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BY SARA MATTHIS Funds raised during the weekend long festival go right into the college funds of hardworking fishermen’s children and grandchildren. Since the inception of the Marathon Seafood Festival 42 years ago, more than $195,000 has been donated to the community, including the Organized Fishermen of Florida, Marathon chapter scholarships. Five scholarships were given to Marathon High School graduating seniors last year — Samuel Zambrano, Gabriel Gonzalez, Alyssa Turner, Clay Daniels and Mia Bruno. Here’s an update on Zambrano and Turner:

SAMUEL ZAMBRANO FRESHMAN, FSU Samuel Zambrano is pursuing a degree in athletic training with an eye toward becoming a physical therapist.

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At Marathon High School, where he graduated in 2017, he ran cross country, played soccer from sixth to 12th grade, and played football his sophomore, junior and senior year. “I learned a lot about injuries. I got hurt a lot, quite a bit,” he said. “But I want to learn about the body’s recovery process. How the body works interests me, how it heals itself. That’s what I want to learn more about.” Dorm life has been a bit of an adjustment. “It’s an older building, but the people here are really friendly,” he said. He hopes to be able to visit Marathon for the Seafood Festival. Although it is a 588mile drive — one way — it does coincide with Spring Break. Go, Noles!

ALYSSA TURNER FRESHMAN, FSU “I want to focus on conservation and ecology,” said Alyssa Turner, a freshman at Florida State University, “and possibly minor in math.” Turner’s father is a lifelong commercial fisherman and she said her interests coincide with what she grew up hearing about at the dinner table.

“I heard him talk about how regulations affect what happens on the boat. The truth of it is that it goes both ways — science affects regulations and regulations can affect the science in the wild,” she said. A 2017 Marathon High School graduate, Turner was invited to participate in a special university program called WIMSE — Women in Math, Science and Engineering. She lives at Cawthorn Hall with other young women who have similar “STEM” interests. “It’s great to connect with the other women in the same field of study. If I struggle with a course, I can get help from someone. And if I understand a class, I can help them out,” Turner said. “It’s provided us with an opportunity to network and also get to know some older students and professors.” Turner has volunteered at the Marathon Seafood Festival in years past, and hopes to attend in 2018 as well.

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Marathon Seafood Festival 18