J. Ollie Edmunds Scholars
2015-2016 | Matthew Sweeney
High School: Maclay School
City: Tallahassee, Florida
From excelling in the classroom to the athletic field, Matthew has had many opportunities that have helped him define what he believes it means to be a leader.
Since serving as Maclay Student Council President, captain of both varsity tennis and soccer teams, an Honor Council voting member, and key club vice-president, Matthew believes he developed skills that allow him to “engage audiences, verbalize his thoughts and inspire his peers” by working quietly behind the scenes, guiding people to the right path and playing the role as the listener.
He has also shown leadership by being one of a handful of Maclay Upperclassmen that were invited to serve as a ‘Freshman Challenge Counselors,' served as a senior ‘buddy’ to a freshman student, participated in more than 280 hours of community service, and even found time to become the kicker for the football team his senior year, where he received First-Team All-State Honors.
Matthew was named valedictorian of his class, received runner-up in the Best and Brightest Leadership Category and was selected to the FHSAA All-State Academic Team. In the classroom, Matthew “continually demonstrates a genuine desire to learn and to grow, and his altruism always extends beyond the abstract or self-serving.”
2014-2015 | Leia Schwartz
Leia Schwartz is passionate about helping others in her community — as evidenced by her more than 5,000 hours of community service.
She's held leadership roles with:
- the American Lung Association
- the American Cancer Society
- Miami Children's Hospital
- First Tee Golf Foundation,
- Camp Boggy Creek
- the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council
- and more
A talented singer and songwriter, her songs have won local, state, and international competitions. She was selected to the elite Florida All-State Reading Choir all four years of high school, and is the winner of the TV show Musical Genius.
Her experiences with the connection between music and health inspired her to found Healing Harmonies — a community outreach program dedicated to "healing through the arts" and "changing lives one note at a time."
Awards and Honors
Leia has been honored with many of the nation's top awards, including:
- Coca-Cola Scholar
- National AP Scholar
- First Tee Scholar
- Burger King Scholar
- Prude ntial Spirit of Community
- the President's Volunteer Service Award
- National Federation of High School Associations Heart of the Arts award
Leia was also named All-Dade Scholar Athlete, and was inducted into the Miami-Dade Youth Hall of Fame.
Building on the Past, Looking Toward the Future
Leia made a great impact at Coral Reef High School where she was active in student government, inducted into five honor societies, served as vice president of the chorus as well as captain of the varsity golf, swim, bowling and geography teams.
She graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA — having taken all honors and AP classes. Leia's teachers described her as "enterprising, dedicated, expressive, witty, and assertive — all the attributes needed to be a dynamic force on the college campus."
She will be pursuing a double major in music and communications and media studies at Stetson University.
2013-2014 | Kyle Edgar
Born to a military father and a Canadian mother, this dual-national lived outside of the United States for a third of his life. His unique perspective on the world has inclined him to enjoy life to its fullest — participating in:
- varsity sports
- Future Business Leaders of America
- National Honor Society
- school yearbook
- Junior Class Vice President for his school's student government
Edgar recently played an instrumental role as a state leader in the State Leadership Conference for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe Future Business Leaders of America.
During the event, one of the coordinators stated that whenever he saw Edgar,
"He had a smile on his face and was actively working on some task. This was indicative of his willingness to serve in any capacity. In my opinion he is an excellent candidate, of high moral character, with an outstanding view of the world."
Athlete and Scholar
Currently, Edgar competes on the varsity football team and is studying in the Discovery Program.
2012-2013 | Daniel Humphrey, Jamie Fields
A true leader among his peers and community, Daniel Humphrey embraces the challenge and hard work behind the many leadership roles he holds both in his high school and community.
Graduating valedictorian from Reading High School (outside of Cincinnati, Ohio), Humphrey was elected as class president in each of his four years of high school, and was also the president of Key Club and STAR Soccer Club.
Moreover, Humphrey was team captain of his varsity soccer team, and varsity mock trial team that ranked in the top 32 in the state out of more than 400 teams.
He also played an active role in:
- the National Honor Society
- Big Brother Big Sister
- Concert Choir
- school newspaper
Humphrey started a chapter of Unified for UNIFAT at his high school — a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the most destitute children in Gulu, Uganda.
Active on Campus
He is currently in the process of creating a competitive mock trial team here at Stetson University, but his involvement on campus does not stop there, as he is a member of the Student Honor Council and of the Sigma Nu fraternity, where he has already assumed the roles of philanthropy chairman and social media chairman.
Furthermore, Humphrey is currently joining with other students to create a Global Micro-Finance Brigade on campus.
While some students are content to succeed with individual honors, Jaime Fields works to benefit others as well, and assist in the overall success of other students.
Leadership is a natural characteristic for her, whether it is in the classroom, with her peers or in the heat of competition. Fields has:
- risen to the top of her class
- became editor of her high school newspaper
- achieved a number two national ranking as a freestyle kite boarder
A natural leader who feels that her greatest strength is to push herself, fellow classmates and those who surround her to achieve their best, Fields has pushed the boundaries of her abilities as well as those of her teammates, classmates and friends.
Fields' impact has been felt by the various clubs, teams, and organizations in which she has participated. These include:
- the National Honor Society
- Spanish National Honor Society
- National Art Honor Society
- editor of the Trojan Times
- Key Club
- D.A.R.E. Role Model
- Science Explorers
- varsity soccer
- varsity volleyball
Since beginning at Stetson University, Fields has been active as:
- a member of Honor System Council
- a leader of F.O.C.U.S. orientation
- a member of the new women's club soccer team
- a tutor at the writing center
- an officer of the Pre-Med club, AMSA
She also recently participated in a Global Medical Brigade to provide medical care for a community in rural Panama, and completed a summer research project on Maya medicine in Mexico.