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Buddy & LAURA Blain High School Scholarship

AWRA Florida offers at least one (1) $1,000 scholarship to Florida High School Seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in academic performance and community involvement and have an intent to pursue academic studies in water resources-related fields of geology, engineering, ecology and/or marine biology at a Florida college or university. The scholarship recipient(s) will also be awarded a student membership to AWRA Florida for the following year. The Scholarship(s) will be awarded upon confirmation of enrollment in a Florida college or university. Applications must be received by Friday, April 12, 2024.

Lester "Buddy" Blain was born in Plant City in 1927, as a fourth generation Floridian and great-grandson of the Plant City pioneer Captain Francis William Merrin, who founded The Plant City Courier in 1884. Buddy was instrumental in the enactment of the Florida Water Resources Act and the promulgation of rules that today define and guide water management in Florida. Buddy served as a director and officer of the AWRA Florida and was a nationally recognized expert on water law and resources. Buddy passed away on July 20, 2016.

The 2024 Application form is available here.

2023 Recipients 

Jake Phillips – Ft. Lauderdale High School

Jake will attend UF this Fall in a prestigious new program called Innovation Academy. He plans to focus on water resources but has not set a specific major yet. He is in the top 10% of his class, graduating with Cambridge and AP Capstone diplomas. He is active in community volunteering, his high school’s environmental club, and loves to kayak in Florida and hike our National Parks.

Past Recipients


No recipients


Leonardo Torrico - Jupiter


Sydney Cloutier - Pensacola


Ariana Boland - Hollywood

Kelsey Campanelli - Fort Myers

Alexis Preiss - Windermere
James Bible - Sebring

Cole Kolasa - Brooksville

Abby Marion - Deltona

No award

Ryan Herrring - Gainesville
Jake Nagle - Gainesville

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