Venkat awarded UF’s Lombardi Scholarship

As senior Serena Venkat sat in her seventh-period yearbook class recently, she checked her phone, anxiously waiting to hear from the University of Florida. After completing 12 essays and a mandatory in-person interview, Venkat hoped to be one of the 11 finalists selected to receive the school’s coveted Lombardi Scholarship. At 5:30 p.m., Venkat got her call, she had won the scholarship.

UF Lombardi scholars receive $2,700 every fall and spring until they earn their undergraduate degree, and they get four fully funded summers of experience programs, which include three international programs and a domestic leadership expedition.

According to the school’s website, the Lombardi Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship offered by the University of Florida. Each year a panel of distinguished UF faculty select 11 students from a pool of more than 200 nominations.

“The call was only about two minutes long, but I was freaking out for the entire night,” Venkat said. “UF is definitely a really strong college option for me, and I intend on eventually going to law school so it would be nice to have an inexpensive undergraduate education, so in that respect UF is pretty strong. I will say Lombardi is a really great program and I’m really happy to have been accepted for it.”

Guidance Service Professional Mike Drake explains why Lombardi is a bid deal.

“In my entire time at this school, only one other person was awarded the Lombardi scholarship and this was around 15 years ago,” Drake said. ” I would say it is the most prestigious scholarship that a freshman at UF can get; there’s a lot of things the scholars get that other students don’t. “It’s always good for the reputation of a school when its students receive prestigious awards and we are very happy with Serena.”

By Logan Couture