Eastern Florida rewards Piscatelli's hard work with scholarship

After two weeks of learning about golf as well as life, the 24th annual P.J. Wilson and Henry Scott Youth Golf Camp concluded Thursday with 10 awards being passed out to the participants.

The annual scholarship award went to Gianna Piscitelli, a rising senior at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School during the awards ceremony at the Ralph M. Williams Student Center on Eastern Florida State College’s Cocoa Campus.

The scholarship covers tuition for two years, giving Piscitelli time to achieve the requirements to receive an Associate in Arts Degree from Eastern Florida State College.

“It means that over the years I have proved myself not only as a golfer but as a person,” Piscitelli said. “I can now go and pursue my dreams without any financial burdens.”

Piscitelli’s journey into the world of golf began when she was in the seventh grade.

“I wasn’t playing any sports and I looked at my parents and said I am going to join the golf team. They looked at me like I was crazy, ‘You have never picked up a club!’” she recalled.

“So I just walked on to the team and they welcomed me with open arms. I started as the No. 8 player. I wasn’t playing in any tournaments or anything, just practicing with them and now I am going into my senior year and this will be my second year as team captain.”

 She also has her career path mapped out, which is why the scholarship will mean so much to her.

“(I’m) going to work with marine animals and behavioral psychology, so here I want to get my AA, and then if the opportunities rise I would like to transfer to FIT for marine psychology or go to the Keys to get into marine training,” she said “… I have a lot of opportunities open now.”

It was a tough selection for Eastern Florida State College men's golf coach Jamie Howell and the rest of the panel of coaches who recognized several players for their hard work in the camp.

"From the first day of camp, Gianna arrived prepared and was looking forward to learning more about golf," Howell said. "She never complained or showed frustration thru-out the process and was a good teammate to all in her group

Medallion Awards were given out to campers in three groups: Instructor Roosevelt Jackson's group for beginning golfers who have never played; instructor Isaac Johnson's group for intermediate golfers who have some background in the game and Howell's group for experienced athletes who have played and competed.

 Awards in Jackson’s group went to: Most improved: Michael Rodriguez; Sportsmanship: Zander Bamforth; Best attitude: Jacob DeRushie.

From Johnson’s group, it was: Most improved: Giovanni dos Anjos; Sportsmanship: Abby Compton; Best Attitude: Nicholas Ziegler.

Howell’s group awards went to: Most improved: Isaiah Bolton; Sportsmanship: Tommy Davidson; Best attitude: Dylan Benson.

The camp began in 1992 under the guidance of former EFSC President Dr. Maxwell King with assistance from Scott and Wilson, two African American golf professionals in Brevard County. For years it was known as the Minority Golf Camp because of its efforts to reach out to minorities, but it has always been open to all young players.

Wilson passed away in 2000, Scott in 2002.

The camp continues with the support of EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey and the EFSC Board of Trustees.