By Michelle Colesanti

Ten students recently received the prestigious 2017 Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholarship recognizing outstanding students committed to pursuing their college degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). The scholarships, sponsored by Honeywell, are awarded to high school seniors who have overcome adversity and are committed to not only their education, but in serving their communities.

One of the $10,000 scholarship recipients, Olajide Ogun, resides in Brandon. He currently attends Penn State University, where he is now studying Mechanical Engineering. He spent his early high school years in Maryland, but senior year was spent at Strawberry Crest High School.

He is currently a rising sophomore and is looking at earning either a degree in Architectural Engineering or in Computer Science. After graduation he hopes to stay in Florida, but it will depend on where he lands a job.

Early on Ogun’s mom brought him to Nigeria for a year. He spent the time in a boarding school there. Visiting a place so different than what he was used to opened up his world to all possibilities. “It was a great experience. I got to see a lot of things I’d never heard about,” he commented.

Since the establishment of its scholarship program in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has awarded over $125 million in scholarships to students from across the United States and Canada. Business, civic and philanthropic leaders fully fund the organization’s scholarship programs. Dave Cote, Executive Chairman of Honeywell, was inducted into the Association as a lifetime member in 2014 and established the Honeywell Scholarship that same year.

In partnership with Horatio Alger Association, the Honeywell Scholarship program is available to college freshmen enrolled at Honeywell Partner schools or Horatio Alger Collegiate Partner schools. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, exhibit strong character and academic promise and display perseverance in overcoming significant personal adversity. The 2017 Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholars have maintained an average GPA of 3.53 while coming from households with an average annual income of $13,593.

 “It is an honor – for the fourth year in a row – to work alongside the Association to award scholarships to these remarkable and deserving students who are determined to achieve their dreams,” said Cote.

 For more information about Horatio Alger Association, please visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.