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Monday, January 24, 2022

Vanguard High School senior surprised with four-year scholarship

A hard-working senior from Vanguard High School was surprised with a four-year college scholarship last week.

Zaniyah Williams was selected as a recipient of the ‘Leaders for Life’ scholarship for a four-year degree at a Florida University of her choosing, valued at up to $10,000 per year.

Vanguard High School senior surprised with four year scholarship 1
Zaniyah Williams received the ‘Leaders for Life’ scholarship

Diana Scroggie, the program coordinator for Take Stock in Children, presented the accomplishment to the Marion County School Board during its meeting on Tuesday.

Williams had submitted an application and video for the scholarship and was initially told that she was not selected for one of the six available scholarships.

“What’s really great about this is that Mark Asofsky, whose family foundation funds the scholarship, absolutely fell in love with Zaniyah’s application and her video when it was submitted,” Scroggie said.

Scroggie continued by saying, “He saw something in Zaniyah that we knew she had, and I’m so glad he did. And he called on Friday through our Take Stock state office and said, ‘I’m funding Zaniyah too.’”

On Friday, December 10, Williams was surprised with the exciting news that she qualified for the scholarship.

“I’m so ecstatic. It was unbelievable when I found out I won. I knew that it was God’s plan because Mr. Asofsky, he went back and he reviewed my application. He said, ‘You’re one of the top seven.’ The number seven for now will be my lucky number, and I am thankful beyond measures,” Williams said.

Vanguard High School senior surprised with four year scholarship
Zaniyah Williams expressed her gratitude during Tuesday’s school board meeting

Chairman Eric Cummings told Williams, “Seven is not your lucky number. Seven is the number of perfection. So their list wasn’t perfect until they had you on it.”

Board member Don Browning wanted to hear more about Williams’ academic accomplishments while at Vanguard High School.

Williams stated that she decided during her junior year of high school that the International Baccalaureate (IB) program was no longer for her. She switched to honors and decided to be one of the few people in her school to enter dual-enrollment.

“I stepped out of my boundaries, and I got into the program, and I took extra classes every semester so I could meet the requirements to get my AA in the spring,” Williams said.

In January, Williams will be heading up to Tallahassee to represent Marion County in front of the legislative delegation.