This post will be updated daily with our 2020 Scholarship Winners! We are releasing one per day until Sunday, March 29th, which would have been the conclusion of our Championships event.
Day 1: Kaitlyn Walters, Pedro Menendez High School
The first 2020 Recipient of an FFCC-McCormick’s Scholarship is Kaitlyn Walters from Pedro Menendez High School!
Kaitlyn started her winterguard career at Gamble Rogers MS in 2015, and is graduating as the captain of her team. She hopes to march an independent team next season, and plans to study agricultural engineering, biotechnology, and botany in hopes to help address issues surrounding global warming & shifting agricultural zones.
Her director describes her as a “joy to work with and a joy to watch grow at every competition,” and says that Kaitlyn pushes herself and her peers to be better at every rehearsal.
We will be announcing each scholarship winner everyday at noon, beginning today until March 29th, which would have the conclusion of our championships event this year. ❤️
Day 2: Morgan Francis, East Lake High School
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Recipient is Morgan Francis from East Lake High School!
Morgan is the captain of the colorguard, a member of the Science, English, and National Honor Societies, Mu Alpha Theta, Tri-M, and works a part time job. She plans to study nursing at USF or UF, and wants to become a colorguard technician to share her passion for colorguard with others.
Her director says that “Once Morgan commits to something she always puts her all into it and sticks it out no matter how many other things she has going on in her life. Being able to make time for what she loves to do and what she has to do is a skill she has completely mastered.”
Morgan feels that colorguard has helped her learn what it truly means to have a support system, saying “My team has been my home away from home for the past four years, as I am always able to be myself without feeling any sort of shame. I also learned what it means to have something you are passionate about and how to cherish that.”
Her band director notes that “Morgan’s enthusiasm for color guard inspired our younger members, and her academic and further extracurricular successes set a standard of excellence within the band. She maintains an academic schedule of rigorous Advanced Placement classes in addition to holding a part-time job outside of school. This is a commendable accomplishment considering the time and commitment she has put forth to be a leader in this program. Her growth mindset continues to impress me to this day.”
Day 3: Rachel Knoff, Belleview High School
Today’s Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship recipient is Rachel Knoff from Belleview High School!
Rachel has been a member of Belleview HS and Marion Independent over the past four years, and is currently the captain of the colorguard, and participates in concert band, jazz band, and dance classes. She plans to attend the College of Central Florida to study Forensic Science.
Rachel is excited to continue in colorguard and hopes to share her experiences as a guard instructor in the future, saying the “adrenaline rush someone feels when they are out performing on the floor isn’t like anything else. It’s amazing. I want other people to experience it, too.” She believes colorguard is more than just performance and has been applicable throughout the obstacles she has encountered in life, stating “I believe guard has taught me to push through even when things get difficult.”
Her directors describe Rachel as “a wonderful person, both on and off the floor. Her fellow students love and respect her. They enjoy learning from her and being under her lead. If I ever need anything done, she is there to lend a hand. She is genuinely a kind person who is always rooting for her teammates to succeed.”
Day 4: Maomi Martinez, Steinbrenner High School
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Recipient is Maomi Martinez from Steinbrenner HS! Maomi is the captain of the colorguard, participates in National Honor Society, Beta Club, class council, and serves as a PTSA student Ambassador for her school. She also takes dance, and served as a 2019 FFCC Featured Performer. Maomi plans to major in pre-med, and hopes to become a dermatologist or orthodontist, as she has a passion for helping people feel comfortable in their own skin. She also hopes to continue performing in colorguard during college.
Maomi believes some of her best life lessons have come from her time in colorguard, saying “In my winter guard experience, I’ve learned open mindedness. There’s no room for apathy when participating in this activity. Knowing this, I learned the true importance of team effort and the difference it can make when combined with inclusivity.”
Her band director shared that “Maomi has the greatest perseverance out of anyone I have ever taught and even when the job is tough, she does it flawlessly, without complaining. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for Maomi, our guard program would have struggled greatly in the toughest of times that we had to face together. When our guard director, Matt Caudill, passed away unexpectedly last year, Maomi had the courage to stay strong for everyone on her team and led her fellow team members with the utmost kindness, love, and respect…She inspires me to be a better teacher each and every day. I have been an educator for thirteen years now, and Maomi has been one of the greatest blessings to have in my program. All of us at Steinbrenner are better because we know Maomi.”
She hopes to continue guard after high school, saying “I am eager to learn more things from this pageantry art and learn how to be confident so I may positively impact people and communities around me!” Congratulations Maomi! #FFCCClassof2020 #weareffcc
Day 5: Krupa Panchal, PR Wharton HS
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Recipient is Krupa Panchal from PR Wharton HS!
Krupa is a four year member of the colorguard, works a part time job to help out at home, and maintains a full academic load & extra-curricular activities including NHS, SNHS, Tri-M, AVID, HOSA, class council, elementary tutoring, Beta, and more.
She plans to go into the medical field, and eventually earn a PhD. Her ultimate goal is to be a strong voice for those who are in need.
