By Libby Hopkins

Susan Prestridge and husband, John, have been helping students reach their academic goals for more than seven years. They are the owners of the Tutoring Club of Valrico and they recently helped three students from Bell Shoals Baptist Church achieve their goal of going to college.

The three seniors were each awarded a $500 scholarship from the Jacob Fowler Memorial Scholarship Fund. “This scholarship was stated as a $500 cash scholarship to one senior and this year the Fowler family decided that there were so many deserving students that they added two more $500 scholarships,” Susan said. “So we gave $1500 worth of scholarships out this year at a senior luncheon.”

The Prestridge’s started the scholarship in memory of one of their former instructors, Jacob Fowler. He worked for the couple before he left for medical school. Sadly, he passed away at a church camp when he was a counselor with a group of students from Bell Shoals Baptist Church.

Fowler’s mother and Susan have been best friends for more than 20 years and Jacob passed away on Susan’s birthday.

“I wanted to do something that would honor such a wonderful young man,” she said. The scholarship is in its second year and the students who apply for it are required to write an essay and fill out an application.

“We want students that embody Jacob’s character, which is Christ first, academics, community service, and are active in clubs and organizations.”

The Tutoring Club of Valrico tutors students in reading, writing, mathematics and sciences. It also tutors for SAT/ACT Prep, FCAT Prep, EOC training and Florida Virtual School tutoring. It has 11 staff members that work with each student on an individualized basis.

“We have a 32-hour guarantee that we can get any student up one academic grade level within those 32 hours or the student comes for free,” Susan said.

For more information about the tutoring services offered at the Tutoring Club of Valrico, you can visit their website at or call 681-9900. They are located at 4385 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico.


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.