Meet the scholars

This scholarship has given me the extra funds to pay for books and tuition. Without the Helios Scholarship, my education would be put on hold until I saved enough my money to continue. After graduation, I intend on working with fellow military veterans assisting with transition assistance from active duty to civilian life. It was something I struggled with and felt wasn't as efficient as it could have been to get our men and women in uniform the resources they need to live a successful and healthy life after separation from the military.

Theresa Catton

Educational Studies & Community Leadership

St. Petersburg College

This scholarship helps me do many different things when it comes to my schoarly responsibilities. For starters, I have different things to take care of on campus being in CARE and having problems with student bussiness services on campus, this scholarship allows me to have a means of transportation being that I do not own a car. Along with providing me with transportation, the Helios scholarship sponsor my internet bill for the month in my apartment so I can continue to safely participate in class, and virtual on campus events. I am currently a social science education major minoring in african american history with a focus on educational leadership. I aspire to be a principal in a low socioeconomic school district and give back to the kids there and connect them with oppurtunities as well as give them the tools they need to become successful doing whatever it is they want to do in the future as someone once did for me.

Kristopher Cauley

Social science education

Florida State University

Thank you for your immense generosity in providing the Helios Grant. I am beyond thankful that this foundation was able to make this gift possible for myself and the other scholars. My name is Cashira Chery and I am a current fourth-year student at the Florida State University from Orlando, Florida. I am a first-generation Haitian American as well as a first-generation college student. I enjoy body painting, volunteering, learning, and spending time with my chosen family. Since the beginning of high school, I have been extremely service oriented and leadership driven. Deciding on a college was extremely difficult, but in the end, I was drawn to Florida State University because of the opportunities and spirit that comes with the school. I was reassured that I chose the right school to attend when I had an incredible experience with FGEN2FSU, a program through the CARE department. My dream occupation is to become a Mathematics teacher. My major is Mathematics/FSU-Teach and I have officially joined the College of Education. I currently plan to graduate in the Spring of 2021 with my degree and a certificate to teach grades 6-12. My experience thus far at Florida State University has been incredibly positive. I have taken advantage of the countless opportunities at this university which have allowed me to continue to better myself. Though my college experience has had a few bumps in the road, I am striving to be successful in anything and everything that I do.

Cashira Chery


Florida State University

This scholarship has helped me pay for school and has able me to no take out loans. In turn I will be starting my career with very little debt compared to other students.

Brittany Chun

Early Education

St. Johns River State College

I’m a single mom working a full time job and this scholarship has helped me tremendously. Thanks to this scholarship I was able to get the materials I needed to succeed in my classes.

Viviana Cisneros

Elementary Education

South Florida State College

The Helios Education Foundation First-Generation Scholarship had a great impact on my education. I didn't have to worry about some of my financial burden and I could focus more on my academic. The past semester I became a member of the NSLS. I am very gratefully and blessed to know that The Helios Foundation believed in me.

Lucretia Cobb


Florida State College at Jacksonville

The Helios scholarship is a dream come true for me. I have been trying for years to complete my degree, but due to financial hardship I felt that I would never achieve my goals. I am the first person in my family to come this far. My program is in the field of Early Childhood Education. I want to own a small preschool and to offer one-on-one guidance for each child that will enter the door. I believe that if children are loved, taught to be confident and encouraged to learn in their own way, we will see them become strong leaders in their part of the world. Small groups offers each child an opportunity to learn about themselves and those in their group. Once they are confident in that group they will want to meet and share with other children around them.

Karen Collins

Early Childhood Education

Broward College

Without your generosity, my education at the University of West Florida would not be possible. This educational program has enabled me to pursue my dreams, contribute to the amelioration of elementary and special education in the US, and to invest in the future of my community and our nation through teaching. I am entirely grateful for this opportunity.

Morgan Connolly

Elementary and Exceptional Student Education

University of West Florida

Any First-Generation College student will tell you that going through the college application process is incredibly daunting and difficult to do as a young adult, and I expected the same struggle to occur throughout my time in undergrad. Having this scholarship relieved me from having to question my ability to be a student every semester due to financial concerns, and that alone would be enough for me to be grateful to Helios. Nonetheless, I found that this scholarship gave me so much more than monetary support as this relief allowed me to pursue opportunities at the University of Florida and greater Gainesville community that I simply would not have been able to afford otherwise. Throughout my time as a student here, I have had the privilege to act as an official student ambassador to the University of Florida and welcome potential students to this campus. Through this, I have been able to provide hope to Latinx, children of immigrants, and future first-generation college students as proof that we can earn the right to be in places and positions that we have always dreamed about. I was also able to act as Education and Prevention intern for Peaceful Paths, a domestic abuse shelter that provides support to the local community. I traveled throughout Gainesville and taught lessons about healthy relationships, mental health, and available resources to students of all ages. It was from this experience that I was able to truly recognize the achievement gap in our system of education and grew even more passionate to become an educator. I plan to begin my master’s soon to become an elementary school teacher to aid students and families that seem to be perpetually lost by the system that is in place and to educate the incoming generations on the power of knowledge, empathy, and justice.

Valeria Contreras

Elementary Education

University of Florida

This scholarship helped me out so much. I was able to get my books for my semester because I no longer get financial aid. I am also a single parent and funds are tight. Getting my books and materials for my semester was a weight lifted off of my back. I only have 5 classes left for this semester and i want to make the best of it. I will be done with school by summer of 2021, with the help of this scholarship. Thank you for this great opportunity.

