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‘Do The Right Thing’ program presents scholarships

By Staff | May 5, 2011

Cape Coral Police Chief Jay Murphy, City Manager Gary King, Do the Right Thing scholarship recipients Lynnette Andersen and Ivan Garcia, and Mayor John Sullivan pause for a moment outside Outback Steak House where the awards reception was held Wednesday. TIFFANEY REPECKI

The recipients of the 2011 “Do The Right Thing” scholarships were recognized Wednesday during a luncheon at Outback Steakhouse.
The $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Lynnette Andersen and Ivan Garcia, both seniors at Cape Coral High School. The scholarship program, which is in its 13th year, is open to seniors at all five Cape high schools.
“It’s just another way for us to honor those students who are doing positive things in the community,” said Cindy Naumann, the community outreach program coordinator for the Cape Coral Police Department.
About 25 students applied for the scholarship this year, according to Naumann. The students must fill out an application, write an essay and list their community service, school activities and academic achievements.
A board comprised of program sponsors and a representative from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 help to pick the two winners each year.
“They look at the essay, the community service, just that they’re a well-rounded student that’s giving back to the community,” Naumann said.
Each applicant’s need for the scholarship is also taken into consideration.
Andersen expressed excitement about receiving the scholarship.
“Any little money to go toward college is helpful,” she said.
A Do The Right Thing winner from 2005, Andersen plans to attend the University of South Florida and is thinking about majoring in international relations or nursing. She was a member of the JROTC for three years and ranked in the top 10 percent of her class.
Andersen served as president of the National Honor Society, co-captain of the Cape Coral Rowing Club and secretary of the Student Government.
Garcia, a graduate of the 2011 Youth Police Academy, explained that he was hoping to win the scholarship and that he was very excited when he did.
“It’s another burden that they don’t have to worry about,” he said of his family and the cost of college.
Garcia plans to attend Florida International University and is considering majoring in dentistry or law enforcement. He served as vice president of the Scholars Club and treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society and was an active member of the Key Club.
For three years, Garcia was involved with track and field.
Mayor John Sullivan spoke at the luncheon, as did former Cape Coral Police Chief Arnold Gibbs.
Gibbs, who initiated the Do The Right Thing program in the city 16 years ago, said the program exemplifies what we as humans should be doing — good deeds.
“Every time I read these stories, I’m really encouraged,” Gibbs said.
Police Chief Jay Murphy said the scholarship program provides the union and the police department with an opportunity to give back to the community.
“There’s no better way than to invest in the future of our students,” he said. “Programs like this bring added value to the community.”
FOR Lodge 33 is a co-sponsor of the scholarship program. President Kurt Grau noted that a lot of the students have struggles in their life that they have to learn to rise above, some even turning those into something good.
“It gives us an opportunity to recognize all the positives out there with our youth,” he said.