Gaston Cantens: Florida Crystals Awards First Dance Scholarship to Support Performing Arts in Western Palm Beach County

Gaston Cantens congratulates Julian Wilson, a student from South Bay, Florida, who will receive thefirst performing arts scholarship offered by Florida Crystals Corporation.

Florida Crystals focuses much of its community activities in the cities of South Bay, Belle Glade and Pahokee, which line the border of Lake Okeechobee in western Palm Beach County.  Florida Crystals farms 187,000 acres in the western part of the county and owns and operates the Osceola sugar mill in Pahokee; the Okeelanta Sugar mill, Florida Crystals refinery, packaging and distribution center and New Hope Power plant in South Bay; and the Sem Chi rice mill in Belle Glade.  Therefore, the company embraces opportunities to support the communities where its employees call home.

The companyplaces a strong focus on funding educational and scholarship programs to help students reach their full potential.  Florida Crystals was approached by leaders in South Bay who requested a sponsorship for a dance student to attendan intensive training program at one of America’s outstanding performing arts schools, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which is located in New York City.

Gaston Cantens, vice president of the sugar company, who as a former school teacher has firsthand experience helping foster the growth and development of young adults, remarked, “Florida Crystals felt this was a prime opportunity to support the development of artist talent in the rural communities of western Palm Beach County.  It’s an honor to have a student chosen to represent the Glades communities at such a respected dance academy.We are happy to do our part to support Julian’s dream of attending the arts school.”

The 17 year old will attend the Professional Division 2011 Summer Intensive Program and will travel to New York to take part in specific training and conditioning programs in June and July.

Florida Crystals has repeatedlyfunded a program in South Bay called Street Beat, which offers after-school arts programs to give students in the communities a greater scope of learning and experience.  The program has shown proven results through the success of its students like Julian.

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