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Scholarships awarded to dependents of city employees

By Staff | Jun 10, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Kylie Sutton

Following Hurricane Charley in 2004, an endowment fund was established with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to provide scholarships for dependents of city employees. This year, there are multiple sources contributing to the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program: The Charitable Foundation of the Islands, Southwest Florida Community Foundation endowment, and Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club, as well as proceeds from various city vending machines.

“The Charitable Foundation of the Islands is pleased to continue to support the scholastic futures of the deserving sons and daughters of our valued city employees,” Chip Roach, chairman of the board, said.

The following dependents will each be awarded a $2,000 scholarship:

– Kylie Sutton

Kylie Sutton is a rising sophomore at Florida State University and a 2019 graduate of Ida S. Baker High School. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in health science. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Sutton plans to enroll in the Physician’s Assistant Program at Florida Gulf Coast University to pursue her goal of becoming a physician’s assistant in obstetrics and gynecology. She is a first-time recipient of the scholarship. Sutton is the daughter of Sanibel Police Department Sgt. Kenneth Sutton, who has been employed by the city for nearly 17 years.

PHOTO PROVIDED Amber Schweitzer

– Amber Schweitzer

Amber Schweitzer is a rising junior at Florida Gulf Coast University and a 2018 graduate of Ida S. Baker High School. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, with plans to relocate to Illinois where she will then pursue her master’s degree and begin her career in teaching. It is Schweitzer’s third year in the scholarship program. She is the daughter of Stephen Schweitzer, tradesworker with Public Works in the Community Services Department, who has been employed by the city for nearly five years.

– Hailey Upchurch

Hailey Upchurch is a rising senior at the University of Central Florida and a 2018 graduate of Mariner High School. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health sciences on a pre-clinical track, the first step in reaching her goal of becoming an orthodontist. This past academic year, Upchurch became president director of the Pre-Dental Student Association, earned a spot on the Dean’s List and, as of the spring, a spot on the President’s Honor Roll for a 4.0 semester. It is her third year in the scholarship program. Upchurch is the daughter of Jocelyn Upchurch-Hawkins, accounting operations manager in the Finance Department, who has been employed by the city for seven years.

– Alyssa Vetter

PHOTO PROVIDED Hailey Upchurch

Alyssa Vetter is a rising senior at Florida Gulf Coast University and a 2017 graduate of Cypress Lake High School. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance. Following graduation in 2021, Vetter plans to become a financial analyst with a long-term goal of one day owning her own financial services business. She is a fourth-year recipient of the scholarship. Vetter is the daughter of Holly Vetter, senior permit technician with the Building Branch in the Community Services Department, who has been employed by the city for 26 years.

PHOTO PROVIDED Alyssa Vetter