VENICE — Morgan Koss, who just graduated from Venice High School, was awarded the 2021 Freeman Orthodontics Inspiration Award.
It is put forward from TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council.
The award is sponsored by David Freeman and his wife, Tiffany Caldwell.
“(It) is presented to a student who has inspired others by overcoming unique and challenging circumstances while remaining in school and maintaining or improving their academic achievement,” according to a TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council news release.
It goes to a high school senior nominated by their principal or guidance counselor, it said.
Koss was selected “for her strength and unconquerable spirit,” it said.
Koss took rigorous courses and earned a 3.6 grade point average.
She discovered she loved theater and found friendships in the school’s Drama Club and was the lead in “The Great Gatsby.”
“Her favorite part of performing is simple — she wants to be the conduit for her audience to escape their everyday lives and deeply connect with … communal suffering and joy,” her nomination said.
Koss will attend Penn State University starting this summer and plans to study psychology to become a counselor “for people who also have gone through traumatic life events, using her own personal struggles to infuse her clients with optimism and confidence,” it said.
TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council is a nonprofit supporting Sarasota County School District Office of Community Involvement and awards high school seniors “for exemplary volunteerism and accomplishment in their schools and community each year,” it said.
Incoming seniors are encouraged to apply for the awards.
Applications are due in February; winners are notified in April.
Application information is available in October at www.TeamUpVPCouncil.org, or from high school guidance counselors in Sarasota County Schools.