RSS
Print This Post Print This Post

Katelyn Joy Derstine Scholarship Foundation

feature-template-katelyn-joy-derstine-fund

Katelyn Joy Derstine Scholarship Foundation

By Kacey C. Krznaric

Photograph by Chad Spencer

 
“A people-pleasing, outdoorsy, gentle and sophisticated hippie who lights up a room”
-an eclectic description of Katelyn Joy Derstine from her family and friends.

 
Katelyn Joy Derstine was full of personality, creativity, motivation, and most importantly had a giving spirit that inspired everyone around her. She had a musical ear; playing the violin. She had a flair for art; making such intricate scrapbooks that could tell her life story to a perfect stranger.  She had a passion for nature; backpacking, white water rafting, horseback riding, and volunteering as a summer camp counselor at Spruce Lake Wilderness Christian Retreat. Finally, she had ambition; enrolling in the Environmental Horticulture program at the University of Florida with aspirations to one day own her own floral shop.

Tragically, on June 15, 2006, all those who knew Katelyn were robbed of the pleasure her mere presence brought and those who were not fortunate enough to have met Katelyn yet, were robbed of the opportunity to know one of the most selfless people there ever was. A car accident claimed the life of this beautiful, genuine, and dedicated young woman all too soon. Although Katelyn’s physical body is no longer here, her legacy lives on through the strength of a family, the loyalty of friends, and the support of the community. 

While it is true the Katelyn Joy Derstine Scholarship Foundation and the “FLY HIGH” award were born out of tragedy, the chain reaction of positivity that has come from it- carrying on her legacy vicariously through the ambition of other young women- is truly amazing. When I asked Katelyn’s mother Bambi, who established the foundation in 2007, why she chose to honor Katelyn’s memory in the form of a scholarship, she told me a very interesting story that is testament to the strong and commendable moral character of the family. 

She explained that when Katelyn was a senior at Riverview High School, she was nominated for a scholarship by the KEY club, a service organization that facilitated community service, volunteerism and philanthropy for students. The family who would be granting these funds to Katelyn was doing so in the memory of their daughter whom they had lost to cystic fibrosis. This experience took on a whole new meaning for the family after they lost Katelyn and wanted to follow by example, taking a negative and turning it into a positive for the sake of the loved ones that have been lost.

From its humble roots of a simple letter campaign started by Bambi, the Foundation has grown by leaps and bounds. With a Selection Committee of 15 members and growing, the Foundation is now able to award a minimum of $1,000.00 annually to students that they feel mirror Katelyn’s characteristics; a young woman of sincerity, dedication, and whole-heartedness. To date the Foundation has awarded $40,000.

Along with this, the Foundation was able to establish another club, aside from the scholarship, called the Papillion. The significance of the title is awe-inspiring because it is French for butterfly, which had always been something very familiar and comforting to Katelyn. 

She once said:
“Once while I was struggling to climb, I asked God to give me a sign.  A sign that would tell me You were thinking about me and still loving me…to give me the strength to keep climbing.  He did…He gave me a Butterfly.”
 
The Papillion club stays true to this mantra by being a foundational platform for a Mentoring Program that was driven into action when students presented it to the school board and had it approved as a pilot program at Riverview. In essence, senior girls would be nominated by teachers and/or the principal to mentor freshman girls, offering them guidance, direction, and support in a potentially difficult transitional period in their lives.

The future of the Katelyn Joy Derstine Scholarship Foundation, Inc and Papillion are bright. As Riverview High School prepares to start construction of an outdoor educational classroom in the form of a greenhouse on the school grounds this fall, the students plan to work diligently to raise funds to dedicate a bench and create a butterfly garden to “preserve the environment and Katelyn’s memory.”
 
In addition, the Foundation hopes to spread Papillion to other schools in the coming years, offering this mentoring program to students all across the district. Because the Foundation and Papillion club had been so therapeutic for Katelyn’s family and friends, they have hopes of incorporating a grieving support group in the future for friends, family, and peers of those affected by tragedy, equipping them with the tools they need to encourage each other and heal together as one body.

