HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Parents and students are well aware: college can be expensive. One Hillsborough County high school student found out the stress of paying for college would be much lighter.
On Monday, Sickles High School junior Kaylee Greelish learned she won a $40,000 college scholarship.
The award came after a presentation by College Board about its BigFuture program. BigFuture recommends small steps students can take to explore career interests, identify potential majors, find colleges, and access financial aid. It then rewards the effort students take by giving them chances at scholarships.
“I did a few of the scholarship things that it had on there,” said Greelish. “I never would’ve thought that this would happen to me.”
Greelish’s parents were in the dark too, explaining the surprise left them shocked, yet filled with happiness and gratitude.
“The last few years have been kind of challenging with the pandemic,” said Erika Greelish, Kaylee’s mom. “My husband and I are both small business owners, and I work a lot of part-time jobs to keep us afloat, and so for us, this just makes everything so much less stressful.”
“I finished college when I was 32, and I paid for all of it myself. This is definitely going to be different for her,” said Sean Greelish, Kaylee’s dad.
The school district explained Greelish is one of the two nationwide $40,000 scholarship winners for this month.
Greelish said she’s not sure what school she wants to go to, though she thinks she wants to become an engineer.
“It’s more than just being able to get into a college. It’s also being able to like have a good lifestyle and be able to like feed myself properly, get the resources that I need to survive,” said Greelish.
According to BigFuture, Class of 2023 BigFuture Scholarship winners will be selected through random drawings each month from the end of January 2022 through February 2023, with two $40,000 scholarship winners that will be selected each month along with hundreds of $500 scholarship winners.