Jordan Pippin, center, was among 37 students from around the state to be awarded scholarships at the 2024 Sunshine State Scholars Conference. [ PSJHS | Contributed ]

Pippin honored at Sunshine State Scholars Conference

Port St. Joe junior Jordan Pippin, the Gulf District Schools Sunshine State Scholar, was among 37 students from around the state to be awarded one-year scholarships at the 2024 Sunshine State Scholars Conference in Orlando earlier this month. 

Over 100 scholars attended the 27th annual Sunshine State Scholars conference, spotlighting the state’s outstanding 11th-grade students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

With more than 111 student-scholars and their families in attendance, the two-day event, co-hosted by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation, celebrated the remarkable achievements of these young scholars. 

Selected by Florida school districts as the top 11th-grade STEM students, these scholars and their families participated in a program designed to connect them with Florida’s postsecondary education institutions and STEM-focused employers. 

This year, the scholars engaged in a dynamic “think tank,” tackling challenging Florida issues through problem-solving activities and expert presentations. Each scholar also received a new iPad courtesy of AT&T, and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment provided tickets for a day of fun and leisure.

The 2024 Sunshine State Scholars also had the opportunity to interact with representatives from Florida’s premier higher education institutions, including the Florida University System, Florida College System and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. These sessions covered topics such as college funding, interactive panel discussions with STEM professionals, and the multitude of educational opportunities available in Florida.

“The Sunshine State Scholars program recognizes Florida’s brightest STEM students and their outstanding achievements in STEM education,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “I extend my highest appreciation for their dedication and hard work, and I am hopeful these scholars will continue their postsecondary education in Florida and succeed throughout their academic journey.”

The 2024 Sunshine State Scholars conference was made possible through the support of the Florida Education Foundation and generous sponsors, including State Farm, Florida Prepaid College Foundation, AT&T, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Florida Lottery, Kyra Solutions, Helios Education Foundation, TECO, Limitless Solutions and School Choice.

For further information about the Sunshine State Scholars program and the 2024 conference, please visit

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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