Her director describes her as someone who can always be counted on to help her teammates, saying ” her leadership skills and patience with younger members have been especially useful as our program has expanded this year, welcoming many new members. I can always count on her to step up and help lead small groups both during our class time and at rehearsal. With a small staff, our program would struggle to exist without dedicated senior members who can step up and provide assistance as Krupa has done this season.”
Krupa describes the experience of performing as “a chance to be confident and be able to show who I am as a person.” An experience she has been proud to share with others over the past four years.
Day 6: Carson Frank, INFINITY Percussion
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Winner is Alysia Cancel from Freedom HS Orlando!
Alysia is the captain of the colorguard, an all-county orchestra violinist, a member of the NHS, and is fluent in American Sign Language. She volunteers at the Humane Society and Give Kids the World, & is a peer minister at her church.
She plans to study Marine Science at UF, and hopes to become an Aquatic Veterinarian.
Her director says that her “drive to succeed and her incredible artistic ability truly have helped her grow into a breathtaking performer. She maintains a very healthy balance between life, performing, and school, and continues to demonstrate exemplary leadership skills through her actions both on and off the floor.”
Alysia believes that “being in the in the presence of an amazing team that eventually became a sisterhood showed me what being a team truly meant. It wasn’t just about winning, it was about working together to reach a common goal.”
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Recipient is Kylah Stubee from Bartram Trail High School!
Kylah is a captain of the colorguard, is very active in art, maintains a 4.3 GPA, and is a member of the NHS & NAHS. She also works as a volunteer middle school guard coach.
She plans to study psychology at USF, and attend graduate school to become an Occupational Therapist. Kylah hopes to remain involved in colorguard throughout college.
She says that “the experience of performing has taught me to take control my emotions. Instead of letting my anxiety get to me and allowing it to make me mess up, I have learned to take that feeling and turn it into drive to do better. I have learned the value of commitment and hard work so that I do not disappoint myself or my team.”
Her teachers describe her as “an amazing problem solver and is always expanding her wide array of knowledge. Her hard work and dedication make her accomplishments possible in everything that she does. Plus, she is extremely talented at creating artwork, and has an eye for craftsmanship, design, and detail that is not often found in student work.”
#weareffcc #FFCCclassof2020 #FFCC2020
Day 9: Sasha Cavallaro, Oviedo High School
Today’s FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship Recipient is Sasha Cavallaro from Oviedo High School!
Sasha’s colorguard career began in the 6th grade at Jackson Heights MS, and she has been performing ever since. In addition to guard, she is a member of the Beta Club, does community volunteer work, and works three part time jobs. She also enjoys make up & art and hosts her own social media channels for those endeavors.
Sasha plans to attend college to pursue a career in pharmacy or nursing, and intends to continue to march colorguard with an independent team and in drum corps.
Sasha was also recognized at the Florida Marching Band Championships State Competition this Fall with the Class 5A Outstanding Color Guard Scholarship, chosen from students across the State.
Her director says that “Sasha’s work ethic is truly phenomenal. She takes criticism, retains and applies information, and is capable of handling high-pressure moments. These qualities not only make her a reliable performer on and off the floor, but she demonstrates qualities to succeed as a future college student pursuing a career in pharmacy.”
Sasha believes that the experiences of performing have positively effected her future in many ways. She says that “the ideas that “proper preparation is the key to success”, “doing what’s right when no one is looking” and “the team is more important than me” are things that have become part of my character. Hard work, being a good person and doing my part the best I can will, I think, be a good formula.”
Day 10: Emily Stimac, Pegasus A
Our final FFCC Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship 2020 Recipient is Emily Stimac from Pegasus A!
Emily is a senior at Viera High School, and has been a part of the colorguard for three years, serving as captain for the past two years. When her school didn’t field a winterguard team last year, she performed with neighboring Melbourne HS JV. When that wasn’t an option this year, she decided to audition for Pegasus, & became a member of their Independent A team.
Emily plans to attend college to study business and cosmetology, and hopes to open her own salon aimed at young adults who struggle with self image issues. As a high school student, Emily works a part time job, works as a guard tech at a neighboring high school with a new team, volunteers at Friends of Abused Children of Brevard, and started her own small business selling crafts to help pay her guard fees.
Her director at Viera describes Emily as one of a kind, saying that she “has a desire and a drive for this sport that I’ve never seen before – she wants everyone, directors included, to love it and be as successful as possible and is willing to do what it takes to accomplish this. She is the “one in a million” student that directors pray for and I was lucky enough to have her on our team.”
Emily believes that guard has helped her learn many life lessons, saying that “Through my ever-growing journey in winter guard I have learned many things, such as: grit and perseverance, how to build and form connections, and most importantly what family means. Growing up I was never popular, I never had a ton of friends, or really felt like I fit in anywhere. Winter guard showed me what true friends and family are, and how they can push and challenge you. By watching each other grow and supporting each other in this incredible journey you form a bond that is stronger than just blood, that is what family is.”