Gulf Winds Cares Foundation Awards $25,000 in Scholarships

The Gulf Winds Cares Foundation awarded $25,000 in scholarships this year to five outstanding students: Kenna Alverson, Edward Bridges, Garrett Hogan, William Kroger, and John Pinette. Each student received $5,000 to continue pursuing their dreams and passions.

Gulf Winds received 66 applications for the Scholarship Program, designed to support students pursuing higher education. Eligible applicants are members of Gulf Winds Credit Union or are the children or grandchildren of members. Applications are reviewed by a committee consisting of Credit Union employees that evaluate each applicant’s academic achievements, community involvement, personal essay, letters of recommendation, and financial need.

This year, the Foundation introduced a new scholarship reserved for a student pursuing a trade career. This scholarship is dedicated to the memorial of Rex Burt. Burt, the Facilities Manager for Gulf Winds for more than 17 years, set the standard and was always ready to lend a helping hand. Gulf Winds honors his legacy by telling his story through the scholarship established to provide financial assistance to students seeking trade school education.

Since 2007, Gulf Winds has proudly granted $272,500 in scholarships to 70 students pursuing higher education.

Meet the 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Kenna Alverson

Kenna, a proud native of Atmore, Alabama, stands on the brink of graduation from Flomaton High School, where she has thrived academically while also attending Coastal Alabama Community College. Opting to pursue higher education at the University of Alabama and major in Chemistry, Alverson is on track to becoming a pediatric radiologist providing optimal care for children.

Edward Bridges

Edward, a native of Brewton, Alabama, flourished in his journey from T.R. Miller High School to Coastal Alabama Community College. Motivated by a personal experience from a back injury, Bridges’s decision to pursue biomedical engineering at Auburn University reflects his vision to

innovate prosthetic technology and bring these advancements back to his hometown, Brewton, Alabama.

Garrett Hogan

Garrett, from Crawfordville, Florida is on the cusp of completing high school. He is the recipient of the Rex Burt Trade School Scholarship. Hogan has secured acceptance into Northwest Lineman College and will pursue a career as a lineman. This decision is rooted in his desire to serve his community and restore power during times of crisis.

William Kroger

Driven by a yearning for knowledge while still in high school, Kroger embarked on a dual enrollment journey with Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida. Now pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, Kroger wants to revolutionize healthcare. His vision is to bridge the gap in medical technology by spearheading innovative diagnostic tools, therapeutic strategies, and clinical procedures to enhance patient care on a global scale.

John Pinette

John currently resides in Central Florida where he is pursuing his studies in Kinesiology at the University of Central Florida with a focus on physical therapy. He is the recipient of the Micah Williams Memorial Scholarship, awarded to an aspiring medical professional. Pinette realized his passion when he began coaching CrossFit at his local gym and witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of movement on individual lives.

About Gulf Winds:

Since 1954, Gulf Winds Credit Union has offered products and services that Move Members Forward. As a full-service financial organization, Gulf Winds provides 13 branch locations, digital banking, nationwide surcharge-free ATMs, and the support of more than 235 knowledgeable employees committed to delivering exceptional service. Gulf Winds is also renowned for its community involvement, founding the Gulf Winds Cares Foundation in January 2021 to formalize the longstanding charitable efforts of the organization. With a mission to create a sustainable funding source for community organizations that provide elder services, youth services, basic needs, and financial education, the Foundation can be depended on year after year. To learn more about Gulf Winds and the Foundation, please visit