2019 Friends of Gumbo Limbo Scholarship
and Grant Details
High School, FAU, and Graduate Grants (below)

The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is committed to supporting education and research on coastal and marine ecosystems, particularly those unique to our own South Florida region.  Friends of Gumbo Limbo is pleased to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors (incoming college freshmen) and research grants to graduate students at Florida universities to further that goal.  There are Gordon J. Gilbert merit-based scholarships and one Charles N. Kurucz Memorial need-based scholarship available for application on this webpage.

Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex first opened to the public in 1984 as a nature preserve set amid one of the few surviving coastal hammocks in South Florida. The Center’s Mission is to increase public awareness of coastal and marine ecosystems through research, education, preservation and conservation. 

Through the efforts of local residents, the city of Boca Raton purchased this wooded area that spans the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic dunes.  Part of the land was set aside for environmental education and it is this portion that became Gumbo Limbo.

The Friends of Gumbo Limbo was formed even before the Center existed, and helped guide the formation of what the Center is today. We have several scholarships thanks to the legacies of individuals that have been true pioneers.

The Gordon J. Gilbert Scholarship

The first director of Gumbo Limbo was Gordon Gilbert, a former science teacher at Boca High School and one of those foresighted persons who worked to make land preservation of what is now Red Reef Park (including Gumbo Limbo) a reality.  He taught marine science out of his station wagon near the beach, and influenced several generations of students who are now returning with their children.

Charles N. Kurucz Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Charles N. Kurucz was the first in his family to attend college and went on to obtain a PhD and become a professor at the University of Miami for over 35 years. An avid sailor, he was always a huge supporter of marine conservation, especially in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. His Family has carried forth this passion for the marine sciences in their involvement with Gumbo Limbo since 2003. 

The Messing Family FAU Junior/Senior Grant 

Longtime volunteers and donors to Friends of Gumbo Limbo, Phil and Judy Messing have been consistent supporters of the mission of Friends of Gumbo Limbo. Their support for programs, projects, and for the future education of the next generation of scientists and marine professionals motivated the Messing Family FAU grant. Believing that students are the driver for change in the coming decades, Phil and Judy are proud to support their education and Friends of Gumbo Limbo. Grant is available for rising juniors and seniors at FAU, and are awarded in the fall of the upcoming semester.


Scroll down for High School and Graduate Level Scholarship Information


High School Level
Gordon J. Gilbert Scholarship
Charles N. Kurucz Memorial Scholarship

Online Application *Required*

High School Seniors apply online here!


Scholarships

The Board of Trustees of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Inc. has established multiple high school senior scholarships named to honor Gordon Gilbert and offers a single need-based Charles N. Kurucz scholarship.

The Gordon J Gilbert merit-based scholarship awards $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors who plan to continue their education in a marine-related major that ties into our conservation, research and education mission. 

The Charles N. Kurucz Memorial need-based scholarship awards one high school recipient with $2,500 for their freshman year of college, and grants eligibility for $2,500 in their sophomore year of college if the student maintains full-time student status (24 credit hours or equivalent) with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (or equivalent) for the first year.

Selection of recipients will be made by the Scholarship Committee of Friends of Gumbo Limbo. All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for all scholarships for which they feel they are eligible. The selection committee will evaluate the credentials of each applicant in making the award decisions, and their decision is final. All awarded scholarships are contingent on completion of 40 volunteer hours at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center during the summer of 2019 (optional service or project may be discussed for winner of the Charles N. Kurucz Memorial Scholarship).

Winner Notification
Winners will be notified by a committee member following the interview and final selection. The scholarship awards will be sent to the college or university where the student is enrolled and credited to the student’s account.


Scholarship Eligibility requirements (for additional Charles N. Kurucz award requirements, see number 5)

1. Candidate must be a 2019 graduating senior who intends to pursue a college degree in a biological or natural science, or other marine-related field relevant to the mission of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

2. Candidates MUST submit a letter of recommendation from a science teacher or guidance counselor/advisor.

3. A minimum 3.2 GPA overall, and minimum 3.5 GPA in science courses completed is required. Candidates will be evaluated on grade point average; honors point average, academic curriculum, extra-curricular activities, personal reference, a brief essay, and a short interview that will be held on a date between March and April, 2019. 

4. The scholarship recipient must provide 40 volunteer hours at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center during the period from April 1 to August 30, 2019 or, for Charles N. Kurucz recipients complete an agreed-upon alternative project.

5. *Charles N. Kurucz Scholarship specific requirement: Applicants for the Charles N. Kurucz scholarship need to either be the first generation in their family to attend college (defined by parents, step-parents and grandparents who did not graduate from college) or eligible for the Free and Reduced Price School Meal (F&RPSM) program. Applicants must provide written confirmation of F&RPSM eligibility from their Guidance Counselor, and/or an affidavit testifying to their first generation college student status.

6. The Committee may elect to interview a short list of candidates at their discretion.

7. Submit all application materials by the application deadline, February 8, 2019.


Applications

High School Seniors apply online here! 

Online application is required. Supplemental materials may be mailed to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, ATTN: Scholarship, 1801 N. Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton, FL


Click here to download the 2018 Friends of Gumbo Limbo High School Eligibility Requirements (Word Document).


FAU Junior and Seniors Undergraduate Grant 
Phil and Judy Messing FAU Grant

Online Application *Required*

FAU Students (Junior or Senior) Apply here!


Graduate Level 
Gordon J. Gilbert Research Grant

Online Application *Required*

Graduate Students Apply here!


Grant Information
Friends of Gumbo Limbo has established a graduate level $2500 grant (per awardee) named to honor Gordon Gilbert. This grant application is open to a graduate student attending any College or University with an accredited Masters or PhD program whose current or proposed original research is relevant to the mission of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Grant funds provided by Friends of Gumbo Limbo are not to be used towards indirect costs of the academic department and the university.

Selection of recipients will be made by the Scholarship Committee of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Inc. All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. The selection committee will evaluate the credentials of each applicant in making the award decisions.

Winner Notification
Winners will be notified by a committee member following the interview and final selection. The grant awards will be sent to the university where the student is enrolled and credited to the student’s account.

Grant Eligibility Requirements


1. Candidate must have proposed or be engaged in a marine-related research project approved by the student’s major professor and is relevant to the mission of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

2. Candidates may self-nominate, or may be nominated by a professor, but MUST submit a letter of recommendation by the student’s major professor or department chair.

3. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Candidates will be evaluated on a written summary of the student’s original research and an interview with the scholarship committee which will include a presentation of the student’s research. The interview and presentation will be conducted during March or April, 2019.

4. Additionally, the grant recipient must agree to conduct a public presentation at the nature center related to the student’s research and provide the nature center with a copy of the student’s published thesis or dissertation when it is available.

5. All application materials are to be submitted by the application deadline, February 8, 2019.

Downloadable/Printable Applications

Graduate Students Apply here! 

Online application is required. Supplemental materials may be mailed to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, ATTN: Scholarship, 1801 N. Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton, FL


Click here to download the 2018 Gordon J. Gilbert Graduate Research Grant Eligibility Requirements (Word Document).


Friends of Gumbo Limbo Scholarship Supporters

 Thomas A. and Michele Kurucz Peel

Manjunath and Roja Pendakur

Dr. Paul and Cindy Homer

Phil and Judy Messing


Contact Information
Please e-mail Brandon, Scholarship Administrator at scholarship@gumbolimbo.org if you have any questions, or call 561-544-8608. Note: E-mail is preferred and a more expedient form of communication.