The Public Education Foundation of Marion County administers a variety of scholarships.  Please check listings below for individual scholarships, criteria and deadlines.

Scholarship Donors include corporations, associations, organizations, foundations and individuals who want to create a brighter future by encouraging education. Different scholarship donors have different scholarship qualifications.

Teacher to Be Scholarships for 2021-2022 are closed.

Senior Scholarship Applications for the Graduating Class of 2022 will open at the beginning of December 2021. Please check back!

Take Stock in Children Applications are now open.

David Baillie Memorial Scholarship Spring 2021

Senior Scholarships

2021 David Baillie Memorial Scholarship ($2,000)

The Ocala Lions Club provides sight, hearing, glaucoma, and diabetes screening by financially supporting eye exams and glasses for the needy, eye surgeries, hearing aids, and so much more. The David Baillie scholarship was established in memory of David Baillie, Jr., a long-time member of the Lions Club and a big supporter of the Southeastern Youth Fair.

Applicants for this scholarship must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in either agriculture, through the study of the biological or physical sciences, or veterinary medicine; at a college or university they choose.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the field of agriculture through involvement in Future Farmers of America, 4H, The Southeastern Youth Fair, or through proven experience such as actual work in agricultural or animal care activities as well as the study of the biological or physical sciences at the high school level.

Some examples of work experience could include, on a family farm, at a veterinarian’s office, volunteering at an animal shelter or for an animal rescue organization.

Download the 2021 David Baillie Memorial Scholarship Application

Fort McCoy Alumni Scholarship 2021

Ft. McCoy Elementary School is dedicated to their student’s success.  This scholarship is available for students who have attended Ft. McCoy School for the entirety of Kindergarten to fifth grade, or the entirety of sixth through eighth grade.  Ft. McCoy School is proud to give back and offer the opportunity to help in furthering education of their students.

Requirements to apply:

  • Attended Ft. McCoy Elementary K-5 or Ft. McCoy Middle School 6-8
  • Graduate of Marion County High School
  • Completed a minimum of 20 hours of community service done during Junior and Senior years.  (verification of community service must be provided)
  • Applicant must be attending a 2 year college, 4 year college or Technical college
  • Scholarship money will be paid directly to the institution
  • Student must maintain a full time enrollment status with the institution for a full academic year
  • Student needs to be willing to attend an in person interview
  • Student should complete an essay following the essay guidelines
  • Must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Current transcript
  • 2 letters of recommendation (1 from school personnel and 1 from a community leader)

Download the Fort McCoy Scholarship 2021

Fred J. Smiley Scholarship 2021

Fred J. Smiley Scholarship Fund Criteria:

1. Must be an African American Male High School Senior and reside in Marion County

2. Application must be typed and turned in by March 11, 2021

3. Submit a sealed transcript- 2.5 GPA or higher

4. Submit three reference letters (2 must be from school personnel)

5. Type a 500 word essay on the following topic ““If you were to look back on your high school years,
what advice would you give to someone beginning their high school career”?

6. The application must be signed by your guardian.

Download theFred Smiley 2021 Application

Grace Force / Marion Soil & Water Conservation District Scholarship 2021

Grace Force / Marion Soil & Water Conservation District
Scholarship Program

The Mission of the Marion SWCD is to protect, conserve and improve the quality of soil and water in Marion County through planning, technical assistance and education.

The vision of the Marion SWCD is to:

  • be viewed as a leader in soil and water conservation efforts.
  • be a prominent resource in urban and rural areas.
  • be a resource for natural resource and conservation related information.
  • have a record of measurable and demonstrated results.

The theme for this years scholarship essay is “Healthy Forests- Healthy Communities”


Download the 2021 Grace Force MarionSoilWaterConservationDistrictScholarshipApplication

Jim & Joanne Yancey Scholarship Fund 2021

Jim and Joanne Yancey dedicated their lives to help make their community a better place to live and work. Jim was a 7 time letterman at the University of Florida as a member of the football and golf teams. He is inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was a class A PGA Professional and a certified Greens Superintendent. He was the Head Golf Professional at Ocala Golf Club for over 25 years where he was known for his Junior Golf Programs and for teaching multiple PGA Tour Players.

Joanne was a member of the Garden Club in Ocala for over 40 years. Her passion for beautifying her yard and her community go hand-in-hand. She was devoted to the City of Ocala for over 40 years, serving in multiple capacities including the Building and Zoning Board. Her dedication to high school sports and amateur golf was well-known, particularly for organizing the Henry Camp Invitational Golf Tournament every spring since 1970.

