Newsome senior Grace Freeman was awarded the FishHawk Creek Elementary PTA Scholarship in honor of retired Principal Pam Bush.

Paying for college will be a little easier for Newsome senior and FishHawk Trails resident Grace Freeman, who was awarded the FishHawk Creek Elementary PTA Scholarship in honor of retired Principal Pamela Bush.

The one-time award of $1,000 will help pay for books and supplies at the University of Florida, where she will be attending in the fall.

“I plan on majoring in chemical engineering and there are a lot of extra supplies and fees that come with being an engineering student,” she said. “This scholarship, which I am very grateful for, will help pay for those additional costs.”

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants had to be a Newsome graduating senior that attended FishHawk Creek Elementary School for at least one year and have an unweighted high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5.

Before the pandemic, Freeman was ranked fourth in her graduating class, with a 4.0 unweighted and 7.8 weighted GPA.

Freeman attended FishHawk Creek Elementary from kindergarten through fifth grade and fondly recalls her teachers that helped her achieve academic success: Ms. Brown, Ms. Green, Ms. Trombley, Ms. Giglio (who helped hone her writing skills), Ms. LaRosa, Mr. Clark and Ms. Lee.

Her memories of her years at FishHawk Creek also include fond memories of seeing Mrs. Bush in the hallways.

“Whenever I’d see her I’d run up and give her a big hug,” she said. “She was always so nice to me.”

Freeman is disappointed that because of COVID-19 the FishHawk Creek clap out, a tradition where seniors who attended FishHawk Creek Elementary walk its halls while teachers and students cheered, had to be cancelled.

“I understand that we need to stay safe during this time but I was really looking forward to it and all the other graduation traditions that were supposed to happen,” she said. “It’s hard to not feel disappointed when it’s something I’ve been looking forward to my entire life.”

No doubt, as Freeman begins the next chapter of her life as a Florida Gator, she will make new memories to cherish for years to come, learn skills to make a positive impact on the world and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.