MAY 2014

SJR State welcomes new Collier-Blocker scholarship recipients

Faculty St. Johns River State College recently welcomed a new assembly of students accepted into the Collier-Blocker Minority Scholarship program. During the annual luncheon, SJR State President Joe Pickens presented the students with a historical overview of Florida’s first Black junior colleges and the legacy behind the Collier-Blocker name. The program was created in 2012 to redirect funds previously utilized to recruit students from outside the College’s service district to ultimately benefit residents of Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

Pickens said the College has gained an innovative means to reach out to more minority students for the betterment of the communities it serves. "We are fulfilling a promise we made as a college," Pickens said. "We are reaching out to students who demonstrate potential and a desire to succeed - local students who, without financial support, may not otherwise be able to attend college."

The 2014-15 recipients are Francesca Brown of St. Johns County; Diane Ramos, Roseray Rodriguez and Nytavia Whiting of Clay County; and Alexandra Jimenez and Deonna Penny of Putnam County.

"We have a personal, vested interest in your individual lives and successes," Pickens told the students. "This scholarship and your future achievements carry a significant meaning for the community, the College and its history."

Special guests attending the luncheon were Ruth Benjamin, retired SJR State librarian and Collier-Blocker Scholarship committee member; Terrill Hill, SJR State Foundation Board member and Collier-Blocker Scholarship committee member; and SJR State Trustee Brian Keith. For more information regarding the Collier-Blocker In-district Minority Scholarship, contact SJR State’s Open Campus office 312-4211.

The 2014-15 recipients of the Collier Blocker In-district Minority Scholarship gather together with College Trustees. Front row from left, Deonna Penny, Francesca Brown, Roseray Rodriguez, Nytavia Whiting and Diana Ramos. Second row, SJR State Trustees Col. Mickey Duren, Brian Keith, Denise Bramlitt, Marlene Lagasse, President Joe Pickens, Trustees Mary Ellen Hancock, Ron Coleman and Wendell Davis. Not pictured is Alexandra Jimenez.