- December 19, 2018
From member to a leader, Maribel Cedillo has grown up at the Lee Wetherington Boys and Girls Club.
Friday afternoon in front of the hundreds of Boys & Girls Club members, Cedillo received a scholarship to put toward her new goal of attending the State College of Florida to plans. The funds that will help Cedillo in her liberal arts studies come from the Dick Vitale and the Vitale family.
Each year $1,000 scholarships are given to five outstanding college-bound club members to support their academic goals. Cedillo was among this year’s recipients that also include Carlos Areval, Erik Bouck, Amber Headley and Mario Portillo.
Vitale took the gathering as an opportunity to teach. He told students his personal story including times in his life when he didn't think he would succeed. Vitale explained the four D's that led to his personal success: Discipline; determination; desire; dedication.
"I do a lot of motivational speaking across this country and every person I talk to whether it be an athlete or Taylor Swift or any superstar… they have a sense of pride, they care about being better," Vitale said.
The ESPN analyst and author has been helping Boys & Girls Club members in Sarasota County make college a reality through a total of $85,000 in the past 17 years. The gymnasium at the Lee Wetherington is even named for Vitale for his generosity to the programs.
Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County President and CEO Bill Sadlo heard feedback from students in anticipation of Vitale's arrival.
"It means a lot to us because a lot of our kids are not going to have the opportunity to get to college," Sadlo said. "They give where it’s really needed and that means a lot to us."
Vitale made sure to strike a positive note with students dreaming of their futures.
"To dream is something positive," Vitale said to students. "Whatever you want to do make it happen."