Education

Cylea Lyrio Scholarship Fund benefits 10 UWF Latin American students

The Cylea Lyrio Scholarship Fund has been established to benefit Latin American students at the University of West Florida. Ten students from Brazil, Colombia and Honduras will receive the first awards for the Fall 2022 term.

The fund, created by the family of Cylea Lyrio, provides need-based support to Latin American students who are enrolled full-time at UWF. Lyrio, a native of Brazil, tragically lost her life in 2021. Her family, consisting of many UWF alumni, established the scholarship fund to assist Latin American students and honor Lyrio’s legacy and commitment to the community.

Lyrio’s daughter, Frenchy Ramos Moore, said, “My mom left all she knew in Brazil to pursue the American dream. She wanted to provide my brother Yuri and me with a better future and she believed that our only chance to succeed in America was by pursuing higher education. Yuri and I are both graduates of UWF and we wanted to honor our mother’s life by establishing the Cylea Lyrio Scholarship Fund. Our goal is to help other Latin American families thrive by providing them with the financial resources to pursue higher education at UWF.”

The fund was possible through generous contributions from Lyrio’s family, friends and community members as well as matching funds from the State of Florida. Scholarship recipients will also receive an out-of-state tuition waiver.

Student Gabriela Da Costa Correa Martins said receiving the scholarship is helping her dream of becoming a nurse in the United States come true. “As Latin American students, we are looking for a better life through education, and as immigrants in a new culture and country, this can be very challenging. I feel grateful and honored to receive the scholarship and to know that there are people who, even with such sadness, still think about helping others. Knowledge takes you to incredible and extraordinary places. Ms. Lyrio and her family have left a beautiful legacy of love and perseverance.“

Rachel Hendrix, UWF director of international affairs, said, “The Office of International Affairs is honored to be able to utilize these generous contributions to support this initiative as a tribute to Ms. Lyrio’s beloved legacy in our community. These scholarships are making many students’ dreams of studying in the United States a reality by significantly reducing their total tuition costs.”

UWF’s Office of International Affairs fosters a climate of inclusive excellence in today’s global society. This unit encourages a greater understanding of the global community for students, faculty, staff and the greater community through academic and cultural programming, as well as support services.

For information about UWF’s Office of International Affairs, visit uwf.edu/international.

For more information about giving to UWF, visit uwf.edu/give.