The Florida Department of Education Honors Top STEM Students at 2024 Sunshine State Scholars Conference

The Florida Department of Education proudly recognized academic excellence at the 27th annual Sunshine State Scholars conference held in Orlando, spotlighting the state’s outstanding 11th-grade students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). With more than 111 student-scholars and their families in attendance, the two-day event, co-hosted by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation, celebrated the remarkable achievements of these young scholars. Notably, 37 students were awarded 1-year scholarships provided by State Farm and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

“The Sunshine State Scholars program recognizes Florida’s brightest STEM students and their outstanding achievements in STEM education,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “I extend my highest appreciation for their dedication and hard work, and I am hopeful these scholars will continue their postsecondary education in Florida and succeed throughout their academic journey.”
“State Farm is committed to helping nurture students’ creativity and sparking their imagination through STEM,” said State Farm Enterprise Technology Manager Kevin Reeves“We encourage students to enter STEM fields and become lifelong learners, while simultaneously contributing to a dynamic global society.”
“Our goal at Florida Prepaid College Foundation is to give aspiring students the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and our state,” said Director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation Cynthia O’Connell“We are thrilled to once again partner on the Sunshine State Scholars scholarship program and we congratulate these students and their families for their incredible dedication and impressive academic achievements.”
Selected by Florida school districts as the top 11th-grade STEM students, these scholars and their families participated in an exciting program designed to connect them with Florida’s postsecondary education institutions and STEM-focused employers. This year, the scholars engaged in a dynamic “think tank,” tackling challenging Florida issues through problem-solving activities and expert presentations. Each scholar also received a new iPad courtesy of AT&T, and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment generously provided tickets for a day of fun and leisure.
The 2024 Sunshine State Scholars also had the opportunity to interact with representatives from Florida’s premier higher education institutions, including the Florida University System, Florida College System and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. These sessions covered topics such as college funding, interactive panel discussions with STEM professionals, and the multitude of educational opportunities available in Florida.
The Department congratulated each scholar during the event and presented 37 students with 1-year scholarships to attend Florida’s top-ranked higher education institutions. The 2024 Sunshine State Scholars scholarship winners are listed below by county and school lab:
Joyce Huang, Alachua
Ava Rose Manalo, Baker
Nivaiah Foster, Bradford
Aneesha Guna, Brevard
Krisztina Tolotti, Broward
Ava Louise Hall, Charlotte
Joshua Martin Sevilla, Citrus
Casper Khan-Bridgers, Collier
Bailey Mathews, Collier
Sophia Lin, Duval
McClain Marie Stroud, FAMU Lab School
Angelina Manjarres, Flagler
Keegan Flury, FSU Lab School
Jordan C. Pippin, Gulf
Enrique Acosta, Hendry
Katelyn Carlsen, Hernando
Miyaz Ansari, Hillsborough
James Watt, Hillsborough
Ezekiel Dube-Garrett, Lee
Sophia Dupeyron, Lee
Juliette Shuler, Liberty
Sheena Kurakula, Manatee
Maia D. Gueron, Miami-Dade
Katerina Kring, Orange
Jennifer Han, Palm Beach
Diana Bisekeeva, Pasco
Karolina Porcelli, Pasco
Sahil Ande, Polk
Madalene Grace Hodge, Putnam
Caden Walker Crow, Santa Rosa
Ananya Kakayadi, Sarasota
Josephine Danielle Lim, Seminole
Daniel Benton, St. Johns
Herlandy Marcelin, St. Lucie
Lily Marie-Pinder Caldwell, UF Lab School
Noah Isaacson, Volusia
Genna Dietrich, Wakulla
The 2024 Sunshine State Scholars conference was made possible through the support of the Florida Education Foundation and generous sponsors, including State Farm, Florida Prepaid College Foundation, AT&T, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Florida Lottery, Kyra Solutions, Helios Education Foundation, TECO, Limitless Solutions and School Choice.
For more information:
The Sunshine State Scholars program and the 2024 conference event:
Florida Department of Education:

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