scholarships to attend the University in the fall.
The Farish Scholarship recipients are Tyler Humphreys, a senior at Circle Christian School in Winter Park, Florida,, and Samantha Rodriguez, a senior at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale.
The scholarship is named for the late Joseph Farish Jr., a tough litigator and successful businessman. He was a World War II veteran who survived the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he became a lawyer and a judge. He was known as an honest man with a great sense of humor and a soft heart for those who needed a hand.
Rodriguez earned a 4.49 GPA. She leads a mentorship program for young girls at a low-income elementary school, where she connects with the students through her compassion and love. At her high school, she established a quarterly fellowship event called Girls Gather, where female students in grades 9 through 12 have a time of discussion, share advice and give back. Her involvement stems from a continual growth of her faith over many years, she said.
“The once timid and insecure little girl who worried about what others thought matured into a confident and unashamed daughter of the King,” Rodriguez wrote in her application essay. “I believe Mr. Farish’s hard work and compassion stemmed from his confidence in the Lord. My confidence in Christ has also led me to emulate those same characteristics.”
Rodriguez co-chaired her school’s annual shoe and athletic equipment drive, which collected more than 1,000 items for distribution in the Bahamas, Mexico, Haiti and a low-income elementary school.
Humphreys earned a 4.3 GPA. When he was just 4 years old, he joined his mother serving at spaghetti dinners at his grandfather’s church in Bithlo, Florida, a disadvantaged small town. When he was 7, he and his mother prepared bags of food for the homeless on a monthly basis and distributed them weekly. As a teenager, he returned to his late grandfather’s church to help with the summer camp that it hosts multiple weeks.
He said most of the children in the community, like himself, are from single-parent homes and know that their families will not be able to afford to send them to college. Humphreys’ mother always pushed him to work hard in academics and to care for others, he said.
“It was because of that hard work and dedication throughout my life that I even have this opportunity,” Humphreys wrote in his essay. “Amazing people like the Farish family have provided an avenue for kids like me to go to their dream school.”
To qualify for the Farish Scholarship, a student must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and an above-average ACT or SAT score. He or she must demonstrate extensive community involvement. The scholarship is for incoming freshman who are Florida residents and who have completed the admissions application process. A panel of judges interviewed 18 high school seniors for the scholarship, which PBA has awarded since 2013.
Photo 1: Samantha Rodriguez, a senior at Calvary Christian Academy, is one of the two Farish Scholars. She started a mentoring program for young girls at a low-income elementary school and a girls fellowship event at her high school.
Photo 2: Tyler Humphreys, a senior at Circle Christian School, is one of two Farish Scholar recipients. He has volunteered to feed the homeless and serve at a church camp that ministers to underprivileged children.