Scholarship Programs

Learn More About Our Higher Learning Education for High School students who wish to pursue a career in teaching, technical students, and teachers who wish to pursue a post-graduate degree in education can apply for the scholarships using the forms available on this website.

Graduation Hat Throw
Teenage Students Raising Hands


The Foundation (FREF) is a not for profit autonomous are the FREA. It provides scholarships to high school seniors planning to become teachers, assistance for retired educators facing financial crisis, and publishes scientific works of significance that relate to education. FREF is made up of ten trustees, one from each district.


They manage scholarship monies, screen applications from the local units, and grant one-year renewable scholarships as monies are available to graduating high school students who plan to become teachers.


Over forty years ago the leadership of the Orange County Retired Educators Association (OCREA) discovered that the pensions of retired teachers were not adequate for them to afford a decent place to live. A corporation was formed to secure a loan, purchase property, and build housing to meet their needs. Two housing projects were completed: the first one in 1980 and the second one in 1991. As time went by, retired teachers no longer qualified to live in this housing development due to their improved pensions. As a result, the housing projects were sold, and a non-profit Foundation was formed to manage funds received from the sale of the property. The interest, after expenses have been paid, is used for scholarships.


The Foundation has identified three non-renewable types of scholarships:

  • Academic Scholarships for Orange County Public School (OCPS) graduating seniors

  • Technical Scholarships for students from Orange Technical College

  • Educators Scholarship for an OCPS teacher working on a graduate degree.


The number of scholarships given and the dollar amount is dependent on the interest generated from the funds in the Foundation account.


This scholarship program is managed by an OCREA Committee. It was named for Ernest and Ruth Hawk, long-time local promoters of teaching scholarships. The goal is to support young people who wish to become teachers. The recipient of the local FREF nomination will also receive this one-time-only scholarship of $2000.
Monies to fund the scholarship are raised from the Little Red School House donations and the sale of used books.

District VIII Trustee

Debra Dykes Kornhaus
707 Village Lane, Apt. 707

Winter Park, Fl 32792


OCREA Committee Chair,

Richard Gomer
876 Oak Dr. Oviedo, Fl 32765 (407)-365-5744

The Foundation Board is made up of nine directors elected from OCREA membership and the current OCREA President (Ex Officio). In turn, they elect their own officers. 

REFOC Board of Directors:

  • Kim Stutsman, Chair

  • Nancy Pelse-Borowicz, Vice Chair

  • Ann Winn, Treasurer

  • Betty Sasser, Secretary

  • Janice Quint, Scholarship Chair

  • Gayle Hodges, Ex Officio

  • Brenda Alston

  • Cynthia Hubbard

  • Prince Kelley

  • Cathy Thompson