In an effort to attract new talent to the insurance industry, InVEST has awarded $61,500 in scholarships to 55 students pursuing insurance-related degrees.

“InVEST congratulates the 55 students representing 20 schools from five states and the District of Columbia who earned scholarships this year,” says Heather Minkler, chair of the National InVEST board of directors and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent insurance agency in Keene, N.H. “Each year, InVEST develops future industry professionals by educating high school and college students about insurance, risk management and financial services.”

Through academic programs and scholarships, the program offers high school students a business curriculum, which teaches the dynamics of insurance agencies and companies. At the college level, the program develops risk management and financial analysis skills. Direct contributions and scholarships are funded through proceeds generated by the InVEST Silent and Live auctions held at the Independent Insurance Agents & Broker’s (IIABA) Legislative Conference & Convention.

“Continuing success of the InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole and the increase in financial literacy of our young people,” says Robert Rusbuldt, IIABA president & CEO. “Many are concerned that the average age of an insurance professional is around 54 and, as baby boomers retire, the InVEST program has the potential to replenish our workforce, which is a crucial challenge.”

InVEST awarded two Bob Betters Memorial Scholarships, in the amount of $4,000, and five Classroom to Career Scholarships.

The Bob Betters Scholarship was established in 2011 in honor of Bob Betters of Watson Insurance Agency in Gastonia, N.C., who died of brain cancer in 2011. Betters was appointed to the InVEST board of directors in 2009 and served as the InVEST state champion for North Carolina. The InVEST board has agreed to award the $4,000 scholarships for five years to honor his commitment to the InVEST program.

The Classroom to Career scholarship is for students who would like to enter the insurance industry immediately after graduating from InVEST. These students are eligible for $500 reimbursement for licensing or designation expenses.

Bob Betters Scholarship ($4,000):

Shanice Burnett, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Eric Womack, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.


$3,000 Scholarship Winners:

Charles Collins, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Patrick James, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Haeley Mulholland, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.

Madison Saganowich, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.


$2,000 Scholarship Winners:

Joseph Charles, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Kelsie Dunckley, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.

Katherine Gibson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Melissa Johnson, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.

Leslie Keegan, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.

Emily Nehl, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.


$1,000 Scholarship Award Winners:

John Auden, Naperville North High School, Naperville, Ill.

Amy Bonilla, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Scott Carnevale, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Lindsay Carreno, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jonathan Deveny, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

MarieDurocher, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.

Chris Graham, Groton Central School, Groton, N.Y.

Colton McCorkle, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Brooke McDowell, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dahn Nguygen, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Ryan Ocasio, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami Fla.

Helen Ramon, Southwest Miami High School, Miami, Fla.

Hannah Reiss, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Julianna Sciandra, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.

Kali Supples, West Seneca West Senior High School, West Seneca, N.Y.

Brent Ziegler, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.


$500 Scholarship Award Winners:

Melanie Akah, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Washington, D.C.

Jeremy Bean, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jeremy Bloom, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Kristina Brown, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Robert Burns, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, Conn.

Connor Casey, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Katie Coates, Dryden High School, Dryden, N.Y.

Brett Conger, Groton Central School, Groton, N.Y.

Margaret Dalessio, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Miranda Decker, McGraw High School, McGraw, N.Y.

Brian Firth, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Sarasota, Fla.

Edison Garcia, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Gabrielle Garsten Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.

Summers Hardy, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Jaryd Hearn, Manatee High School, Bradenton, Fla.

Vivian Horn, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.

Janina Lara, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

Hanifa Marhosevic, Samuel W. Wolfson High School, Jacksonville, Fla.

Mishka Marsh, Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, Conn.

Jonathan Rousseau, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

Kyle Shaw, Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.

Heydi Yannelli, John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami, Fla.


$500 Classroom to Career Scholars:

Nicole Bilbao, John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami, Fla.

Patricia Gallagher, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.

Eryann Hubbard, McGraw High School, McGraw, N.Y.

Armando Carcas, Barbara Goleman High School, Miami Lakes, Fla.

Steven Treminio, Barbara Goleman High School, Miami Lakes, Fla.


More than 120 people from across the country submitted essays describing the influence InVEST had on their educational plans. Recipients were determined based on the combination of the quality of their essay, grade-point average and extracurricular activities. Scholarship checks are mailed directly to the educational institution and will be used exclusively for educational expenses.

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