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Ground breaking for scholarship house at FGCU

Seventeen additional girls will be housed rent-free in the Bill & Nancy Malthouse Pilot Scholarship House on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus.  Ground was broken on July 13 by the Southern Scholarship Foundation and Pilot International for the house, which will be built adjacent to the Gresham-Kite Scholarship House in North Lake Village, and which is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in the Fall or 2022.

Both the Malthouse and Gresham-Kite Scholarship houses provide an opportunity for girls to live together and get a jump start on the responsibilities of adulthood.  The FGCU house was opened in 2003. The girls share tasks like cooking, cleaning, and attending monthly meetings.  Residents are chosen based on factors like academic performance, character, and financial need.

Dr. Shawn Woodin, President-CEO, Southern Scholarship Foundation, served as MC for the July 13 ground breaking ceremony for the Walthouse Scholarship House on FGCU campus.

Dr. Shawn Woodin, President-CEO, Southern Scholarship Foundation, in welcoming those attending the ground breaking ceremony, noted that the foundation helps to make college more affordable by providing the rent-free facilities.  There are 16 scholarship houses on Florida campuses.   Woodin said, “What the house provides is a total shift in the path of the residents’ lives.  Once they have the education that they’re coming to FGCU for, then it launches them in a career where they can be financially stable and help take care of their families.”

Danarria Stone, house manager and economics student at FGCU, stands in front of the Gresham-Kite Scholarship House.  She has lived in the house for more than three years.  The house is configured with a kitchen and dining room for group meals.  There is also a study room and living area; each bedroom is furnished for two people.

Danarria Stone, house manager for the Gresham-Kite Scholarship House, commented during the ground breaking ceremony for the Malthouse Scholarship House, that students gain a lot of adult skills through living in the house.  She says the girls have to manage their own money and know how to do the various tasks, which are rotated among the girls.  Learning to be part of a community is an outcome of living in the scholarship house”.

The rent-free housing at the Gresham-Kite Scholarship House saves each student approximately $13,000 each year.  The budgeted cost of food and utilities is shared among the residents, with an average house services bill per student of approximately $950 per semester.  Most girls living in the house have part-time jobs.

The Malthouse Scholarship House is being named for the late Bill Malthouse, a former scholarship recipient.  The house receives support from the nonprofit Pilot International, both state and local chapters in Southwest Florida.  The foundation relies on dues paid by all Florida District. Pilot club members, as well as additional donations by individual Pilot members, Pilot clubs, friends and businesses through tax-deductible donations.

The Pilot clubs of Fort Myers and Naples purchased the property and built the FGCU house through the cooperation of the Southern Scholarship Foundation in 2003.  It was named after local Pilot donors.   Many local companies assisted with the building through in-kind donations.  The Pilot Club provides support each year through supplies, meals, and speakers.

The focus of the Pilot Club of Fort Myers is helping organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for individuals with brain-related disorders through volunteer activities, education, and financial support.  The club name came from a riverboat pilot who could steer safely through troubled waters.  For information about the Pilot Club, contact the president, Joy Augustine, 239-691-0069, personalpropertyappraiser@yahoo.com.