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New Scholarship Program Identifies MC Students with Potential

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Photo by Liz McKinley

New Scholarship Program Identifies MC Students with Potential

By Jackie Holfelder


Nina Haven Scholarship, Inc. was established in 1953 to remove the financial barriers for any Martin County high school seniors who have their sights set on a college education. Over the decades, many recipients have been the first in their families to continue past high school and nearly 1000 have graduated college or university. The all-volunteer “hand on” board of Nina Haven has provided financial guidance, emotional support and networking to help the students stay the course and graduate.


Tracey Etelson, Executive Director of the non-profit Nina Haven Scholarships, Inc., recently announced that the 501(c)(3) has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, House of Hope and the Community Foundation Martin-St.Lucie to create the “Copper Key Promise Program.”


The four nonprofits collaborate to identify qualified students – who have been under-represented in the past – in the sixth and seventh grades and wrap them and their families in a blanket of services offered by the organizations.


Recipients are guaranteed a four-year scholarship to a Florida University if they maintain the grades, good citizenship and other criteria established by the Program to help them make choices that change their trajectory.


Each year, at least 20 outstanding Martin County Seniors are selected to become Nina Haven Scholars, having demonstrated a commitment to their education and the character and leadership to succeed. Now, through the Copper Key Promise Program, knowing a full tuition scholarship awaits them, more young people with need will access opportunity.


Since the groundwork for the Copper Key Promise Program was laid out two years ago, five promising students have been selected. Each student’s family participates in the interview process and is advised of the role they will be playing in supporting the child.


The collaborative partners of the Copper Key Promise Program are enthused and optimistic about embracing the challenge of equity and inclusion through this innovative and holistic scholarship approach.


To find out how you can contribute or more about the program, visit


2019 Nina Haven Scholarship recipients. 2020 awards were presented virtually


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