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May 11, 2020

Announcing the Empowering Greatness Scholarship: TOP 40 Semi-Finalists


Just a few weeks before the Coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, Farah & Farah announced a unique challenge to high school seniors and currently-enrolled college students. The challenge was the Empowering Greatness Scholarship, which aims to assist students in affording their college dreams. After a careful review process, Farah & Farah is pleased to now announce the top 40 semi-finalists who have best met the criteria for the award and who will move on to be graded by a distinguished panel of community leaders.

The Selection Process

To qualify for the scholarship, the students had to demonstrate a high level of academic and personal success. However, the most important criteria for qualifying was having a significant, continued, and demonstrable commitment to community service. The level of competition for the scholarship is incredible, with applicants representing some of the best and brightest young community leaders in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The scholarship review committee, which included more than 50 Farah & Farah employees representing all 16 of our offices across Florida and Georgia, reviewed and ranked the applications. With a total of 42 possible points, we were able to narrow down the top 40 applicants from the more than 350 scholarship application packages received.

Despite stringent requirements, the decisions faced by our review panel were incredibly tough. The high caliber of the applicants we received showed smart, dedicated young people actively engaged in making their world a better place. With so many quality applicants, just a point or two was often the deciding factor for making it to the next round.

Empowering Greatness Scholarship Top 40 Applicants

While the community service aspect is the driving principle behind the Empowering Greatness Scholarship, academics played a large role in demonstrating the applicants’ drive to be successful in college. The colleges the applicants attend or have been accepted to is indeed impressive with institutions like Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Harvard University, Mercer University, Morehouse College, Johnson & Wales University, The University of California Berkeley, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Wake Forest University, and Yale University rounding out the list.

We’re honored to present the following students who have made it to the final round in the scholarship review process:

  • Abdallah Elokda, Seffner, FL
  • Ahmed Aissam, Orlando, FL
  • Armarion Stegall, Pelham, GA
  • Ashley Wilder, Deltona, FL
  • Austin Halaby, Statesboro, GA
  • Beau Teston, Patterson, GA
  • Cheyenne Diaz, Ocala, FL
  • Cimaya Mcreary, Savannah, GA
  • Darius Turner, Clermont, FL
  • David Daniels, Jacksonville, FL
  • Daysia Borden, Palm Bay, FL
  • Deena Davis, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • Destiny Shaw, Albany, GA
  • Evon Thompson, Orlando, FL
  • Garrett Stigall, Richmond Hill, GA
  • Ja’miyah Levy, Jacksonville, FL
  • Jamya Brown, Jacksonville, FL
  • Jason Puwalski, Ft. Myers, FL
  • Jordan Brown, Jacksonville, FL
  • Joshua Brown, Jacksonville, FL
  • Jayla Hadley, Leesburg, GA
  • Jaylee Rice, Deland, FL
  • Kayla Ellis, St. Marys, GA
  • Kenna Fussell, Valdosta, GA
  • Leiya Green, Jacksonville, FL
  • Luke Smith, Tifton, GA
  • Michael Medina, Longwood, FL
  • Nijeria Fuller, Jacksonville, FL
  • Olivia Peluso, Bluffton, SC
  • Langston Redden, Savannah, GA
  • Paris Richardson, Jacksonville, FL
  • Sarah J. Louis, Orlando, FL
  • Seqoya Williams, Jacksonville, FL
  • Sierra Vicente, Port Charlotte, FL
  • Steven Boyles, Clyo, GA
  • Sydney Joseph, Columbia, SC
  • Tamara Sonera, Jacksonville, FL
  • Taniangely Rosario, Orlando, FL
  • Treasure Bonner, Albany, GA
  • Treymel X. Jenkins, Gainesville, FL
  • Zaynab Siddiqui, Seffner, FL

External Panel of Community Leaders to Act as Judges for Final Round

After a thorough and thoughtful search throughout Florida and Georgia, our review team selected five qualified and accomplished leaders to provide a community service-oriented, expert panel of judges. Each of the top 40 application packages has been handed over to this panel for final review.

Our expert panel of passionate supporters of positive community-focused change include:

  • Linda Wilder-Bryan, 3rd District Alderwoman/Founder of Non-Profit ‘LB4 & After’, Savannah, GA
  • Darnell Smith, Market President, North Florida Region, Florida Blue, Jacksonville, FL
  • Mayor Matthew Surrency, Mayor of Hawthorne, FL/Board of Directors, FL League of Cities, Gainesville, FL
  • Lisa Nason, APR, Strategic Communications Strategist, Orlando, FL
  • Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, Tampa, FL

Stay tuned for a formal announcement of the scholarship winners in the coming months. Winners are expected to be notified by June 1, 2020 with a public announcement by June 5, 2020. A total of 20 scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded to the finalists. That’s $100,000 going directly towards supporting future community leaders as they pursue their college dreams and continue serving in their communities.

For more information on our many community initiatives and to see ways you can help in your community, visit our community service page here.

Impacts of COVID-19 increase the need for financial support.

In the middle of the pandemic, our offices remain  committed to the community. When we asked founding partners Eddie and Chuck Farah if the scholarship program should continue despite COVID-19, their combined response was an emphatic “Absolutely!”

“We love our community,” says Eddie, “and these students have already shown that they are tremendous leaders, serving right where they are. They deserve the chance to keep their college dreams feasible with this scholarship, and now more than ever!”

Expounding, Chuck added, “while these high school seniors can’t walk at graduation and college students have to complete studies without in-person interactions, we need to celebrate their academic achievement and community service accomplishments. The scholarship is intended to aid and encourage these future community leaders to keep being a force for positive change, even when the times are strange, scary, and challenging.”

Community-First Means Client-First

Our firm does things a little differently than most injury firms out there. With dedicated legal support staff and investigators, our attorneys in Florida and Georgia put our clients first simply because that’s the right thing to do. That means working hard, digging deep, and not accepting the first offer when that isn’t the full compensation the client is entitled to.

If you need help figuring out what options are available to you, our team is always here – 24 hours a day. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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