The Democratic Women’s Club of Charlotte County is excited to announce the recipients of its annual Betty Gissendanner Scholarship awards. This year we have two scholars: Cassidy Gibbs, graduating from Port Charlotte High School and Kiley Rydberg, graduating from Lemon Bay High School. We will be honoring the scholars at a June 13 reception held at the Democratic Club Headquarters at 3596 Tamiami Trail at 4:00 p.m. There is a $10, paid at the door, cost with all proceeds going to the scholarship fund. The Young Democrats Club from Port Charlotte H.S. will also present a program at the reception. You can sign up for the event via this Mobilize link: https://www.mobilize.us/charlottecountydec/event/465331/.
Cassidy Gibbs plans to attend the University of Florida and major in Pre-Dental Biology with the long-range career goal of becoming a maxillofacial surgeon, working with high anxiety patients. She has been an activist in high school: she lobbied the School Board and local government to reinstate bicycle safety policies, served lunches to youth and homeless populations, and co-founded PCHS’s year-long donation drive for the Center of Abuse & Rape Emergencies. She also participated in student government and the Young Democrats Club along with many other club and sports activities, including varsity tennis.
Kiley Rydberg also plans to attend the University of Florida and major in biology. Her interest in biology and other STEM subjects is already evidenced by the summer she spent volunteering at the Mote Marine Aquarium and volunteering for her school’s aquaculture lab. Kiley has participated in many high school clubs and activities, including Model UN, the math and science national honor societies, Key Club, basketball, and student government. Kiley’s recommending teacher writes, “Kiley showed exceptional skill and work ethic in my class. She was a student that consistently produced high quality work, often going above and beyond what was asked of her.”
The Betty Gissendanner Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Charlotte County young women who are graduating from high school and are registered or pre-registered as Democrats. They are chosen based on the characteristics that illustrate the values that were so important to Betty as a Charlotte County Democrat: Civic Engagement, Equal Opportunity, Women’s Rights, and Scholarship.
To learn more about the Betty Gissendanner Scholarship Fund, go to dwccharlotte.com . To donate to the fund make checks payable to the DWC of Charlotte Co. Betty Gissendanner Scholarship. Checks can be mailed to DWC Treasurer, DWC of Charlotte County, 3596 Tamiami Trail, Suite 202, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.
Please note that, due to some recent, generous contributions in memory of Sonia Waters, in 2023 the DWC will also give a scholarship in Sonia’s memory. If you would like to designate a contribution for that scholarship, please send a note with your contribution or write Sonia’s name on the memo section of the check.