Lely, Immokalee high school graduates chosen among 300 nationwide for leadership award

Abbigale Grensing, left, and Ruth Bellevue, right, Lely and Immokalee high school graduates, respectively, were recognized for their community service.

High school graduates from Marco Island and Immokalee were among 300 selected nationwide for a student leadership award for their community service, Bank of America announced.

Abbigale Grensing and Ruth Bellevue, Lely and Immokalee high school graduates, respectively, will join a six-week summer internship program with the Education Foundation of Collier County and get a $5,000 stipend, among other benefits, according to the company.

Grensing and Bellevue will be working in virtual sessions to develop their personal brand and produce several public service announcement videos, according to the Foundation.

Their final products will be shared throughout the county to encourage their peers to be prepared for opportunities in high school and beyond.

Grensing, a Marco Island resident, led an effort to create a high school club to help students find internships and other professional opportunities through workshops and networking.

Grensing said she worked closely with the Greater Naples Chamber's Leadership Collier Foundation to make it happen. As a result, several students won internships and shadowing opportunities, according to Grensing.

"I just really want to give back to the community and help other people who may not be aware of all opportunities around them," she said.

Following the internship, Grensing will start working toward a degree in business at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Bellevue, an Immokalee resident, was president of her school's chapter of the National Honor Society, leading community service projects like preparing Thanksgiving food baskets and Valentine's Day cards for the elderly.

"I really like it a lot because when we gave it (a Valentine's Day card) to them they said nobody had ever done that for them," she said.

Following the internship experience, Bellevue will start working toward a degree in medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University after receiving a full scholarship.

"I'm hoping that my story can impact someone else, it can inspire them to do the same and hopefully strive for better things," she said.

Contact Omar at omar.rodriguezortiz@naplesnews.com, and follow him on Twitter as @Omar_fromPR. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.