Document 1210

How do high school students who have faced the unthinkable in their young
lives find the motivation to take their next step?
Without positive adult role models… many simply will not!
With the numerous social and cultural challenges facing our students today, it is all too easy for them to be knocked
off course, “slip through the cracks,” and fail at life before they even get started. Some kids are lucky because they
are athletes who have the benefit of support from their teammates and most importantly – their coach. Coaches may
be the only positive adult relationship in a student’s life, serving as a mentor, advisor, confidant, and advocate.
Robin Nable Wagman “Against All Odds Scholarship” recipients are student-athletes who have maintained their
high academic and athletic performance despite facing a significant personal challenge such as debilitating illness or
disease, physical disability, tragic accident or loss, extreme poverty, domestic violence, or parental abandonment.
Despite extraordinary circumstances, these individuals refused to be beaten and have endured, thrived, and inspired
their peers, teachers, counselors, and coaches. They have demonstrated a strong spirit, enduring determination,
courage, and the will to continue taking that next step, and the one after that, and the one after that, in order to live
their lives to the fullest – just as Coach Wagman did.
November 13, 1956-February 27, 2011
“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome
adversity.” Lou Holtz
Who was Coach Robin Wagman?
In the fall of 1979, a young University of Central Florida college graduate returned to Polk County, Florida to
pursue her dream of a successful career teaching physical education and coaching high school athletes at her alma
mater, Haines City High School.
Coach Robin Nable Wagman (“Peanut” to her closest friends) achieved that dream and over her 30 plus years as a
teacher, a coach, and a mentor, she impacted the lives of more than 12,000 students and athletes.
With 14 County and 13 District Championships in track and field and four District Championships in volleyball, her
leadership helped students learn to believe in themselves and work to accomplish more than they ever thought
possible. For many of her students, she was the only adult who wanted more for them than they wanted for
themselves and she pushed them to earn it.
In December 2005, Coach Wagman was diagnosed with cancer and an intense course of radiation and
chemotherapy began. Eventually, there were multiple recurrences of her cancer, followed by increasingly severe
treatments. She fought cancer, just like she coached, with heart, dignity, and unfailing determination.
Coach Wagman maintained a full teaching and coaching schedule until a week before her death on February 27,
2011. She spent those final days of her life in the hospital diligently planning the 2011 Senior Class Graduation (as
she had for the past seven years), praying that she would be there to see her students, including her own daughter,
walk the stage.
“Peanut” lived a life dedicated to encouraging and inspiring others to reach their full potential as students, as
athletes, and as members of our community. In recognition of Robin’s remarkable accomplishments, determination,
and perseverance, the Robin Nable Wagman “Against All Odds” Scholarship Foundation, Inc. was established.
Mission Statement
The mission of the Robin Nable Wagman “Against All Odds” Scholarship Foundation is to honor the achievements
of Polk County high school student-athletes by awarding college scholarships in recognition of their perseverance in
the face of adversity.
Vision Statement
Our vision is to help create the future leaders of Polk County by enabling our exceptional student-athletes to
continue their academic achievement and community service in a college or university setting.
How are we going to make a difference?
“Against All Odds” scholarships will be presented during spring graduation ceremonies. As finances permit,
scholarships will be renewable each semester, provided the student maintains a 3.0 GPA and at least 12 hours of
course credit. Scholarship recipients also must continue to demonstrate the moral ideals of integrity, conviction, and
leadership fostered by the AAO Foundation. The AAO Scholarship is an enduring award and recipient names will
be added to the AAO Plaque that will be displayed on the recipient’s high school “Wall of Fame.”
Polk County, Florida is equal to Delaware in land size with a diverse population (64.6 % Caucasian, 14.8% African
American, and 17.7 % Hispanic). The per capita income is only $21,881 with a median household income of only
With 15.2% of the population living below the poverty level, the AAO Scholarship Foundation strives to change that
by encouraging students to return to Polk County to continue to develop as model citizens, community leaders, and
successful professionals in their chosen fields.
