2020 Scholarship Recipient: Brett Barnett

[vc_row][vc_column][nd_options_spacer nd_options_height=”30″][vc_custom_heading text=”2020 Scholarship Recipient
Brett Barnett” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:28|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text][alg_back_button][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, 2020 has not gone the way anyone expected and is destined to be remembered in history. After all, 2020 is the year where many of us first learned about social distancing, zoom meetings, and virtual school. From mandatory face masks to all professional sports shutting down, it just seems as if all of this isn’t real.


I am Brett Barnett. I live in Boca Raton with my mom and dad, and brothers, Kyle and Tyler. I just graduated from Olympic Heights Community High School while also taking dual enroll classes at Palm Beach Community College. I graduated in the Top 10 Percent of my class from the Olympic Advanced Placement Academy (OAPA), as well as the finance academy. I received honors for the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, and Florida Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I earned over 400 community service hours and am a Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholar, and AP Scholar with Distinction.

When the news first broke out about a virus in China, none of us gave it much thought and we certainly never expected how unconventional our senior year of high school would become. None of us had any idea that we would go from being classmates, many of us in school together since kindergarten, to finishing our classes online. We couldn’t have known that our prom, senior GradBash trip to Universal and even graduation would be canceled.


The challenges of 2020 will not define us; rather, it is how we have dealt with these obstacles that will show our true character. We have adapted to this “new normal,” in ways that make us stronger than before. Instead of hanging out together, my friends and I keep in contact through social media and weekly Zoom talks. While we did not get to have a traditional graduation, where we would walk across the stage, shake the principal’s hand, and get our diplomas, we still managed to celebrate together, albeit virtually. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” In some ways, this final year of high school for me had become more unforgettable than I had ever imagined and the Class of 2020 will always have a special bond because of what we have gone through together.


I am excited for the opportunities of the future. This fall, I will attend the University of Florida, majoring in Computer Science and a minor in Economics. I hope to use my background in computer technology and economics in a future career on Wall Street, developing algorithms for a hedge fund or venture capital company.


I would like to thank my parents, my teachers, and all the people that helped me to get where I am today. I also want to thank Ms. Ina Getzoff and all of the members of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Palm Beaches for honoring me with its annual scholarship. I am so honored to be selected by this great organization and the opportunity to represent this incredible community. Thank you and GO GATORS![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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