Our Grateful Students

Those who benefit from the generosity of Saint Leo University’s supporters are forever changed and have immeasurable impact on the world.  Here are some of their stories.


Lindsay Albanese, Class of 2015, decided to attend Saint Leo because of the small family environment and the athletics.  She instantly felt comfortable when she stepped on campus.  Her greatest learning experience has been adjusting to college in general – living with and getting along with a roommate, balancing her social life, attending swim practice and completing school work.  For Lindsay, it has all been exciting and hard at the same time but well worth it.  After graduation she plans to either attend graduate school or find her “dream job”. 

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you?  Lindsay responded, “Thank you for your very generous support.  It really means a lot to me that someone I do not know and have never met before is helping me pay for my college education.”


Lindsay Albanese '15



Plinio Alves '12

Plinio Alves, Class of 2012, elected to attend Saint Leo because of the convenience of being able to take classes on base.  Flexible scheduling allows him to arrange his time based on his work schedule and study needs.  

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you? Plinio responded, “I would like to thank the Nathan Altschuler Memorial Scholarship from the bottom of my heart.  Your support really means a lot to me knowing there is someone willing to invest money in my potential and help me reach my education goals.”


Donavan Astwood, Class of 2012, states that when he first graduated from high school in 1995, Saint Leo University was one of his top choices for college.  However, due to his lack of focus he did not apply.  Instead he attended a community and then entered the work force.  Now, almost fifteen years later he is in the same place as he was when he was eighteen.  The only difference is now he knows the value of an education and he is reaping all the rewards that it holds.  After graduation Donavan plans to work in the tourism industry.  He hopes to have a career which will give him a chance to follow some of his passions such as writing, travel and photography.

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you?  Donavan responded, “I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue my education at such a wonderful support.  Your support is a great benefit and I am very appreciative and grateful.  The fact there are generous people who are kind enough to give back to their alma mater in remembrance of someone, not only keeps the memory of Father Raphael going but also the preparatory class of 1954.”   


Donavan Astwood '12



Gwuvaria Brown '12

Saint Leo University was recommended to Gwuvaria Brown, Class of 2012, by one of her soldiers.  The student’s experience with Saint Leo was noteworthy and she remembers the soldier describing the commitment and hands on approach he received from his professors.  Right then she knew she had to have access to this type of learning.  The university’s hours are extraordinarily flexible and allow her to be the U.S. soldier, chef and mother she needs to be. 

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you?  Gwuvaria responded, “Words cannot express the joy I felt when I found out I received this scholarship.  I was online at the internet café here in Afghanistan, doing class work and saw the email and screamed.  I felt so proud.  Your generosity has enabled me to further my goals to become a success, not just for my children or myself, but for the many other single parents who think the road less traveled is unattainable.  I am humbled and honored that a mother of five and a solider was chosen.  Thank you for sharing your gift with me and blessings to you and yours.”  


Kaitlynn Diaz, Class of 2015, feels that Saint Leo was the perfect fit for her.  Kaitlynn is a member of the university softball team, works as an athletic communicator and is in the honors program.  After graduation Kaitlynn plans to attend law school with the goal of becoming a sports attorney. 

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you? Kaitlynn responded, “You have no idea how much this scholarship means to me.  I am the only one in my family going to college and making a career for myself.  The Roughgarden Scholarship is helping me pursue this dream.  Thank you so much for your tremendous support.”   


Kaitlynn Diaz '15



Jesse Robinson '13

Jesse Robinson’s mother had pushed him to apply to a college but he was concerned he would not be able to make it in college.  Turns out he is so glad she pushed because he has discovered his passion for science and learning.  Jesse’s greatest learning experience at Saint Leo came when he realized he was not here just to get a job but to create a life. 

In response to the question:  What does the scholarship support mean to you?  Jesse, Class of 2013, responded, “I wish I could hug you.  My family has been having financial issues the past few years.  Last semester I worked two jobs to pay for tuition, so the Roughgarden scholarship was a great relief.  I am truly grateful.”

University Advancement

PO Box 6665 MC2227
33701 Highway 52
Phone: 352.588.8250  |  352.588.8669