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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Inaugural Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship Awarded in Honor of Selby Gardens President and CEO Jennifer O. Rominiecki

Sarasota, FL.| February 2, 2024 – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens announced today that it is the recipient of the inaugural Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship, awarded in honor of and in partnership with Selby Gardens President and CEO, Jennifer O. Rominiecki, who will serve as the scholarship’s first mentor.

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation envisions a world in which all people have equal opportunity to fulfill their potential and succeed in life. The Foundation reflects the legacy of its namesake, the late Sarasota-area philanthropist who made a lasting impact on numerous entities and charitable endeavors.

Selby Gardens is now a prominent part of the list thanks to the creation of the Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship will provide a pathway for successful female leadership in the business and nonprofit world by providing mentorship, opportunities to observe leadership in action, and financial support to high-achieving juniors or seniors pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte counties and holding a minimum GPA of 3.5.

In addition, the scholarship will be awarded in honor and partnership with a local female leader in the Sarasota community – and that inaugural distinction has been bestowed on Selby Gardens President and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki, who will serve as the scholarship’s first mentor.

“Mentorship is vital to the success of future leaders. I am honored to be the inaugural mentor for the Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship and to be presented with the opportunity to guide, motivate, and inspire, women seeking careers in the business and non-profit sector,” said President and CEO of Selby Gardens, Jennifer O. Rominiecki.

The scholarship will be managed by Selby Gardens with an initial gift of $25,000. The application, developed by Selby Gardens, includes an opportunity for applicants to share their connection with the mission of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

“Through Virginia’s legacy, we invest in causes that she – and we – believe in and most importantly trust in,” said lead Toulmin Trustee William S. Villafranco. “Selby Gardens is one of those causes.”  Villafranco paints a vivid picture of Toulmin. “Virginia was a strong woman of few words but what she did speak of was honesty and integrity,” he said. “During one of our initial meetings, I will never forget something she shared with me – four elements of trust that are important both individually and collectively: competency, consistency, integrity and compassion. We see those four elements exemplified by Jennifer and her work and could not imagine a better inaugural role model.”

The application deadline is March 24, with three finalists selected in April and the scholarship awarded in May (applied to the 2024-25 academic year).

The 2024-25 scholarship recipient will have a chance to be appointed to Selby Gardens’ Advisory Committee to observe Rominiecki in action, participate with local community, scientific and business leaders, and receive a one-year membership to Selby Gardens.

To apply to the Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship click here.