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Governor Jeb Bush and Columba Bush Honor 2020 Arts for Life! Scholarship Winners

Arts for Life

21st Annual Scholarship Program Honors 25 High School Seniors

Today, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), and former first lady of Florida, Columba Bush, celebrated the 2020 Arts for Life! scholarship winners during a virtual celebration.

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 $600,000 in scholarships have been awarded to over 500 talented students in recognition of their achievement in the arts.

View Samples of Scholarship Winners’ Work

“Every year I am in awe of the extraordinary talent of the students that are awarded an Arts for Life! scholarship. Their dedication to their craft and their education is an inspiration to us all,” said Mrs. Bush. “This year, especially, we have seen how the arts can bring people from all across the world together and provide comfort and joy during times of uncertainty. We thank this year’s scholarship winners for their talent and we wish them our sincerest congratulations.” 

“This year’s award-winning young artists bring us inspiration and hope during a year full of challenges,” said Governor Bush. “Columba and I applaud their unique talents, their hard work, their expression and especially their commitment to excellence, even as their senior year and graduations have looked different than expected. I know they will do more than just persevere—they will continue to excel, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for each of them, in the arts and beyond.”

“Artists challenge us to question the status quo and envision a better future,” said Piyush Patel, CEO of Kyra Solutions and long-time supporter of Arts for Life! “This vocation is vital for the health and growth of our communities, especially in times of uncertainty. I’m proud to support these young artists and excited to see their continued work to envision and build stronger communities throughout our state and across the nation.”

Arts for Life! annually awards cash scholarships to 25 of Florida’s graduating high school seniors who excel in the arts. The 2020 winners were selected from more than 600 exceptional high school seniors from 43 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.

The 2020 Arts for Life! Scholarship Winners

Creative Writing

  • Farrah Cavus – Pine View School, Sarasota County
  • Jordyn Dees – Steinbrenner High School, Hillsborough County
  • Jana Kelly – American Heritage School, Broward County
  • Michelle Manunga – Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Duval County


  • Alyssa Foglia – A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County


  • Graciela Fernandez – Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Duval County
  • John Malley – Leon High School, Leon County
  • Mallorie Sievert – Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Duval County


  • Morgan Williams – Calvary Christian Academy, Broward County


  • Justin Gruber – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward County
  • Eileen Lee – Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, Pinellas County
  • Angela Ramirez – Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami-Dade County
  • Jared Santiago – Stanton College Preparatory School, Duval County

Visual Art

  • Luis Aleman – New World School of the Arts, Miami-Dade County
  • Isadora Campos – Coral Springs High School, Broward County
  • Justin Clarke – Dillard High School, Broward County
  • Francesca Cocilovo – A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County
  • Monica Lagrange Yanes – Doral Performing Arts and Entertainment Academy, Miami-Dade County
  • Amanda Nachman – Dunedin High School, Pinellas County
  • Ashley Ross – Osceola Fundamental High School, Pinellas County
  • M Jamesly Saint Louis – Dillard High School, Broward County
  • Michelle Serafimovich – A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County
  • Jillian Tarini – A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County
  • An Tran – Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Duval County
  • Julia Zhu – Paul J. Hagerty High School, Seminole County

The Foundation for Excellence in Education would like to thank Kyra Solutions for their continued support of Arts for Life!