Getting Started – CBS Miami

For many high school graduates, the road to college can be difficult, especially if financial conditions at home are not optimal. But planning your future in advance is a good way to bridge this gap.

For Rhea Thomas, her journey to secure a Bright Futures scholarship began long before she even knew what her college life would be like. While attending Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida, she began taking courses in the Advanced International Cambridge Examinations program, so she could get a head start. And the Bright Futures scholarship program, funded by the Florida Lottery, was there to help.

“I graduated from AICE in first year, so it automatically provided one hundred percent for Bright Futures, so it was honestly just a relief. I have two older brothers and they both have it too, so it was a big relief from my parents too. It helps with paying the college so that was great.

Her two brothers have now completed their university studies, so Rhea was able to begin her university studies with full focus, knowing that her parents didn’t have to take out loans or worry about how to help her financially.

“If I didn’t get the scholarship, I would have to take out a lot of loans and that would of course affect my future. I can invest this money in something else in the future. “

This future for Rhea is not only bright, but also wide open. The expected date for her graduation for a pending Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Central Florida is June 2024, so she has plenty of options. The Bright Futures Scholarship allows her to take the time to decide what she wants to do and where she would be most useful to her community.

“I just graduated from high school in June, and things have gone a bit badly because of the current situation; so most of the time I just got home. Right now I’m working on differentiating a hobby from something I want as a career and I’m looking at the different majors and clubs I can join to find what I really want to do.

It’s all about preparation and commitment

Rhea has her work cut out for her at UCF, but she got a head start in high school. The fact that her two older brothers were also beneficiaries of Bright Futures really helped her achieve her college goals. So, as much hard work as it was, the AICE program she took to help her get the scholarship made the transition to college life easier.

“During my high school experience, I took crash courses. I took the AICE program, and all of these classes are at the college level; so personally i don’t think i’ll have a hard time dealing with all of these classes and my outside life because i had to work with all of it in high school.

But his preparation did not end with his lessons. She was also involved in the school’s TV production program, something that could turn into a professional activity as well.

“I was president of the TV show and had different leadership roles in this area. I loved doing it. I loved editing and producing the show and just being able to go out and film. But I’m just trying to open up my options a bit more. Maybe I’ll come back to this, but I just want to see what else is there for me.

There is also the desire to help others, which is present in every Bright Futures scholarship recipient. Besides classes and extracurricular activities, Rhea was also very committed to community service.

“I was part of the [United Nations Children’s Fund] (UNICEF) Club in Cypress for four years, then I was part of Habitat for Humanity. I love being able to interact with other people. I love doing community service. Since I was able to do this, I have been very active even in my church.

Nothing is impossible when your heart and mind are committed to your goals. And the Bright Futures Scholarship Program is here to help bring those goals closer.

“It was definitely a stressful time, but you just have to put a lot of effort into your classes, put in the effort and hopefully things go well. It wasn’t a good time, but I went through it with my team of teachers and got that one hundred percent scholarship benefit, so honestly you just have to push and give it a try. to do your best.

For Rhea, like many other Floridians working hard for this opportunity, the best is yet to come.

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The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $ 39 billion to education and sending more than 880,000 students to college through the Bright Futures scholarship program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 99% of its revenues into the Florida economy through prize payouts, commissions to over 13,000 lottery retailers, and education transfers. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid out over $ 72.5 billion in prizes and made nearly 3,000 millionaires.

Content above provided by the Florida Lottery.

About Stephen Arrington

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