First Generation Scholarships

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Approximately one in six students enrolled at St. Petersburg College will be the first in their family to earn a college credential. Thanks to our donors, over 915 First Generation Scholarships were awarded in the 2015-16 academic year. All donations to the SPC First Generation Scholarship Initiative are matched one to one by the State of Florida.

“For the first time in my life I discovered that I had the potential to be more than I was before”


Kristine stood before a classroom of high school math students on the first day of her teaching internship. She noticed the student in the back of the room, arms crossed, no paper, no pencil, and thought “that was me.” She says, “I recognized that look of hopelessness.”

By her own account, Kristine struggled in high school. Feeling she had fallen too far behind, she was convinced she would never make it in college. But when her 14-year employment ended abruptly, she knew earning a college degree was the only path that would improve life for her and her young children.

Nervous but determined, Kristine enrolled at SPC. She was a single mother, the first in her family to attend college and older than most of her classmates, but she would not be discouraged. Kristine soon found her passion for mathematics and decided to pursue a degree in Education. She credits the scholarships she received for helping her balance her financial responsibilities with a busy family life and demanding coursework – and for encouraging her to stay the course and graduate.

Today, Kristine is a first-year mathematics teacher at Clearwater High School. She says she is living her dream of helping students learn the skills that will help replace the overwhelming sense of hopelessness with the confidence of success.


“I am able to dream big because of the education I have received at SPC and the generosity of the Foundation’s donors. Rather than becoming a statistic, my education allows me to be the exception.”


Janett  is a role model in her community. While juggling classes at St. Petersburg College and working part-time, she finds time to tutor students and has also launched two online tutoring sites to lead young learners through lessons in calculus, trigonometry, and chemistry.

Janett learned the value of hard work and education early. She is the first in her family to earn an Baccalaureate degree in Technology Development and Management, with a focus on Information Security Assurance. Her dream is to become a network engineer and she relies heavily on scholarships to help achieve that dream.