Eric Knellinger Presidential Scholarship Recipients


US Federal Contractor Registration is pleased to announce that St. Petersburg College students Sylvia Cardenas, Tatsiana Picard, and Chelse Crump are recipients of the first annual Eric Knellinger Presidential Scholarship.


Eric Knellinger Presidential Scholarship Recipients

US Federal Contractor Registration gives one or more scholarship – aimed to help students enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university, or high school students who have ben accepted at a two- or four-year college or university, pay for tuition and/or books – to the student or students who demonstrate an awareness of government contracting, regardless of area of study. To demonstrate this, students must write and submit a 1,500-word essay on the government buying process.

“I enjoy giving back to my community, be it through my church or other organizations,” said Knellinger, “but I am also a father of a high school senior who is beginning to make decisions about where he wants to go after he graduates.”

“Being in a position to help students is something I’m grateful that I can do,” Knellinger added.

US Federal Contractor Registration received hundreds of essays from students around the country, but Knellinger and his team realized that essays sent by three area students really captured what government buying is all about.

“Succeeding as a government contractor isn’t easy. Even the SBA says that working with the government is tough. So to find so many young people interested in or knowledgeable the process provided us with an embarrassment of riches,” said Knellinger.

In her essay, Cardenas made clear the idea that to succeed as a government contractor, “you must find out where real opportunities are” and “make sure government buyers are aware of your company and its strengths.” In her essay, Picard focused on contracting trends, such as projected increases in infrastructure and IT spending. In her essay, Crump explored why companies should make good and ethical decisions and how these types of decisions can ultimately – and positively – affect a company’s bottom line and access to available government contracting opportunities.

Knellinger, who met with the scholarship recipients on July 6, said after that it’s one thing to read someone’s name and essay and make a decision, but it’s even more gratifying to meet the student and realize that you’ve made the right decision.

“Each of the young women are poised to go very far in their lives,” said Knellinger, “and I’m grateful that I get to play a small role in their educational pursuits.”

Meet the Fall 2017 Eric Knellinger Presidential Scholarship recipients:

  • Sylvia Cardenas, from Clearwater, Florida, is pursuing an associate’s degree at St. Petersburg College
  • Tatsiana Picard, from St. Petersburg, Florida, is studying nursing at St. Petersburg College
  • Chelse Crump, from Palm Harbor, Florida, is pursuing an associate’s degree at St. Petersburg College, with an eye toward moving into the medical field