A big thank you to everyone who came out and supported us this past Wednesday! It was a great experience for me and my classmates to see USF’s support. We sold 17 out of the 20 donated boxes from Papa John’s and made enough money to ship about 14 boxes.
Here are some pictures from Wednesday’s events:
This past week I felt really blessed. It’s less than one month away from my graduation and I’m so excited! Over the past 4 years, I’ve been a Jenkins’ scholar. Doesn’t ring a bell? It’s ok, I wasn’t sure either when I applied for the scholarship. George Jenkins is the founder of Publix Super Markets and just like Greg Mortenson, he had a strong desire to help those in financial need to receive a college education. He knew the importance of education and envisioned a string of Jenkins’ scholars that would do great things. Unfortunately, he passed away before seeing his vision become reality. To uphold his memory, his daughter Carol and her husband Barney Barnett decided to see her late father’s dream come true. Because of Mr. Jenkins, I earned a full ride scholarship to USF and am now graduating free of loans and debt.
After our bull market event, I rushed off to get ready for the Jenkins banquet where we were celebrating the graduating Jenkins’ seniors from the University of South Florida, Florida Southern University and University of Miami. Judy Kane, Director of Development for the USF Honors College, has been sending the Jenkins foundation every media piece I was involved in. Everyone at Publix was so impressed with my involvement in School Supplies for Afghan Children that they told Ms. Judy Kane they had a special surprise for me at the banquet.
Upon entering the banquet, I was immediately shown two big boxes of school supplies that had been collected at the Lakeland headquarters. Between eight office people, they collected enough school supplies for four boxes.
After the banquet was over, Carol and Barney came to congratulate me for everything I’m doing in Afghanistan. They told me they had made a check out to Holland & Knight in my name for the shipping cost. I was so overwhelmed by their generosity that I almost cried in front of them. They’ve already invested over $40,000 in me so that I can get my bachelor’s degree and now they’re investing in my cause because they believe in me and the importance of education. I was floored by their selflessness and their generosity. They let me know how proud they were of my accomplishments over the years and let me know they were especially proud of my desire in paying it forward. It’s one of the central messages that Mr. Jenkins taught his family and Publix to always pay it forward.
I’d like to give my sincerest gratitude to everyone at Publix charity especially Carol and Barney Barnett and a big thank you to Papa John’s for donating pizzas.