Discover the story behind Kailee Bevilacqua and her $72,000 scholarship


Photo by Kailee Bevilacqua

Samantha Neely

Imagine hearing the news that you have been accepted to a college and had earned a major scholarship. Seems to good to be true, right? Well, for senior Kailee Bevilacqua, it was her reality. While on vacation at Disney World, she received the news that not only was she accepted to Florida Southern College, but she has also earned a $72,000 scholarship as well. Nothing can top the shock Bevilacqua felt when she first heard those words spoken to her.

“”I first heard about it by phone while I was at Disney,” Bevilacqua said. “I went into a quieter area and at first, I didn’t believe it. I was like, ‘No way, not me.”

So, what does one do when they learn that they have been given a major scholarship to one of their top schools? They tell their mom, of course!

“I told my mom because she came with me to Disney and after I got off the phone, she asked me if I was accepted or not,” Bevilacqua said. “I said yes but also guess what. She immediately gave me a hug after I told her.”

A few weeks later, a letter came through the mail to fully document Bevilacqua’s acceptance. It was one thing to hear the news over the phone but to see it written out was an entirely different story. Not only was she able to hold her acceptance letter in her hands but she got to share it with those closest to her.

“When I got the letter, I was really excited,” she said. “I felt kind of nervous and jittery at the same time. My grandparents were down, so I got to read it out loud to them, too!”


While she is grateful for this offer, she is still looking at other colleges before she makes her decision. Choosing what college to attend isn’t easy and she wants to make sure she picks the right school. Fortunately, Florida Southern College is a top contender for her list.

“I would love to attend Florida Southern College, it’s a beautiful campus and it has what I need,” she said. “I’m still applying and exploring my options though.”

Attending the right school has always been important to her. Since she was a little girl, she possessed several traits that have helped her reach her goals, like being focused and driven. It especially helped that she has always known what she wanted to be when she grew up, which helped make the college decision part a lot easier.

“College is important to me because I love chemistry and medicine and everything involved in the schooling I’ll be doing,” Bevilacqua said. “I want to be a pharmacist. I wanted that since I was in second grade and I’ve been determined ever since to attend college and get my Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.”

Bevilacqua realizes that this is a once in a lifetime experience and she is thankful for every second of it. Applying to colleges can be nerve-racking for anyone, especially if you’re not familiar with many schools. She advises upcoming seniors to prepare for college as soon as possible and to make a list of schools you want to apply to.

“My main advice for upcoming seniors is to apply for whatever you can,” she said.

Overall, this has been quite the journey for Bevilacqua. Not many people can say that they were awarded a $72,000 scholarship and she is immensely grateful for the opportunity. Regardless of where she chooses to attend, this is a moment in her life that she will absolutely never forget and will cherish forever.

“Honestly, it feels so great. I just felt like I kinda earned something cool,” Bevilacqua said.