This $500 scholarship is to be awarded to a senior who is seeking an education in Sports Management, Agriculture or is pursuing competitive golf in college. The candidate must be a leader in their school and community.

Download the Scholarship application at 2021 Jim & Joanne Yancey Scholarship Fund Application

Joshua Rossignol Memorial Scholarship 2021

Joshua Rossignol was an awesome young man who was kind-hearted, hilarious, passionate, generous, and overall just loved life. He was so warm and kind that he made you feel like you had known him forever, even if you had just met him. He could also make anyone laugh, even in the toughest of situations.  Josh was a talented and passionate cook and it had always been his dream to become a chef and open his own restaurant.  He was pursuing his degree in culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University when he passed away at the age of 21.  In his honor, his family and friends created the Joshua Rossignol Memorial Scholarship to help others achieve their dreams of becoming a chef. This year a $1500 scholarship will be awarded to a Marion County senior seeking an education in the culinary arts who has demonstrated leadership in their school and community.

Download the 2021 Joshua Rossignol Memorial Scholarship Application

Lamar Luffman Sr. Memorial Scholarship 2021

Lamar Luffman Sr. was an active member of the Agricultural Community in North Marion County. He was brought up in a family where working hard on the farm was a way of life.  After graduating Anthony High School in 1957 he worked for the local telephone company but continued to stay close to his farming roots.  He worked with the Anthony Elementary PTA and later was elected to the Marion County Council PTA.  His passion for children ultimately led him to a position on the Marion County School board where he served in that capacity for over 16 years.  He was always a champion for the children and his love of Agricultural programs inspired many in Marion County.  The Lamar Luffman Memorial Scholarship was established by his family to celebrate Lamar’s passion & contributions.

Applicants for this scholarship must be attending North Marion High School and pursuing an undergraduate degree in either agriculture, through the study of the biological or physical sciences, or veterinary medicine; at a college or university they choose.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the field of agriculture through involvement in Future Farmers of America, 4H, The Southeastern Youth Fair, or through proven experience such as actual work in agricultural or animal care activities as well as the study of the biological or physical sciences at the high school level.

Download the 2021 Lamar Luffman Sr. Memorial Scholarship Application

Marilyn Hughes Memorial Scholarship 2021

Marilyn Hughes, a life-long educator began her teaching career in 1963. She taught at schools in Florida and California until 1985 when she joined the staff at Stanton Weirsdale Elementary. There she held positions as a teacher, Elementary Learning Specialist, Curriculum Coordinator and Assistant Principal. She served as Assistant Principal until her passing in 2016.

Mrs. Hughes earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida A&M University. In 1983 she received her Master’s Degree in Reading Education from California State University. Her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership comes from Nova Southeastern University.

Marilyn Hughes made a difference in the lives of many after teaching and serving as an educator for over half a century.  The Marilyn Hughes Memorial Scholarship has been established to honor the life of Mrs. Hughes and to continue her legacy of excellence in education.  This annual scholarship for $200 will benefit a high school senior who attended Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary school for at least one complete school year, a school where Mrs. Hughes was an integral part of the faculty for over thirty years.

Download the 2021 Marilyn Hughes Memorial Scholarship Application

McLaughlin Music Scholarship 2021

John McLaughlin spent his life fine-tuning his love and talent for music. Music was John’s passion. John always said, ‘If you do something that you love you never have to work a day in your life,’ and he lived his life to the fullest.John was an incredible musician who entertained people through Florida for more than five decades. Every song was a story and every story was accompanied by a song.

The McLaughlin Musical Scholarship will help continue to spread John’s love and passion for music by awarding a $500 scholarship to a graduating student who plans to Major or Minor in Music.

Download the McLaughlin Musical Scholarship 2021

Niko Malidelis Fire College Scholarship 2021

Niko Malidelis was a senior at North Marion High School, preparing to enter the Fire College after graduation when a tragic automobile accident cut his young life short. His family reached out to their network of friends to help establish the Niko Malidelis Fire College Scholarship. This $300 scholarship will be offered to seniors who will become a fireman and demonstrate economic need and initiative.

Download the 2021 Niko Malidelis Fire College application

Papa John’s Pizza Scholarship 2021

Papa John’s has 6 core values:

Focus: keep the main thing the main thing.

Accountability: do what you say you are going to do when you say you’re going to do it.

Superiority: we expect excellence in everything we do, PAPA- people are priority always.

Attitude: if you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

Constant Improvement: we never stop trying to surpass our previous best.

