Tallahassee, FL – The Giovanni Vitrano Foundation recently honored its annual scholarship winners at the Southwood Community Center on Wednesday, March 22. This year’s winners are exceptional student-athletes who have excelled academically, athletically, and in their communities.

Jose Gonzalez, a senior at Chiles High School, won the $6,000 Giovanni Vitrano Memorial Scholarship. Jose co-founded the Physics Club and participated in Science Olympiad, the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and more. He led the Chiles Boys’ Soccer Team to the 2022 Gio Cup Championship and the 2022-23 District Championship. Jose will attend Penn in the fall.

Betrice Drayton, a senior at Rickards High School, is the winner of the $2,000 Giovanni Vitrano Memorial Scholarship. Betrice is a talented soccer player who scored 41 goals in 14 games this season, ranking as one of only two girls in Leon County with 40+ goals. She is also an ABC 27 Scholar-Athlete of the Week award recipient and will attend West Florida College.

RJ Hosay, a senior at Maclay School, is the winner of the $2,000 Giovanni Vitrano Memorial Scholarship. RJ is the Editor-in-Chief of The Andalusian School Newspaper and a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and All-Florida Scholastic Press Association. He scored 44 goals in his varsity soccer career at Maclay and was named ABC 27 Scholar-Athlete of the Week. RJ will attend Florida in the fall.

Over 30 students applied for the 2023 Giovanni Vitrano Memorial Scholarships. In addition to the three winners, seven applicants were selected as finalists: Malcolm Gables II (Rickards), Layla Thompson (Chiles), Harrison Green (Lincoln), Grace Reichelderfer (Maclay), Corey Stavres (St. John Paul II), Jay Smith (Thomas County), Molly Russell (Florida High). All finalists would have been deserved winners, and we are thankful for their efforts.

The Giovanni Vitrano Memorial Scholarships honor the memory of Giovanni Vitrano, a Class of 2020 Leon High School Graduate and leader on the nationally #1 ranked Leon High School Boys’ Soccer team. Gio passed away in November 2021, and the Giovanni Vitrano Foundation has formed in his memory thanks to overwhelming community support following his passing.

To be eligible for the Class of 2023 Scholarships, students need a 3.2 or better GPA, have played soccer at the Varsity or equivalent club level, and reside in the Tallahassee/Thomasville media market. Applicants are evaluated based on a balanced commitment to education, soccer, and their communities.