Zonta Awards Martina Thurmond Scholarship to Navy Veteran

Top row Marilyn Douthett, Ariela Mariano, Cyndi Chatman.  Bottom row Penni Wise, Martina Thurmond, Heather Dow   Photo credit:  Roberta DePiero
Top row Marilyn Douthett, Ariela Mariano, Cyndi Chatman. Bottom row Penni Wise, Martina Thurmond, Heather Dow (Photo credit: Roberta DePiero)

Zonta Club Logo_Horizontal_Color_Reverse_ KEY WEST

The Zonta Club of Key West announces this year’s award of the Martina Thurmond Ongoing Education Scholarship. Ariela Mariano is a Navy veteran who is starting the Nursing Program at FKCC this fall.

Mariano will use the $1,500 award to help purchase books, scrubs and supplies. Most importantly, it will help allow her to focus on full time studies which make it difficult to continue in a part-time job.

“Organizations like this give women like us that extra push we need to keep moving forward to a better life for us, our families and society,” said Mariano when giving thanks for the scholarship.

The Martina Thurmond Ongoing Education Scholarship was begun by the Zonta Club of Key West in 2014. The $1,500 is provided to a woman at least 30 years of age enrolled as a new or existing student at Florida Keys Community College, for use to advance her current career or make a career change.

The scholarship’s namesake, Martina Thurmond, is a long time Keys businesswoman and founding member of the Key West Zonta Club. She and her family owned and operated the 8-acre Southern Keys Cemetery on Big Coppitt Key for nearly 60 years, and she operated it solely along with the family’s monument company for 30 of those years until she retired … at age 92.

“Ariela Mariano will be following in the footsteps of a pioneer career woman and role model. We’re proud that Martina Thurmond continues to be an active, respected member of Zonta in South Florida,” said 2015-16 Key West club President, Lisa Benfield. “Ariela was the stand out among seven extremely qualified applicants,” added Zonta Treasurer and Scholarship Committee Chair, Cyndi Chatman.

The Marina Thurmond Ongoing Education Scholarship was designed to award local women reentering the workforce or changing professions, who choose to study at FKCC. More information and the scholarship application form are available on the Zonta Key West website at http://www.zontakeywest.com/zonta-scholarships.

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