Brandon is standing in front of his eagle project, which is a wooden planter bench located at the entryway of the church.

Newsome Graduate Awarded Military Family Support Trust Scholarship

Newsome High School graduate Jasmine Alexis Merry was recently awarded the Col. Barbara Gray and LTC Helen Price Scholarship through Military Family Support Trust (MFST). The $12,000 scholarship will be awarded over the course of a four-year college education. Jasmine plans to attend Clemson University.

Established in 1993, the MFST Scholarship program provides 16 scholarships annually that range from $2,000-$12,000. To date, more than $1 million have been awarded. Candidates must provide proof of family military service, past or present and complete an intensive application process. Judging criteria focuses on leadership, scholarship and financial need.

The MFST Scholarship Program is a national program and receives on average about 60 applications for its 16 scholarships. Visit

Newest Eagle Scout From Troop 665 In Lithia

Brandon Michael Rubio was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on August 12, 2018 and his Eagle Court of Honor was held on May 4 at Grace Community UMC-Fishhawk, which is where his troop meets on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.

Brandon recently graduated from Seffner Christian Academy and will be attending UCF this fall. He has been in scouts since the third grade. Only 6.49 percent of eligible scouts earned Eagle in 2018. Brandon is the son of Melanie and Michael Rubio.

Applications Now Available For 35 $1,000 Math Grants And/Or Host A Math Night

Mathnasium is dedicated to helping children learn and understand math in ways that can change their lives forever. In it effort to assist all children with math and STEM education, it has partnered with National PTA in its STEM + Families Initiative. (Visit

It is reaching out to you today to let you know about the 2019 National PTA STEM + Families Initiative. You can apply on behalf of your school. Each grant winner will be awarded $1,000 to partner with their local Mathnasium and to host a ‘Math Night’ at their school.

Math Nights are turnkey two-hour events co-hosted by Mathnasium and local PTAs in elementary schools across the country helping kids explore math at their own level through fun games and activities and providing students and their families with quality STEM experiences.

You can apply for the grant through the quick and easy form here at The application deadline is Sunday, September 8.

There are only 35 grants offered nationally, but if your school does not receive the grant, please reach out to your local Mathnasium about hosting a Math Night at your school.

Mathnasium has three locations locally: for Mathnasium of Brandon, call 655-6284 or email; for Mathnasium of West Brandon, call 607-4950 or email; and for Mathnasium of Riverview, call 844-384-3265 or email

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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.