With that in mind, we are looking for two (2) seniors who wish to further their education, are driven to pursue their dreams, and have the ability to overcome adversity. These are students involved in their school, athletics, and are giving back to the community. Papa John’s believes that people are our greatest assets.

The two (2) $750 Papa John’s scholarships are available to graduating seniors at each of the Marion County Public High Schools.

Download the 2021 Papa Johns Scholarship Application

Suncoast Credit Union Scholarship 2021

Suncoast Credit Union Scholarships (2) $2,000

Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is a proud supporter of public education. Since 1990, the Foundation has provided more than 600 scholarships totaling nearly $1 million to students pursuing higher education. Scholarships are available to high school seniors who live in the counties served by Suncoast Credit Union and who demonstrate a need for financial assistance, possess leadership abilities and achieve high academic performance.

This year, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is partnering with the Public Education Foundation of Marion County to offer (2) $2,000 scholarship awards to high school graduates in the Class of 2021.  Class of 2021 high school graduates in Suncoast Credit Union’s 21-county service territory have the opportunity to apply for financial support to continue their education, thanks to a $116,000 investment in scholarships by the Tampa-based credit union’s Foundation.  Additional student requirements can be found on the Suncoast Credit Union Scholarship application.

Download the 2021 Suncoast Credit Union Scholarship Application

PDK/Jim Frazier Memorial Scholarship 2021

James M. Frazier was an active Phi Delta Kappa member and past president of the local Florida Springs chapter. He used his unfailing enthusiasm for PDK and education to inspire others to get involved. It was his dream to help as many young people as possible achieve their goal of a career in teaching.

The Jim Frazier Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a deserving applicant who meets the following criteria: eligible applicants must be students or employees of the Marion County Public Schools and must have a desire to be a classroom teacher. Eligible applicants include high school seniors intending to major in education, Marion County Public School employees who are enrolled in an undergraduate teacher education program, or teachers who are seeking additional certifications. The recipient is selected by the scholarship committee of the Florida Springs Chapter #1434 of Phi Delta Kappa in Ocala, Florida.

Download the 2021 PDK Jim Fraizer Memorial Scholarship

Todd Carstenn Influential Educator Scholarship 2021

A good teacher is vital to the growth of a student’s education. Yet, the contributions of an educator often go unrecognized.  The Todd Carstenn Influential Educator Scholarship offers the chance for a Marion County Public School senior to highlight an educator (or educators) who have made significant impact on their life.

One MCPS high school senior will be awarded a $500 scholarship for their post-secondary education.

Applicant must:

  • Submit a completed application (link below) to the Public Education Foundation of Marion County
  • Provide a copy of high school transcripts
  • Provide a copy of the applicant’s Student Aid Report from the FAFSA
  • Complete an Essay (See below for essay requirements)

Please write a 500 word essay on the following topic: The Impact of an Influential Educator

  • The essay should reference how an influential educator can impact students’ lives.
  • The essay should include words of gratitude to a specific influential educator.
  • The essay will consist of a cover page, to include:
    • the name and telephone number of the student
    • the name and school location of the influential educator written about in the essay
  • The scholarship committee plans to share the essays with the student’s influential educator named in their application.
  • The committee prefers the writer use 12-point Century Gothic font, or similar font with double spacing between the lines.

Download the 2021 Influential Educator Scholarship Application

Uplift and Empower Scholarship 2021

In August 2020, Danielle Hawa Tarigha published her first book, Uplift and Empower: A Guide to Understanding Extreme Poverty and Poverty Alleviation. 

Increasing access to higher education is a core pillar of poverty alleviation work at a community level and aligns with the ideas she shares in the book. To uplift and empower her community, Danielle launched a scholarship fund to support Vanguard High School seniors.

Thanks to the generosity of her support network, the fund will offer two (2) $500 scholarships to high school seniors at Vanguard High School in its first year.

Application Requirements

  • Must be a senior at Vanguard High School at the time of application.
  • Must plan to attend an accredited 2-year college, 4-year college, certificate program, or vocational/technical college.
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to improving the Ocala community and share examples of active engagement in the community through clubs, sports, volunteering, work, or similar activities.
  • Submit a complete application.
  • Provide a copy of a resume detailing volunteer experience, extracurricular involvement, and work experience.
  • Complete two (2) 250 – 500 word essays (see details below). If a hard-copy of the application is submitted, both essays must be printed, typed, and in 12-point Times New Roman or Garamond font.

