Staff Report

Members of FishHawk Area Business Group (FANG), a networking group of FishHawk residents and business owners, are seeking applicants for its annual FANG scholarship. The $500 scholarship is intended for a resident high school senior to use towards local college tuition.

“We would love to pick a FishHawk senior every year to receive this scholarship,” says scholarship chair and FANG coordinator, Nan Hager. “We are looking for students who get out there and do good things in their community.”

In addition to a 3.0 or above grade point average, FANG members will look for community service, letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay from the applicants.

Essay topics include: “What Receiving This Scholarship Would Mean To Me,” “What My Community Service Time Has Meant To Me” and “How Living In and Growing Up In FishHawk Ranch Has Shaped Me As A Person.”

FishHawk resident and Florida State University student, Jennifer Utroska, became the first recipient of the FANG scholarship at the group’s meeting in 2007 and Aleks Ans and Ashley Sikand shared the prize in 2008. For 2009, the prize was again shared between worthy candidates, Megan Melanson and Niall Brown. For 2010, the winners were Samantha King and Bernadette Alloway. In 2011, Justine Rae Langkopp was the winner. For 2012, Jessica Balot took home the $500 prize.

Hager is proud of the group’s scholarship efforts and said, “FANG has an excellent reputation for playing an active role in providing ways of making our community a better place for all [businesses and residents included]. Not only do our members work closely to support each other’s businesses, but we also work closely to coordinate events and fundraising opportunities to provide donations to help families in need.”

Business owners and representatives are welcome to attend any FANG meeting the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Club located at 17004 Dorman Rd. Lithia, as a guest.

Deadline for applications is May 21. Please contact Hager at 657-2418 or e-mail or visit for application information.


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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.