News And Events

Central Florida ESU Gives Away $100,000 in Scholarships to Celebrate 100 Years of Service!

(Left to Right): Malcolm Butler (School of Teacher Education Professor and School Director), Curtis Proctor (School of Teacher Education Director of Advancement), Pamela "Sissi" Carroll (UCF Dean of the College of Community Innovation and Education), Barbara Hughes (Central Florida E-SU President), Reta Jackson (Central FL. E-SU Scholarships Committee Chair), Jan McClure (Central FL. E-SU Education Committee Chair), Brett Carrier (Central FL. E-SU Communications Chair)


Orlando, Florida - September, 2021- During this unprecedented time, when CNBC reported that one in four teachers considered quitting at the start of the school year, the Central Florida Branch of the English-Speaking Union has donated $100,000 to the UCF College of Community Innovation and Education. To honor both founding member Jessie Drey and The Centennial of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, 1920-2020, the Central Florida Branch is establishing The Central Florida English-Speaking Union Jessie Drey Memorial Scholarship program to support and encourage practicing Central Florida educators to remain in the profession as they pursue graduate studies at the University of Central Florida. 

Education was Drey's passion, and she trusted the E-SU branch she helped to establish in 1960 to continue her mission by bequeathing to them over two million dollars more than 25 years ago. She particularly wanted to guide the use of E-SU funds to provide educational opportunities for students, educators, and branch members through programs and projects. The wording of her will made clear that she did not wish the E-SU to spend this generous fortune on "brick and mortar" projects. Over the years, the Central Florida E-SU has carried out Jessie's wishes, keeping alive her vision of educating for the enrichment of individual lives and their roles and influence on the lives of others. Through the stewardship of dedicated leaders since Jessie's original bequest, the E-SU Jessie Drey Endowment has grown to over $5M. Ever the wise investors, the organization has never touched the principal, using no more than 5% of a 3-year average of earnings in any year. 

Successful money management has allowed the Central Florida E-SU to increase the numbers of teachers it sends abroad for intensive summer coursework at universities in the UK., to extend a number of E-SU United States initiatives, and to support a host of branch initiatives designed to meet the needs of our local community. (See full list). Now, in response to the obligation to honor and continue to fulfill Jessie's vision, the E-SU is poised to support educators just when they most need it. 

Under the Central Florida English-Speaking Union Jessie Drey Memorial Scholarship, qualified program candidates at UCF may apply for up to $10,000 to complete a Master's, Specialist's or Doctorate degree in Education, in the areas of Elementary Education; Secondary Social Studies; or Secondary Language Arts from the UCF College of Community Innovation and Education. Applicants must be a current teacher in Orange, Seminole, Lake or Osceola County and be enrolled in a UCF graduate degree program. 

"The ESU is helping teachers carry on seriously important work today---building up not only their knowledge base but also recognizing that their work has a professional knowledge base and a social-emotional core, as well, and that each has to be tended and nurtured.  It is such a joy to know that with your vision, Mrs.Drey's splendid gift will be passed forward so that it can have an impact on the lives of teachers and their students." Pamela "Sissi" Carroll, Ed.D, UCF Dean of the College of Community Innovation and Education.


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