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Bloom Project to honor ‘kings’ at virtual event

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The Bloom Project will honor four high school seniors during a virtual event at 4 p.m. April 18.

The students — or kings, as the organization prefers — have gone through the Bloom Project’s programs, which include mentoring and career and college readiness, and have started fundraising for their scholarships.

The ceremony, Expressions of Gratitude, is available for ticket holders only. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Register here.

This is the seventh year for Expressions of Gratitude, which usually happens in December. The pandemic delayed the event this year, leaving less time to fundraise. The students’ scholarship amount is based on how much money they raise through sponsorships and donations.

Arnetta Scruggs, the Bloom Project’s founder and executive director, said each senior received about $1,500 last year.

“A lot of our young kings wouldn’t have other opportunities to attend college if they didn’t have this funding,” she said.

Scruggs estimated about 80% of students have gone on to a four-year college, but the scholarship money is also good for trade or technical schooling.

Shawn Gooch, a senior at Franklin Central High School, joined the Bloom Project in eighth grade and said the program helped take him out of his comfort zone and grow as a person. He’s one of the seniors who will be honored at the event.

“I wasn’t really a confident speaker,” Gooch said, “so they got me to believe in myself in speaking in public places.”

Gooch said he plans to attend IUPUI and study psychology with a minor in criminal justice. He wants to be a criminal analyst or perhaps a counselor for children in the criminal justice system.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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