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Since 1998, Dr. Kristine Bennett has been a dedicated educator who has impacted the lives of thousands of youth in the Tampa Bay area. In her leadership and mentoring roles, she has also impacted the lives of hundreds of teachers and other school professionals to improve the well-being of our youth. In recognition of her tremendous dedication to the future of our children, the Dr. Kristine Bennett Honorary Scholarship was developed by parents, teachers, colleagues, students, and others who are grateful for Dr. Bennett’s selfless service to helping students flourish. This scholarship will be used to help high school seniors in Hillsborough County to prosper beyond high school.

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Dr. Bennett earned her Bachelors degree in English Education and Masters degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. She completed the Educational Specialist Degree from Liberty University where she also obtained her EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration.


From 1998 to 2007, Dr. Bennett taught English Language Arts and Math in schools in the Tampa Bay area. In addition, she coached tennis, volleyball and math league and frequently served as grade level leader. From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Bennett served as Building Level Administrator at Terrace Community Middle School, where she was responsible for daily operations of the school, including curriculum development, professional development of teachers, data analysis, compliance, observation, evaluation, and school safety. From 2011 to 2021, Dr. Bennett served as Principal at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, where she was instrumental in helping the school earn a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award from the United States Department of Education. Under her leadership, the school earned ten consecutive “A” grades and was a high performing charter school in Hillsborough County. Since 2021, Dr. Bennett served as the Director of Education Support for Metropolitan Ministries, a large non-profit organization that provides services for at-risk and homeless families in underserved and impoverished communities in Tampa Bay. Dr. Bennett provided leadership for the programs that serve the educational needs of children and families from early childhood to career advancement. In 2023, Dr. Bennett returned to school leadership, and currently serves as the Early Childhood Director at Trinity School for Children in Tampa



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Khushi Mathur

2023 past winner

2023 recipient, Khushi Mathur is a Finance major at the University of Florida with a focus on Business Administration and Environmental Sustainability. She is enjoying her time at UF as a member of the Gators Student Investment Club and as an intern with an environmental consulting company. She plans on continuing her research on the CO2 filter she invented next semester.


Scholarship Eligibility Criteria


  1. High school senior

  2. Hillsborough County student

  3. Good academic and behavior standing

  4. 3.0 minimum unweighted GPA

  5. Minimum 75 verified community service hours

Award Amount


A minimum of $500 will be awarded to the scholarship recipient(s) on or before May 1, 2024.

Application Process


  1. Review eligibility criteria.

  2. Complete the online application.

  3. Submit the required 250-300 word essay.

  4. Upload one letter of recommendation from a teacher, school support staff, or administrator  (**Alternatively, your reference can email his/her letter directly to Follow the directions at the top of the application for submitting materials via email.​​

  5. Upload a current high school transcript or summary worksheet (**"Alternatively [for community service hours] upload a letter from your guidance counselor verifying your community service hours).

Application Deadline


Completed application and all supporting documents must be received no later than midnight on March 29, 2024



Children of members of the Peirano Family Foundation Board of Directors are not eligible to apply.  Children of donors to the Peirano Family Foundation are welcome to apply, but will receive no preferential rating.  Scholarship applications will be subject to a blind review process by a panel of outside judges.

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