Fulfilling College Dreams -- $726,500 in Scholarships Awarded

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (June 18, 2013) – When the Philip D. O’Connell, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was established at the Community Foundation in 1988, Mr. O’Connell’s wife wanted to be certain the scholarship awards were much more than a dollar amount.  Mrs. O’Connell wanted to personally meet the students and their parents and provide a historical perspective about her husband, a former State Attorney, and the impact he had on the community he loved. And what began as a simple luncheon hosted by Mrs. O’Connell many years ago now includes a day of learning about the man who has helped many students.


(L to R) Daniel O'Connell, son of Phillip D. O'Connell, Sr., Crystian Cepeda, 2013 Philip D. O'Connell, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund recipient, and Dave Aronberg, State Attorney


After Mrs. O’Connell’s death, the annual tradition for each scholarship winner evolved to include a field trip to the State Attorney’s office where a bust of Mr. O’Connell is proudly displayed and a visit to the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum to learn more about the county’s history. This year was no different for the 2013 Philip O’Connell, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund recipient, Crystian Cepeda, who joined Daniel O’Connell, son of Mr. O’Connell, and Dave Aronberg, the State Attorney, to learn more about the man supporting his college dreams. Crystian, a graduate of Palm Beach Central High School who will be attending the University of Central Florida this fall, is one of 22 students who has received a scholarship from the O’Connell Scholarship Fund since it was established 25 years ago.

Since 1983, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties’ scholarship program has been a powerful resource to help donors honor the memory of a loved one by supporting students with their dreams to attend college. The Community Foundation, together with their donors, has rewarded some of the brightest, most deserving students in Palm Beach and Martin counties with scholarships. On May 15th, the Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded $726,500 in scholarships to 89 students from 29 Palm Beach and Martin County schools.  

Students were evaluated by a committee of board members and volunteers based on a written application, test scores, essays, grades, community service, extracurricular activities and interviews.  Individual scholarships ranged from $1,000 to $41,000 and awards were made from nearly 100 scholarship funds established at the Community Foundation. Since 1983, the Community Foundation has awarded over $7.5 million in scholarships to nearly 1,700 students in Palm Beach and Martin counties to attend schools across the United States, including international post secondary institutions.  

For a list of the 2013 scholarship recepients, please click here. For information on establishing a charitable fund at the Community Foundation, contact Danielle Cameron, Vice President for Personal and Family Philanthropy, at (561) 659-6800.




About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
As one of Florida’s largest community foundations, the Community Foundation works for Palm Beach and Martin Counties in multiple ways, playing multiple roles.  For donors, the Foundation offers an effective way to manage giving by providing expert philanthropic advice rooted in a deep knowledge of our community and an array of philanthropic vehicles and services. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader and awards grants to the region’s nonprofits to help meet community needs, fulfill donors’ philanthropic wishes and strengthen the nonprofit sector. Using local knowledge, networks, influence and creativity, the Foundation brings people together to improve the community’s quality of life now and in the future.  Founded in 1972, the Foundation has total assets of more than $140 million and has awarded over $94 million in grants and scholarships in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.  


Tina Snider
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Director of Marketing and Communications
tsnider@cfpbmc.org; (561) 340-4510

Category Tag(s): Press Releases News