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FAQs

If I Am a Guidance Counselor, Where Can I Access More Information?
  • You are welcome to fill out this form for guidance counselors so that we may contact you and provide you with more information.
  • If you would like to distribute information to your students, you are welcome to use our Make a Difference Award flier.
  • Additional information:
    • We accept applications from middle and high school students from schools in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee Counties.
    • Schools with at least three applicants will have one winner. Therefore, we highly encourage schools to promote the scholarship within the student body so that at least three students apply.
    • We choose winners based on their commitment to volunteering and community service.
    • Students need recent transcripts that include their GPAs and community service hours. They also need to submit a completed application that includes a personal essay. There are two ways to apply: (1) By using the online application and (2) by downloading the downloadable application and emailing it to us at makeadifference@blslawyers.com. We also accept letters of recommendation, but these are not required. Students can submit letters of recommendation via our online or downloadable application.

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Who Can Apply?
  • This scholarship is for high school and middle school students in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee Counties.
  • To be eligible, a student must be on track to graduate in good academic standing.

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Can Homeschool Students Apply?
  • Homeschool students are welcome to apply if their schooling complies with Florida’s homeschool law. They must also live in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, or Lee County and be in middle or high school.
  • Please write “homeschool” for every question that does not apply (such as school name). Please also include equivalent information where applicable (for example, if a private tutor teaches the student, list the tutor’s information instead of a guidance counselor’s).
  • All homeschool students must submit a transcript showing their evaluations or grades and community service hours.

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What Do We Look for in Applicants?
  • Students must have extraordinary experience in volunteering or community projects that make a difference in the lives of others.
  • To apply, students must provide recent transcripts, fill out the application, and write a concise essay. The essay must describe the community service project(s) in which they participated over the 2022-23 school year.

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What Are the Requirements for the Application?
  • A completed online application includes the following information:
    • Phone number with area code
    • Home and email address
    • Grade
    • School information
    • Previous honors and awards
  • A current high school transcript
  • A personal essay following our prompt

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What Is Our Essay Prompt?
  • Students must type a thoughtful, well-written essay that describes their experiences working to help others in their communities. The focus should be on self-directed volunteerism that exceeds the service requirements mandated or sponsored by the school. The essay should meet the following formatting criteria:
    • 1.25-inch margins on all sides
    • PDF or .docx formats preferred
    • 300-word minimum
    • Student’s full name, grade, and school name visible on each page

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Can I Send in my Documents as Links?

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Do You Accept Letters of Recommendation?
  • Yes, we accept and consider letters of recommendation, but they are not required.

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When Is the Deadline to Apply?
  • March 3, 2023.

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What Should I Do if I Don’t Know the Answer to a Question on the Application?

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How Do We Choose Award Winners?
  • Every middle and high school in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee Counties with at least 3 applicants will have exactly one winner.
  • A team in our firm will review the applications and choose scholarship winners based on their history of and commitment to community service, as well as academic merit.

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How Does the Selection Process Work for Homeschool Students?
  • All homeschool students will be aggregated into one “school” for selection purposes. One homeschooled student will win if there are at least 3 entries from homeschooled students.

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What Have Previous Winners Done in the Past?
  • Previous winners have organized charity fundraisers, taken part in advocacy, encouraged civic engagement, and participated in various volunteering and community service projects. These exceptional students have worked to provide resources for underprivileged youth, protect the environment, uplift the voices of the silenced, and support those who need it the most. Our past winners have been inspired from personal experiences with their families, mentors, communities, and friends to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
  • The projects our winners have supported are as diverse as the many needs of our community. However, one fact remains the same: They all share an exceptional commitment to community service.

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Why Do We Recognize Students?
  • We provide the Make a Difference Award as a THANK YOU to the young leaders who inspire us with their volunteer activities in Southwest Florida. By recognizing and motiving these young leaders with this scholarship, the Scheiner family hopes to make their commitment contagious.

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How Many Individuals get Recognized per Year?
  • There is no limit on how many individuals can receive the Make a Difference Award. In the past five years, there was an average of 13 high schoolers and 3 middle schoolers who won each year, but there have been as many as 16 high schoolers and as few as one middle schooler selected. The number of winners of the financial award depends solely on the number of schools with at least 3 applicants.

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Is There a Limit to How Many Individuals Can Be Recognized?
  • We will select one individual to receive the scholarship in each school where there are at least 3 applicants for the year.
  • There is no limit to how many schools in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee counties can have a winner.

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How Many Students Have You Recognized?
  • We are fortunate to have recognized many exceptional students throughout the years. Just in the past 10 years, we have honored over 130 middle and high school students.

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How Are the Winners Recognized?
  • Middle school winners will receive a cash award of $100.
  • High school winners will receive a cash award of $250.
  • The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash award of $1000.
  • A representative from our firm will attend the award ceremony at the schools and present the award there.
  • We have traditionally held a luncheon to celebrate the winners. We hope to continue this tradition while adapting to pandemic conditions.

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When Are the Winners of the Make a Difference Award Announced?
  • Winners will be announced to the public in June 2023. We will announce the winners of each individual school at the school’s awards ceremony.

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Can This Scholarship be Used to Pay for College?
  • Yes, Make A Difference Award winners can use the financial award as a scholarship for college, but it is not required.

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Where Can I Ask More Questions?

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
Bruce L. Scheiner and his team were the most friendly people I've ever met they genuinely cared about me... I highly recommend them Brooke Krause
★★★★★
I was really satisfied with services I received. Bruce is not only an attorney, but like family. He got me three times what I thought I would receive and was always there when I needed an answer on something. I'd say he is the best attorney I have dealt with in my 68 years. Harry Zulauf
★★★★★
I found working with the BLS firm to be a very good experience. They kept me informed on my case, answered all my questions, and were prompt when I needed assistance. Wendy Walker
★★★★★
I was in an accident and BLS was very helpful and gave a lot of support. If I had any questions, it was just a phone call away. Everyone in the office is very nice and helpful. Celeste Thompson
★★★★★
We had a wonderful experience with everyone here. The staff and attorneys were friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate. They inquired about our injuries and our recovery. I would highly recommend their services! Heather Bair Daniels
★★★★★
I have nothing but good things to say about this law firm. I can honestly say that I am very satisfied with their work and my end results. I would absolutely recommend these set of attorneys to anyone. Thank you guys for all the hard work! Merida McDonald
★★★★★
BLS was incredibly helpful with my case, even during the hard challenging periods of my case Bruce & PJ were always just a call away. Even though they couldn't answer my call at that direct moment, they ALWAYS made a point to call me back. The staff at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner were always helpful and friendly, if they didn't have the answer they would always call me back with what I needed to know. Robert Drawdy
★★★★★
I was in a car accident and I seen his Advertisement on TV and I was very impressed of how kind and caring he really is to others and I called them and they took my case and they were very caring and understanding .. they were right on top of everything from being to end and the staff that works in the Fort Myers office were very friendly I would recommend them to a friend or family member if in need of a attorney... Thank you for your services and you made me feel like part of your family. Christina Mauro