Suncoast veterans are awarded scholarships to attend school

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SARASOTA, FL- Goodwill Manasota is partnering with Kirk Pinkerton, P.A. to award scholarships to veterans seeking to further their education in the Sarasota/Manatee community.

The Kirk Pinkerton Veterans Scholarship Fund, a financial resource when no other funds are available, currently gifts $2,500 per year to veterans. To date, two recipients have received scholarships – Michael Paine and Plina Fuller.

Goodwill Manasota screens and manages the cases of potential recipients for the scholarship. The nonprofit is seeking applications from veterans who are active with a good academic history.

“By awarding these scholarships to veterans, Kirk Pinkerton has set an unprecedented standard,” said Chris Davis, Veteran Program Manager for Goodwill Manasota.  “Their philanthropic efforts have been instrumental in not only changing the lives of veterans and their families but also by creating a stronger community. We need more leaders and veteran advocates like Kirk Pinkerton!”

A U.S. Marine who served during the Gulf War, Paine was awarded over $800 to continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree in homeland security at the State College of Florida. He has been a straight A student since 2011.

Fuller, a disabled U.S. Army veteran, is a true testament to resilience. After being homeless and unemployed for three years, he is only one class short of an associate’s degree and on his way to a bachelor’s degree in social work. Fuller was gifted over $700 to pay off a previous balance to resume classes in January 2015.

“Kirk Pinkerton established this scholarship fund to assist veterans pursuing their educational goals,” said Bill Robertson, CEO and personal injury attorney for Kirk Pinkerton. “We want to help courageous and dedicated women and men, like Michael and Plina, to follow their dreams.”