By Bonnie Dyson
An outstanding history of community service won accolades and a $2,000 Bloomingdale Community Scholarship for Christopher Cerjan, 17, at the June 19 meeting of the Bloomingdale Homeowner Association’s monthly board meeting.
Cerjan, a 2012 Bloomingdale High School graduate, said he enjoys volunteering in the community. “I like reaching out to people and helping people, seeing the joy they get out of it.”
For three years, Cerjan volunteered his time at an area food pantry, now closed. He then helped out at A Kid’s Place and now volunteers at Tampa Metropolitan Ministries.
Winning the award is a great accomplishment, said Jim Harris, BHA president. “It means a great deal to the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association to give this award to a young man who so clearly represents our goal of inspiring (students) to do the best they can in the community.
“You should be very proud and I know your parents are proud,” he told Cerjan, who lives with his parents Robert and Heidi Cerjan in Blooomingdale Cove.
While looking forward to college, Cerjan says he will miss attending Bloomingdale High. Part of a military family that has moved from place to place, Cerjan said, “I liked how everybody (at Bloomingdale) was so inclusive,” and credits the school’s “strong academic and athletics” with helping him to achieve his goals.
Cerjan plans to attend the University of Florida, where he has a four-year Army ROTC scholarship. He plans to major in civil or mechanical engineering.
The Bloomingdale Homeowners Association Community B.J. Stelter Scholarship, named for the former principal of Bloomingdale High school, is intended to reward and encourage high school seniors who want to pursue a college careerr.
Seniors competing for the scholarship are selected on the basis of their community service, extracurricular activities, academics and references.
Scholarship seekers also were required to submit an essay on one of three topics. Not surprisingly, Cerjan chose a familiar topic: “What performing community service has meant to me.”
“We were impressed with his essay and thrilled with his community service,’’ said Daniel Berkowitz, BHA secretary.