A Raffle to the College of Your Dreams


Photo by Jeinily Bencon

Marissa Levinson, Staff Writer

   The beginning of the rest of our lives depends on these adolescent years and the paths we choose to take. Students across Florida who strive to reach the next educational milestone can enter The Florida Prepaid Raffle for the chance to win a full college scholarship.

   Set in motion this past December, the Florida Prepaid Scholarship Raffle closed on January 24th, 2022 with over 600 participants this year. On February 2nd, the winner of this exciting opportunity will be announced during the Pembroke Pines Commission Meeting through a livestream, leaving one student’s heart filled with joy. 

   A $100 entry fee goes a long way with the potential for anyone to win a full four year college scholarship. Maria Bulalacao, a member of the Pembroke Pines Charter School Foundation is especially fond of this fundraiser “because the winning student is given a once in a lifetime opportunity for a free state education through a Florida Prepaid College Plan.” This raffle offers the chance for a financial weight to be lifted off of a student’s shoulders, enabling a stress free route to the college of their dreams.

   The raffle isn’t only of service to one student, it also gives back to the school. Any money that remains after supplying the scholarship makes its way “directly back into our Pembroke Pines Charter School System,” Ms. Bulalacao clarifies. Keeping the lights on and business running smoothly at school warrants financial dues. Events like the raffle supplement any extra funds necessary. “The intent of any fundraiser held through Support Our Schools Campaign or Pembroke Pines Charter School Foundation Events is to utilize the raised monies to improve the quality of education for our PPCS students, pay for the ever-increasing school building and operating expenses, and for providing PPCS student and teacher scholarships,” Bulalacao explains. Either way, it all comes back to helping the students.

   As a tenth grade student at PPCHS who values her education, Andrea Porras determines that this raffle “is a good opportunity for students to win a prepaid scholarship to help them save up for college.” Although this fundraiser is extremely beneficial to the school as well as a lucky student, sophomore Natalia Klatt wants to ensure that it remains fair for “those who work hard to earn scholarships.” Andrea concurs, “they should also make sure that only students that really need the scholarship enter to win.”

   The use of social media has launched the idea that “first originated back in early 2011” into action. Maria Bulalacao continues, stating that they “were limited with parent and audience outreach” due to the lack of promotion to connect with students and parents in the virtual world. Now, the success of online platforms has maximized the reach of this raffle. 

   This innovative raffle provides students with a chance at receiving a free future at college as well as giving back to the school. For the upcoming years at Pines Charter, this opportunity is likely to occur twice annually.