Generation Next

Big Macs are big bucks for college hopefuls
McScholarships AvailableBig Macs Mean Big Bucks for College-Bound Seniors 

By Rosanne Dunkelberger and Jaclyn Emerick

While McDonald’s perhaps is best known in charitable circles for providing housing for the families of sick children, another arm of the fast-food giant supports community service and outreach. Among other things, this program makes available matching-funds scholarships for minority students.

Over the past three years, local efforts have focused on scholarships for Hispanic students, but for the class of 2007, the application process is

open to all students with a financial need. The amount of money awarded changes each year and is based on the success of the annual fund-raising event. Florida’s first lady, Columba Bush, serves as honorary chairwoman of that event.

In July, 22 college-bound students were given scholarships totaling $46,000. Since its inception, the program has given nearly $200,000 to deserving students.

Julia Luongo, who just graduated summa cum laude from Leon High School and now is a freshman majoring in engineering at Swarthmore, was one of the students who received $4,000.

“As opposed to being a nationwide scholarship … the Ronald McDonald scholarships are all awarded regionally … which allows their applications

to be more carefully read and evaluated,” Luongo wrote in an e-mail from college. “Every single penny is helpful when trying to pay off college tuition.”

When locally raised dollars are matched by McDonald’s and then added to incentives from individual colleges, the result can be “almost a triple match” – and can make the difference “between going and not going” to college, according to attorney Reggie Garcia, serves as chairman for the scholarship.

To learn more about the annual fall scholarship fund-raising campaign, call Kathy Anderson at 222-0056. Seniors who want to apply for the scholarship can view the application by going to rmhc.com and clicking on “Programs.” The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2007.

Pre-Baby Getaways

Hey Mom, do you feel like you need a break before baby even gets here? The emerging trend of “babymooning” is inspired by the need to alleviate stress and give expectant parents time to themselves before their family expands. Hotels, resorts and spas have a variety of babymooning packages; the historic Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, for example, offers a romantic getaway complete with prenatal massage, a carriage ride and other amenities. For a variety of other babymoon destinations, throughout the state of Florida or around the world, check out babymoonfinder.com
– Mackenzie Turberville

Baby Totes

The baby sling is the newest in carrying fashion. Whether you fancy silk, cotton, or mesh, Zolowear has it in several beautiful patterns. It comes equipped with convenient inset pockets to pack away your essentials while having an afternoon stroll with your little one. There’s no bulk and no extra baggage to carry along – just a comfortable and fashionable sling to help support your squirming tot. Zolowear has a large variety of colors and sizes to choose from, so you don’t have to settle for just one. To find out more, visit zolowear.com. – Jessica Stasiw

Keeping Kids Safe

“PAW GTG 88.” To you, this may look like nonsense, but to your child, it makes perfect sense: “Parents are watching, got to go, love and kisses.” As a parent, you need to be aware of such language to monitor your child’s activity on the Internet. The Florida Attorney General’s office has partnered up with other organizations to launch “Florida Safe Steps,” a Web site devoted to child safety. Visit safestepsfla.net to view their chat-room dictionary, as well as a wealth of other information about keeping kids safe. – Mackenzie Turberville

Categories: Quick Reads