The Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is pleased to award University Scholarships to Marco Island resident students who demonstrate an interest in the fields of horticulture, biology, botany, environmental science or environmental law or policy. The Club awarded two college scholarships of $1,175 each this year, one to Mia Witthoff, a graduate of Lely High School, and one to Nicholas Vergo, a graduate of Marco Island Academy. The club’s scholarship president, Marianne Foley, presented the scholarship to Vergo at the MIA awards night and to Witthoff at a small club ceremony at the Marco Island Historical Society.
Nicholas Vergo was selected because of his excellent academic standing and his plan to major in science at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After college, Vergo plans to go to medical school, hopefully in the field of orthopedic surgery. Vergo was a member of the National Honor Society and the Science Honor Society and contributed to the Marco Island community with many volunteer hours. In addition to being the captain of the MIA football and soccer teams, he was a finalist for the prestigious Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award, which is based on academic and athletic achievement.
Mia Witthoff was selected based on her work on environmental issues in high school. She has monitored sea turtles with the Rookery Bay Estuarine Reserve and has also done an independent study on microplastics polluting our environment, especially the environment of our coastal community. Witthoff plans to attend Georgia Technical University (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta and major in civil engineering. She was the recipient of her high school’s nomination for the prestigious Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award due to placing second in her high school class and outstanding record as a college swimmer. Witthoff was student government president at Lely High School and a member of the National Honor Society.