Frank & Florence Coseglia Memorial Scholarship 2017 Winners

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded three outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates with the 2017 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Eddie Gibbons of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; John Zizzo of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; and Caitlin Violette of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic High School graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

The three winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,833 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the sixth year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded to outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates.

Gibbons has been an altar server and bass player for his Parish church since he was in sixth grade in addition to tutoring students with disabilities at The Cape Academy and volunteering during the summers for Vacation Bible School at St. Agnes Parish in Naples. According to Bishop Verot High School staff, there is a special quality about him that you don’t often see in today’s world or in today’s youth on a regular basis – it is a pervasive sense of honesty. “I know I will only be successful with God at my side, and if He blesses me with that gift, other people will know it and want to know God,” Gibbins said in his essay. He will be attending Santa Fe College, then the University of Florida.

Zizzo is a life-long Catholic School student graduating from St. John Neumann Catholic High School after being active in a variety of clubs, sports and activities. He organized retreats, masses and adorations at St. John Neumann, participated on the mission trip to Immokalee and served as the Vice President of the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Youth Leadership Committee. His goal is to become a doctor, and as he stated in his essay, he would like to be remembered as “…as a collaborator who worked with those around him to secure a promising future for the live I touched…” He will be attending the University of Miami.

Violette is also a life-long Catholic student graduating from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School after attending St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota. She teaches religious education for the first-grade class at St. Martha Parish, conducts Catholic student retreats, facilitates small-group discussions, assists with school liturgies and was a four-year member of Cardinal Mooney’s St. Vincent de Paul Society service club, where she participated in several fundraisers and events for local non-profit organizations. Violette will be attending Florida State University.

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse noted that the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Venice by investing in the education of our youth. By creating an endowment with the Foundation, the Coseglias have guaranteed the availability of scholarship funds for generations to come.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

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