Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners will join high school seniors involved in city youth programs to celebrate their decision to pursue higher education at the city’s fourth annual College Signing Day event today, inspiring young students to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school. As part of the day, students will don their chosen college’s gear and sign certificates to publically announce the school they plan to attend.
Graduating senior Robert Allen, who has committed to Samford University, is excited to highlight his choice at the event saying, “Through the city youth program I was exposed to activities and opportunities in sports and volunteering which reinforced my beliefs of the importance of attending college and doing so with a positive attitude. It’s important for me to attend college because it opens up the door for opportunities.”
At the event, Mayor Dyer will also present Rollins College-bound student Donayja Gates with the $1,000 Kevin Tyjeski Scholarship in honor of Kevin Tyjeski, a longtime city employee who passed away in 2013. A Parramore Kidz Zone ambassador, Gates has a 4.4 grade point average at Jones High School, is a member of the National Honor Society, is captain of the Tigers’ softball team and participates in the city’s Dueling Dragons rowing program.
“I went on multiple college trips with Parramore Kidz Zone and I chose to attend Rollins College because it was love at first sight. The city youth program has helped me reach my academic goals by giving me mentorship and tutoring opportunities as well as leadership skills, which helped me lead the softball team at Jones High School,” said Gates.
The College Signing Day event is part of the city’s continued efforts to provide opportunities for youth year round, focusing on impacting academic success, reducing juvenile crime, promoting health and wellness and helping Orlando families.