by Gloria Niec

Randy Gonzalez was the Celebration Foundation Berelsman Scholarship Recipient in 2012.

The Berelsman scholarship was more than a financial gift. During a visit to the Foundation office, Randy shared he received great mentoring from Dave and Lyn Berelsman who guided him throughout his college career. “I took Mr. Berelsman’ s advice.” he said, “At first, I wanted to get out of college as soon as possible, but Mr. B suggested I get “in-field” experience which helped me build a resume and be more marketable. One of my internships was at KCG Engineering Land Development Department for 2 ½ years. When I graduated from UCF with my degree in Civil Engineering, I was offered a full-time job at Kimley-Horn Associates.”

After Randy graduated from Celebration High School, he attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville for a year and then transferred to UCF to be closer to family, to help around the house and to help take care of his parents. Randy commuted one hour from Clermont to UCF to attend classes.

He received a Bright Future scholarship and Pell Grants, and because he was careful with expenses, graduated with minimal debt. “In Colombia, where my family is originally from, scholarships are not an option. Here in the United States, I was grateful to receive a scholarship and to be able to take out a loan.”

The Celebration Foundation has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships over the years, we have taken over 6,000 Osceola students on campus tours to encourage post-secondary education and we are big believers in graduating with minimal debt. Way to go Randy!!