Jocelyn Covington

BS. in Human Services

Florida State College at Jacksonville

I've always wanted to show young minds that we can beat the stereotype. We can accomplish more than society expects in spite of our many obstacles: language barriers, economic limitations, poor learning environment and even lack of support from home. I am going to be a teacher and my students will see that if I can beat the statistics, so can they.

Enoc Cruz


Valencia College

This scholarship has impacted my education by allowing me to follow my dreams by futhering my education. Without this scholarship I would not have been able to due this coming from a low income family . Thank you for the oppertunity for this scolarship. Nikki Cullifer

Nikki Cullifer

Elementary Education

Gulf Coast State College

By receiving this award, it gave me the opportunity to finish my degree of choice from Tallahassee Community college stress free. I was able to take additional classes as well. My ultimate goal is to receive a BS degree in education so that I maybe able to go work in the community where I can help make a difference in as many kids lives as I possibly can. Another goal is to have a non profit tutoring center where kids can come in to get help and the parents will not have to worry any out of pocket expenses. Thank you Helios for making a difference in my life.

Helen Cuyler

Early Childhood Education

Tallahassee Community College

I was so thankful to be a recipient of the Helios Education Foundation First-Generation Scholarship. The grant came through just as the pandemic began to overwhelm the world. The uncertainty of everything I took for granted was prevalent. The campus was suddenly closed and I was home with my now unemployed mother. Gloom and despair were my daily angst. It was truly a blessing to receive the funds necessary to complete my Fall as well as the ability to take a summer class. Again, I say thank you for your generosity!

Deidrick Dansby

Post-Secondary Mathematics Education

Florida A&M University

I am currently pursuing my degree in computer information technology. I plan on attending UCF after I finish up my degree at Lake Sumter State College. I have always been fascinated by technology whether it be the newest cellphone or a new software program.

Glenville Davidson Jr.

Computer Information Technology

Lake-Sumter State College

This scholarship has helped to make it possible for me to be able to pursue my dream of becoming an Elementary School Teacher. With the help of this scholarship, I am better able to focus on my studies instead of trying to figure out how school expenses will be taken care of. Upon completion of my Bachelor degree in Elementary Education (K-6), one of my long-term educational goals is to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, with the hope of one day becoming a school principal. Because of this scholarship, I am getting closer to achieving these goals.

Nicole Davis

Elementary Education (K-6)

St. Petersburg College

I’m really grateful for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me. This scholarship given me the opportunity to focus more on my education and worry less on the financial part of it.

Daniel De La Hoz

Biomedical science

Valencia College

Thanks to Helios First Generation Scholars I was able to pay for education resources, books, classes and housing. Without it I would have had to stop attending college and get a full time job to cover my expenses. I plan to obtain my bachelors degree and continue working to help others achieve what I have experienced. I can help direct them to opportunities, such as applying for this scholarship and others.

Chelsea Delancy

Public relations integrated advertising

Hillsborough Community College

My goal is to graduate with my degree next summer 2021 and transferring to a university to finish my bachelor’s degree. I work a full-time job at Neurorestorative, which is a rehab home for people that have had a brain injury and behavioral issues. I work about 50-60 hours every week so I can pay school, help my mother with bills, and my personal bills. Because of this scholarship, I will be able to focus more on my studies and reduce the number of hours I work per week. From the bottom of my heart thank you so much for your investments in students like myself and in our education!

Suzette Dimas


State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

How this scholarship has impacted my education is tremendously. The financial strain has lessened so much on both me and my family. I am able to not worry about the money aspect as much as just pushing forward, and getting my bachelors degree! Thank you so much!

Hannah Downs

Business Administration

Polk State College

First, I would like to appreciate the "Helios First Generation Scholarship" again with a big, warm, generous THANK YOU. I have been able to stay committed to my education even after years of putting off the return to finish my degree. I am a mother of three, and at some point I felt like maybe I didn’t need to go to school because of financial reasons. However, upon receiving the blessing of my Scholarship funding's from Helios my mindset was renewed. There was a vision, an enthusiasm for finishing my A.S degree in Early Childhood Education resurfaced and I was empowered, because of the help through this scholarship. I was able to purchase books, and even before the pandemic I had to travel about 40 minutes for a class I needed that was held at another Palm Beach State campus, so this even helped me save money for gas. I am overjoyed, because I am near the end of my journey and I owe it to “Helios First Generation Scholarships” for entrusting me and believing in me. (Air Hugs) To everyone connected to me through Helios, Thank You also.

Phillondria Drummer

Early Childhood Education

Palm Beach State College

I currently am a first generation college student; the first in my family to attend college! I am working hard to become a classroom teacher, most likely at an elementary level, but I have not officially decided yet which grade I will work with. This scholarship has helped me make my way through college on a substitute teacher salary in a family of 5 where my parents cannot afford to help me pay for schooling so I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Caroline Dunning


University of South Florida

I'm a first generation college student. Since my family didn't go to college before, they didn't think about the money process, didn't understand the subtle ways you have to pay for college. It was nice to have that financial stability going into the year. It was also great to get new instead of used books, which helps a little bit more and really affects how the learning process. I'd like to thank the foundation and whoever was able to raise money for the scholarship because it made my life as a student much easier than it could have been.

Anthony Echeverria

Elementary Education

Santa Fe College

I am so thankful to have been chosen as the recipient for the Helios First Generation Scholarship. I have been able to purchase much-needed college supplies, including textbooks, binders, and pens. In addition to these important items, I have utilized this offering to apply for my transfer schools. Application fees can be costly and this scholarship helped me so much. I am happy to report that I am transferring to The University of Florida this January. Thank you so much for awarding me this amazing scholarship.

Jacquelin Edwards


St. Johns River State College