Past Awards and Achievements
Scholarship applicants must be Polk County, Florida residents and senior student-athletes who exemplify courage
and persistence in the face of hardship or adversity. Maintaining high academic standards and sportsmanship,
despite facing any number of personal challenges, is essential.
The first scholarship was awarded in 2008 to a HCHS student-athlete who resumed playing varsity football and
achieved a starting position his senior year after undergoing surgery and treatment for cancer. In addition to beating
his cancer, the first recipient also made tremendous efforts to educate others on the risks and treatment of the
The second scholarship was awarded in 2011 to an International Baccalaureate School-East student-athlete for her
sustained dedication to academics and varsity sports. She achieved a 3.92 GPA and a starting position on both the
varsity volleyball and softball teams, while experiencing extreme emotional trauma as her mother battled cancer
during her four years of high school.
These are just two students who exemplify living life with dignity, persevering in the face of the unthinkable, and
never giving up. The “AAO Scholarship” is a stepping stone to lead these amazing students-athletes along the path
to college. Every year countless high school student-athletes in Polk County face challenges that for many would be
debilitating, but a remarkable few are driven to work harder, overcome these challenges, and achieve success in the
classroom and on the playing field.
The AAO Foundation desires to assist these outstanding student-athletes with high GPAs, distinguished varsity
athletic careers, and school leadership positions to continue their education. Worthy applicants will be able to better
afford tuition, housing, meals and books to attend college with the support of the AAO Foundation.
Please join us and help support our efforts to make it possible for these extraordinary young people to enter college
and continue their paths to successful and productive lives.
The Robin Nable Wagman Against All Odds Scholarship Foundation, Inc.; helping student-athletes
win at life, against all odds.
Significant Financial Milestones Affecting the AAO Annual Fund
In 2008, the first year of operation, the AAO Annual Fund received gifts of $5,000. In 2011, gifts and fundraising
totaled $12,000.
Future Funding Goals Affecting the AAO Annual Fund
The fundraising goal for 2012 is $20,000 from donors and fundraising projects. In 2013, we hope to raise $30,000.
From 2014 through our ten-year anniversary, we hope to raise $50,000 to $75,000 annually.
Fundraising Strategies
The AAO Scholarship Foundation will utilize numerous fundraising strategies in order to maintain and increase the
Annual Fund level to meet the expected expenditures associated with awarding and sustaining scholarships each
Our annual fundraising events at the Lake Region Yacht & Country Club currently consist of the Low-Country
Crawfish & Shrimp Boil Celebration Festival (April 21, 2012), the Robin Wagman Golf Scramble (June 9, 2012),
direct gift appeals via mail and email, personal solicitation of individuals and family foundations, applications for
corporate gifts and/or grants, and partnerships with community and county organizations (i.e. cancer societies, law
enforcement groups, Polk County public schools, local colleges and universities, churches, public and private
charities, etc.).
Opportunities for Donors
Donors who discover the AAO Scholarship Foundation mission and vision meaningful to them and are moved to
action will be acknowledged for their generous gifts, grants, and pledges of money to the Annual Fund at various
patron levels of involvement (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum). Those who volunteer their valuable time also will
be recognized.
Individuals interested in becoming a donor and supporting the AAO Scholarship Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit
corporation, may send contributions made payable to the AAO Foundation or by visiting our website at
For additional information, please contact us at:
AAO Foundation
Bob Curtis
President/Executive Director
6 Pine Forest Drive
Haines City, FL 33844
863-421-1003 (office)
863-557-6143 (cell)
863-421-2776 (fax)
[email protected]
Gifts made between January 1 and December 31 of each year are included in the lists in any Foundation report. If we made a mistake in the way
you are identified, or if your name was omitted from the gift list, we apologize. Help us correct our records by contacting the AAO Foundation at
863 557 6143 or email [email protected].
Legal and Tax Information
The official corporate name of the AAO Foundation is the Robin Nable Wagman Against All Odds Scholarship Foundation, Inc. and this name
should be used in all legal documents. Gifts to the Foundation may qualify as charitable contributions to an I.R.S. Section 501 (c) (3)
organizations for federal, estate, and gift tax purposes.