A Dover native has won a scholarship that honors a victim of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018.
Devon Ott of Dover was recently awarded one of the first scholarships from the Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation, created in memory of one of the 17 victims of the Parkland Shooting.
Gina Montalto’s father, Tony Montalto, says the goal of the scholarship is to keep her “light shining in the world.”
“She was very involved in lots of things,” he said. “She was … a girl scout. She was active in our local church. She was a volunteer at a program that helped children with differing ability levels. So what we thought [to do with the foundation] was to try and help people go out and do good things in the world. To help them achieve their dreams.”
The winners of the arts and STEM scholarships this fall were chosen based on their high grades in school and their communication skills. Jennifer Montalto, Gina’s mother, says they were also chosen because of their desire to help others.
“We are looking for someone who would embody the spirit of Gina,” she said. “So this is something that we use to keep Gina present in our lives. We want someone who is kind, someone who is smart, and someone who eventually would want to pay it forward to someone else.”
Devon Ott is a sophomore at George Washington University. She is studying graphic design, which she says can help people by increasing accessibility and inclusivity. “It helps everybody in a broad sense without even realizing because you take things and you redesign them to make them better, to make people’s lives easier.”
The $5,000 scholarship will help fund Ott’s education.
The Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation intends to continue providing students funding to kickstart their careers into the future.