Katelyn Joy Derstine Scholarship Foundation
6520 Wild Orchid Lane
Sarasota, FL 34241
(941) 780.6422
bfamous@fly-high-kjd.com
www.fly-high-kjd.com

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply


Featured Properties

Ads

REAL HAPPENINGS

June 25, 2019 Global Beatles Day

June 25, 2019 Global Beatles Day

Meet The Beatles, to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, to Let It Be and Beyond. Each June 2[...]
June 24, 2019 National Bingo Day

June 24, 2019 National Bingo Day

Bingo Anyone? National Bingo Day, on June 24th, celebrates America’s love of Bingo. Nearly e[...]
June 26, 2019 Summer Showcase

June 26, 2019 Summer Showcase

Sarasota Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Summer Showcase. Join the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce as the[...]
June 29, 2019 4th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic

June 29, 2019 4th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic

Support Suncoast Charities For Children As The Present The 2019 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. F[...]
June 23, 2019 Closing Night For Around The World In 80 Days

June 23, 2019 Closing Night For Around The World In 80 Days

Asolo Repertory Theatre Presents Around the World in 80 Days. Around the World in 80 Days By J[...]
Support The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Support The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Vote for The Amelia as the "Best Car Show". The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance was nominated [...]
June 21/22, 2019 Junie B. Jones the Musical

June 21/22, 2019 Junie B. Jones the Musical

Manatee Performing Arts Center Features A Kidz Camp Production. Join the Manatee Performing Arts[...]
June 20, 2019 World Refugee Day

June 20, 2019 World Refugee Day

Take A Step On World Refugee Day. In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee[...]
June 21, 2019 Friday Fest

June 21, 2019 Friday Fest

Van Wezel Kicks Off 2019 Friday Fest. Sarasota's favorite free outdoor concert series, FRIDAY FE[...]
June 20, 2019 Art And A Movie

June 20, 2019 Art And A Movie

Join The Ringling For A Screening Of Ai Weiwei's Film Human Flow. Join The Ringling for a film s[...]
Angie Murph Joins The Steven R. Greenberg Team

Angie Murph Joins The Steven R. Greenberg Team

Steven R. Greenberg Adds Licensed Title Agent. Angie Murph has joined the offices of Steven R. G[...]
June 18, 2019 International Sushi Day

June 18, 2019 International Sushi Day

Give The Gift Of Sushi! June 18th is International Sushi Day, and the first year it was celebrat[...]
June 17, 2019 Monday Night Jazz Cabaret

June 17, 2019 Monday Night Jazz Cabaret

Jazz Club Of Sarasota Presents The Danny Sinoff Trio. On June 17th at 7:30pm join the Jazz Club [...]
Happy Father's Day Dad!

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Ed Sr. - 89 And Not Stopping! Happy Father's Day Dad! Love You! Father's Day The holiday was[...]
June 19, 2019 Voyage To A Dream

June 19, 2019 Voyage To A Dream

Sarasota's Bayfront Park, Deja Vu Miami's Bayfront Park Project? On Wednesday, June 19th at 11:0[...]
June 14, 2019 National Bourbon Day

June 14, 2019 National Bourbon Day

Celebrate America's Native Spirit - National Bourbon Day! There is something about bourbon that’[...]
June 14, 2019 Flag Day

June 14, 2019 Flag Day

On This Day In 1777. In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It commemorates [...]
October 19, 2019 Ungala The Evolution

October 19, 2019 Ungala The Evolution

Ungala Returns. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art announced the return of a much-loved s[...]
June 16, 2019 Opera Film

June 16, 2019 Opera Film

Sarasota Opera House Presents Faust. On Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 1:30PM join the Sarasota Opera [...]
June 12, 2019 Gauguin Nights

June 12, 2019 Gauguin Nights

Closing Event In Selby Garden's Gauguin Nights Series. In presenting the artistic world of Paul[...]
Translate »