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Governor Jeb Bush and Columba Bush Honor 2019 Arts for Life! Scholarship Winners

20th Annual Scholarship Program Honors 25 High School Seniors

Tallahassee, Fla—Today, 43rd Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), and former first lady of Florida, Columba Bush, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Arts for Life! scholarship program and this year’s scholarship winners during a luncheon and award ceremony hosted at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.  

Mrs. Bush, a passionate advocate for the arts and arts education, established Arts for Life! in 1999 to recognize the creativity and artistic talents of Florida’s high school students. In the program’s two decades, more than $500,000 in scholarships have been awarded to over 450 talented students in recognition of their achievement in the arts. 


“The 2019 Arts for Life! winners join an extraordinary company of young Florida artists recognized for their creative spirit and emerging talents, said Mrs. BushAs we celebrate 20 years of Arts for Life!, we also celebrate the inspiration and joy that art continually brings to our state, our communities and our individual livesOur sincere congratulations to these deserving scholarship recipients.”  


 Arts for Life! annually awards cash scholarships to 25 of Florida’s graduating high school seniors who excel in the arts. The 2019 winners were selected from more than 650 exceptional high school seniors from 47 counties across Florida, with students in public, magnet, charter, virtual and private schools, as well as home education programs vying for the prestigious award. This year’s scholarship winners were selected by a committee of respected experts in one of the scholarship’s six disciplines of creative writing, dance, drama, film, music and visual art. 

Prior to the luncheon, students participated in the annual Arts for Life! Artist Symposium, a panel of professionals representing several arts disciplines offering guidance and advice based on their experiences. Several of the event’s invited speakers were past Arts for Life! scholarship winners who are now accomplished professionals in artistic fields. The 2019 winners in attendance also performed or displayed their art in the discipline for which they were awarded. 


The 2019 Arts for Life! scholarship winners are:

Creative Writing 

  • Lisa Bain – Holy Trinity Episcopal AcademyBrevard County 
  • Marie Burdett – The Regent AcademySeminole County 
  • Anna Reed – Harrison School for the ArtsPolk County 
  • Isabel San Martin – Miami Coral Park Senior High SchoolMiami-Dade County 


  • Maria Kovaleski – Cypress Bay High SchoolBroward County 


  • Woodrow Helms – Baker County High SchoolBaker County 
  • Sam Marzella – Windermere High SchoolOrange County 
  • Tess Therrien – Douglas Anderson School of the ArtsDuval County 


  • Ashley Kramer – Douglas Anderson School of the ArtsDuval County 


  • Julian Gonzalez – New World School of the ArtsMiami-Dade County 
  • Jack Kessler – New World School of the ArtsMiami-Dade County 
  • Giancarlo Llerena – A.W. Dreyfoos School of the ArtsPalm Beach County 
  • Joy Quan – Atlantic Community High SchoolPalm Beach County 

 Visual Art 

  • Pradeline Charles – Lake Worth High SchoolPalm Beach County 
  • Melanie Cilella – Jupiter High SchoolPalm Beach County 
  • Olivia Feller – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High SchoolBroward County 
  • Elizabeth Kachanova – Design and Architecture Senior HighMiami-Dade County
  • Olivia Kelly – Design and Architecture Senior HighMiami-Dade County 
  • Anastasiia Korolevskaia – American Heritage SchoolBroward County 
  • Maria Kuraeva – Design and Architecture Senior HighMiami-Dade County 
  • Raphael Liy – Dillard High SchoolBroward County 
  • Michaela Meyer – Lake Nona High SchoolOrange County 
  • Cheyenne Nick – Lincoln High SchoolLeon County 
  • Carolina Rodriguez – Design and Architecture Senior HighMiami-Dade County 
  • Khanh Truong – Saint Andrew’s SchoolPalm Beach County 


View samples of these talented artists’ work at 

The Foundation for Excellence in Education would also like to thank the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Kyra SolutionsPublix Super Markets Charities and The Cobb Family Foundation for their continued support of Arts for Life!