Left to right: Desarae Smith, Mary Presley, Heyam Shalabi, Michelle Kozak, and Cassidy Whitaker.
What a difference made in the lives of five women! Last January, through generous donations to our 2015/2016 Networking Night and proceeds raised for the Tampa Bay BPW Foundation, educational scholarships were awarded to these Tampa Bay women.
Desarae Smith is pursuing an AA degree in Business Administration from Hillsborough Community College (HCC) with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Her ultimate goal is to have her own business. Ms. Smith maintains a 3.8 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She works 20 hours a week as a gym supervisor at HCC and volunteers at her church World Champions as well as Phi Theta Kappa. Ms. Smith is a single mother of two young boys.
Mary Presley is seeking an AS degree in Business Administration from HCC with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. Her ultimate goal is a career as an Executive Assistant in a challenging and rewarding environment. Ms. Presley is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has served as a Senator for the Student Government Association and was elected Vice President for 2015-2016. In 2013, she received the President’s Achievement Award. Ms. Presley volunteered for the Upward Bound Program and works as a Staff Assistant at HCC, Ybor City campus.
Heyam Shalabi is seeking an AA degree in Paralegal Studies from Hillsborough Community College with the goal of becoming a paralegal in a private law firm. Ms. Shalabi maintained a 4.0 average during the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. She made the dean’s list both semesters and is currently enrolled in summer school. Mrs. Shalabi also works in her husband’s business and is the mother of five children.
Michelle Kozak is seeking a degree in Welding from Hillsborough Community College with the goal of becoming an Inspector. While working the “graveyard” shift at Walmart and taking 15 credit hours during the day, Ms. Kozak maintained a 3.66 GPA. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Cassidy Whitaker is seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Journalism from Saint Leo University with the goal of becoming a Political Analyst/Political Journalist after graduation. Ms. Whitaker is a paid staff Contributing Writer and staff Political Columnist on “The Lion’s Pride,” the newspaper for Saint Leo University. With a 3.87 GPA, in August 2015 Ms. Whitaker was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, a nationally recognized Political Science Honor Society. She is also a member of Goizueta Foundation Scholars, a group of honor students of Hispanic descent. Ms. Whitaker is a member of the cheerleading team, representing the University at various school events as a greeter and goodwill ambassador, and a member of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.
BPW…Building Powerful Women…One Scholarship at a Time!