Submit two 250-500 word essays on the following topics: 

  1. How do you Uplift and Empower your community?
  2. What resources are you using to pay for college?

The first essay is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their community engagement efforts. Money does not have to be the beginning and end of your engagement with poverty alleviation. Your time, your knowledge, and your skills are valuable too. Through this essay, please demonstrate how you dedicate your time, knowledge, and skills to improving your community.

The second essay is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their financial need to the selection committee, share any other scholarships they have won or applied for (along with their amounts), and highlight any special circumstances in their financial situation.

Deadline: April 2nd 

Download the application : Uplift and Empower Scholarship Application

Walter William Wade Memorial Scholarship 2021

Walter Wade was a Navy veteran who served our country for 20 years (1973-1993). He loved the Navy and his duty posts included, San Diego, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, Long Beach, Commander Sixth Fleet in Italy and Sardinia during the Gulf War, and finally teaching ROTC at the University of Mississippi. He achieved the rank of Quartermaster Senior Chief Petty Officer. He entered the Navy with an Associate in Arts degree from Centralia College, WA, and then took advantage of evening extension classes offered to active military through Columbia College, MO and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government. When he retired from the Navy, he continued traveling on cruises all over the world because he truly loved being at sea, and he worked as a volunteer at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA for 10 years as a gift shop assistant responsible for receiving and inventory. He moved to Ocala in 2013 and enjoyed the community and the weather immensely. Even though he had no children of his own, he was always an advocate for young people continuing their education beyond high school no matter how many years it took to graduate.

Walter loved cooking, reading, interior design, attending the symphony, dance performances, and visiting museums around the world. The Walter William Wade Memorial scholarship is dedicated to the arts and to our military men and women who have proudly served our country.

Criteria: This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to 1 Marion County high school senior who meets the following criteria:

1. Applicants must be pursuing a Bachelors Degree in any of the following specialties:

2. At least one parent OR grandparent who has served a minimum of four years active duty in any of the U.S. military branches.
Applicants are required to submit a 300 word essay, three letters of recommendation from teachers and a DD Form 214 certifying their parent’s or grandparents military discharge.

Download the 2021 Walter William Wade Memorial Scholarship application

Winners Circle Scholarship 2021

A committee of North Marion High School Alumni has established a scholarship fund to benefit 12th grade students from North Marion High School as they graduate high school and continue their education at a college, university or vocation/technical school. Scholarship winners will be determined based on their academic performance, school and community activities, character and the need for assistance.

Scholarship amount to be awarded is $1,000. 

Download the Winners-Circle-2021 Application

North Marion High holds an awards night each year where deserving graduates are awarded scholarships from families and groups. After last year’s awards, a group of North Marion alumni got together to discuss the establishment of an endowment scholarship to be known as the Winners Circle Scholarship.  The idea led to the formation of a committee of North Marion alumni to organize efforts in generating revenue to establish an endowment scholarship fund which will benefit graduates of North Marion High School as they continue their education at accredited college, university or vocational/technical school. The idea is to deposit contributions into the endowment account that will generate maximum interest income each year. The annual income will be used to award scholarship money each year.

The endowment fund has been established with legal counsel, professional financial advice and annual audit all provided through the Public Education Foundation of Marion County. Contributions are tax deductible and receive a tax substantiation letter.

This first year has seen great support from alumni and friends of North Marion, including many past faculty members. Due to the number of Winners Circle members, contributors to the Winners Circle Scholarship Fund, the first scholarship was awarded to a member of the Class of 2020.  This first scholarship was for $1000.00. The goal of the committee is to increase the amount and number of scholarships each year. As you consider making a contribution to the Winners Circle Scholarship Fund, remember that your generous contribution will earn interest year after year, thus providing scholarship money for years in the future. Annual contributions are welcome. Contributions in memory of someone in the North Marion family are welcome. Corporate sponsors supporting future North Marion graduates are welcome.

The committee has set a goal to reach $30,000.00 this year which will in turn award the $1000.00 scholarship using interest money earned. Next year, the goal is to double the Winners Circle Endowment Fund.  The fund will continue to grow as graduating class members will make future contributions and join the Winners Circle.

Contributions to the Winners Circle Scholarship Fund should be sent via check made payable to: Public Education Foundation of Marion County, 1239 NW 4th Street Ocala, FL 34475 – Please note in the memo line – Winners Circle Scholarship

To make online contributions online, go to the donate page and select Winners Circle in the menu of options.

The Committee Members:

George Keep—Class of 1958—Liaison with Educational Foundation.

