Foundation Recognizes Outstanding Scholar

Foundation Recognizes Outstanding Scholars Wellington Community Foundation Awards $4,500 To Three 2024 Arle & Ken Adams Scholarship Recipients

By Shannon Anastasio

On Tuesday, May 21, amid the melodic tunes at Village Music Café, the Wellington Community Foundation presented the prestigious Arle & Ken Adams Scholarship to three exceptional members of the Class of 2024: Rachel Ireland, Jaden Browning and Sophia Amro Gazze. These remarkable students have demonstrated outstanding dedication, leadership and commitment to their community, embodying the spirit of service cherished by Arle and Ken Adams.

The Arle & Ken Adams Scholarship holds a special place in the heart of Wellington, named in honor of a pioneering couple, whose unwavering dedication and service to the community have left an indelible mark. Ken Adams, a former Palm Beach County commissioner, was a firm believer in the power of community and the importance of nurturing future leaders. When the Wellington Community Foundation established its scholarship program, it was only fitting to immortalize the Adams’ legacy by naming it after them.

Their tireless advocacy for the community led to remarkable achievements, and Ken’s involvement with the foundation further solidified the couple’s dedication to Wellington’s seniors, children and veterans. Although Ken Adams passed away in 2020, following his wife in 2017, their spirit lives on through the scholarship that bears their name. The Arle & Ken Adams Scholarship seeks to uplift future leaders, fostering better tomorrows. The 2024 recipients exemplify the values championed by the Adamses, displaying exceptional promise and a strong commitment to making a positive community impact.

Rachel Ireland, a student at Wellington High School, has been recognized for her exceptional academic performance and dedication to community service. With a GPA of 5.007, Ireland has demonstrated her passion for biological science and research. Her involvement in the National Honor Society, the Music Honor Society, the American Sign Language Honor Society and theater, where she choreographed the school musical Mamma Mia!, reflects her commitment to both academics and the arts. Her future aspirations lie in the field of genetics and molecular biology, where she hopes to make significant contributions.

Ireland thanked the foundation’s board of directors and Scholarship Committee members James Seder, Joanna Boynton and Don Gross for honoring her with the award. “Being selected for this honor is truly humbling,” she said. “Wellington has undoubtedly prepared me for my future, from the support of my teachers at Wellington High School, to the mentorship of the physical therapist at USA Sports Medicine Wellington, who graciously took me on as an intern.”

Jaden Browning, a student at Suncoast High School, stands out for his academic excellence and commitment to community engagement. With a GPA of 5.32, he aspires to pursue a major in chemistry. His achievements in the Academic Games, along with scoring in the top one percent nationally on both the SAT and ACT, highlight his academic prowess. Outside school, Browning dedicates his time to teaching computer coding to young people and participating in various community service activities, including food bank distributions and beach cleanups. His future goals revolve around becoming a research scientist, where he aims to make impactful discoveries.

Browning shared how he worked with Wellington Community Foundation founder Tom Wenham to assist in locating other veterans in Wellington and share the inspiring Red, White & Blue Jeans “A Salute To Our Heroes” event invites.

“When I met with Mr. Wenham to see how I could help, we had wonderful discussions about his military service, his dedication to community service and how he supported veterans for years,” Browning said. “I was impressed. I really was inspired by Mr. Wenham’s commitment to service in this area.”

Sophia Amro Gazze, a student at Florida Atlantic University High School, has been recognized for her academic excellence and leadership abilities. With a GPA of 5.48, she will attend the FAU Honors College to study cellular neuroscience. Her involvement in the dual-enrollment program at FAU has allowed her to accumulate three years of college experience in high school.

As president of the Mock Trials, captain of the Science Olympiad, vice president of the Model United Nations and senior thrower on the track and field team, Gazze has exhibited exceptional leadership skills and dedication to extracurricular activities. Her future aspirations include serving as both a healer and an activist in her community, leveraging her knowledge to make a positive impact.

“This scholarship stands on a strong foundation based on leadership, servitude and the future,” Gazze said. “It is such an honor to have received this prestigious recognition and to represent a strong generation of action and positive change.”

The Wellington Community Foundation extends its heartfelt congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients. Their exemplary achievements and dedication to community service embody the values cherished by Arle and Ken Adams, and their future endeavors promise to inspire and uplift the community.

As the 2024 recipients embark on their academic journey, the Wellington Community Foundation remains steadfast in its mission of “building a stronger community.”

For those who wish to support the Arle & Ken Adams Scholarship, or become involved in WCF’s mission, learn more at