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Health First awards $10,000 in local healthcare scholarships

Helping build the future of our local community

ROCKLEDGE, FL - Ten deserving local Brevard County students have received a major boost in building their future and the future of health care on the Space Coast.

The Health First Foundation has chosen ten local high school students who will each receive a $1,000 scholarship intended to help pay for their tuition as they pursue healthcare-related degrees at various colleges across the area.

Each outstanding student was chosen from among nearly 100 applicants. Students were asked to submit a written essay describing their career goals and future plans. The essay, along with grade point average (GPA), school and community activities, as well as financial need were all taken into consideration by the Health First Foundation.

The winners are also eligible for a second year grant of another $1,000 if they continue their studies and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

The program is made possible by the Foundation's community fundraising efforts as well as individual donors who provide financial gifts for named scholarships. Scholarship recipients, their high school, and the scholarship awarded are:

Jonathan Bayless, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School, J. Edward Field Memorial Scholarship

Brenna Fleis, Melbourne Central Catholic High School, Dr. Brian P. Gibbons Memorial Scholarship

Anna Gross, Cocoa Beach High School, Dr. Fred Turner Memorial Scholarship

Melody Karycki, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School, Marjorie E. Spezzano Scholarship

Jenel Keppel, Bayside High School, Health First Foundation Scholarship

Erin Meldrum, Rockledge High School, Vince Spezzano Memorial Scholarship

Marina Sanchez, Bayside High School, Genevieve Brombacher Memorial Scholarship

Emily Smoot, Viera High School. Health First Foundation Scholarship

Brittany Tucker, Cocoa High School, Dr. Robert and Patricia Griffin Scholarship

Samantha Visser, Melbourne High School, Health First Foundation Scholarship

The Health First Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of the Brevard community through raising funds to support the medical programs at Health First's family of not-for-profit medical affiliates, including Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital, and Viera Hospital. For more information on the Health First Foundation, please call 321-434-7353 or visit