Jim Stroup————Class of 1959            Sonja (Mullins) Christmas–Class of 1987

Ronnie Simmons—-Class of 1972              Melissa (Desaint) Kinard—-Class of 1991

Dan Davis ————Class of 1973             Dale Hall———-Class of 1998

Laura Johnson——-Class of 1980             Matt Johnson—-Class of 1998

Penny(Johnson)Howard—Class of 1981   Tim Yarn———-Class of 1999

Kimberly Calvin——-Class of 1983            Lacey(Howard) McGovern–Class of 2004

Gay (Hurst) Street—-Class of 1983           Jamie Gilmore—Class of—-Class of 2012

Jackeria Beard—Class of  2019

Ocala Film Foundation - CLOSED

The Ocala Film Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to leading our 
community in creative and cultural discovery through the medium of motion pictures. We seek to discover and encourage independent artists worldwide and to build a community among those artists and their audience. By increasing awareness, accessibility, and a broader appreciation of the cinematic arts within our community, we endeavor to support the educational, cultural, and economic well-being of our region.

The Silver Springs International Film Festival is the presenting partner of the Ocala Film
 Foundation. The Festival is an international cultural event created to elevate awareness of
 Ocala/Marion County, Florida’s Silver Springs State Park and the area’s contributions to
 cinema, as well as the cultural landscape of Florida. Through the Festival, our goal is to offer 
scholarships to area students interested in the media arts and provide (and upgrade) necessary equipment for our Marion County schools through classroom grants. The Festival will also serve to encourage filmmakers to utilize the areas’ pristine natural resources and unique culture and character.

2018-2019 Ocala Film Foundation Scholarship Application

Take Stock in Children Student Scholarship & Mentoring Program - Applications for 2021-2022 8th Grade MCPS Students are Open Now!

The Take Stock in Children Scholarship Application is available online this year! 

The selections process continues into the spring, and all students will be notified by staff or letter by March 2022 as to their application status.  It is a competitive process, and students are selected by committees comprised of educators, civic leaders, and business sponsors from their own communities.

Selections Process: We select Marion County Public School students during their 8th grade year.  Students must be eligible for free or reduced lunch.

  • To be eligible to apply, the student/family MUST meet the following criteria:
    • 2.5 unweighted Grade Point Average (C+ average or above in all classes)
    • Families MUST meet the free/reduced lunch income eligibility guidelines
      • To check your eligibility for the 2021-2022 school year, please review the TSIC Eligibility Flyer – 2021-2022
      • Families must provide income tax documentation. If income taxes cannot be provided, please refer to the eligibility flyer for more information.
  • If the student & their family meet the eligibility requirements, please note the following:
    • October 8th, 2021  – TSIC Scholarship Applications are available
    • November 19th, 2021 – Completed TSIC Scholarship Applications are DUE. 
      • Applications must be completed and submitted online, with attached proof of income (copy of 2020 income taxes)
      • Please watch our step-by-step instructional VIDEO on how to fill out our application! It will help you prepare for the application and answer many of the questions you have!
      • If the family did not file income taxes for 2020, please refer to the eligibility flyer, the instructions in the application or email to discuss the circumstances.
      • If the family cannot complete the forms online, please contact your school’s TSIC coordinator or our office.

Meet your schools Take Stock Middle School Coordinator!

*Families will be notified of their application status by the end March 2021.

*Eligibility does not guarantee a student will be accepted. A limited number of students are accepted.

Click here for the 2021-2022 Take Stock in Children Student Application!

Students & Parents Sign a Performance Contract
Upon selection, scholars and their parents/guardians sign a contract agreeing to stay in school, maintain good grades, exhibit good behavior, remain crime-and drug-free, meet with their mentors once a week and attend Take Stock workshops and events. Students are held accountable; if they violate their contracts, they will lose their scholarships.

College & Vocational Scholarships Provide Hope for a Better Future
All scholars who successfully complete the program requirements receive a two year Florida Public College tuition scholarship through the Florida Prepaid Foundation’s Project STARS program after graduating from high school.

Take Stock in Children Provides a Road to Success
Take Stock in Children makes a multi-year commitment to children, providing an inclusive array of services from the time they enter the program through their graduation from college or vocational school.


College Success Coach & Case Manager
Each scholar in the program is assigned a College Success Coach who meets with the student and monitors his/her academic success.  The Success Coaches also work closely with mentors and school personnel to ensure that each child achieves success.

Parental Involvement Increases the Chances of Success
Parents are responsible for supporting and encouraging their child’s academic success by 1) developing positive relationships with teachers, mentors, school administrators, and Take Stock in Children staff, and 2) playing active roles in the educational, cultural, and school-based activities of their child.