James Patterson, the world’s bestselling author, is creating a scholarship that will cover the full cost of tuition for Palm Beach State College students.
The Patterson Family Foundation has established scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at 15 colleges and universities across the United States, but this will be the first to benefit community college students.
The James Patterson Presidential Scholarship will fund 32 full-time scholarships, which will be awarded annually to 16 incoming and 16 second-year PBSC students. While eligibility targets students who have expressed interest in pursuing careers in education, the scholarship will be available to other full-time students as well.
“This scholarship will help students thrive and provide them an education without the financial burden that can go with it,” Patterson said. “Palm Beach State College has an impressive track record in molding students into becoming future leaders, and our scholarship will help continue that legacy.”
Patterson was formally introduced to Palm Beach State College in 2019 when he was invited to headline the college’s annual STEAM luncheon, a signature event designed to increase scholarships, business partnerships and internship opportunities to support students pursuing science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields. After learning more about the state’s oldest public community college, he felt compelled to step up to help. He called the college a gem in Palm Beach County. “What they have done is really impressive,” he said. “I can tell these are smart people.”
PBSC President Ava Parker said the scholarship bearing the name of one of the world’s most revered authors will help PBSC attract some of the brightest students in the county.
“Having James Patterson as a friend of the college speaks volumes for the progress that we have made in elevating Palm Beach State College to a level never before seen in the community college landscape,” Parker said. “Mr. Patterson now has a vested interest in what we are doing to further the academic mission of the college, and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”
Considerations for the James Patterson Presidential Scholarship begin during the current academic year, with the first scholarships to be awarded for PBSC’s fall 2020 term.