MILTON — Take Stock in Children and the Santa Rosa Education Foundation awarded $405,000 in scholarships to 27 graduating seniors who received four-year tuition scholarships.

The event was held Thursday at the Hilton Pensacola Beach. Local students raised money to give each senior an Apple Laptop — an $850 value — and a North Face backpack worth $120.

Along with senior recognitions, 38 new students signed contracts with their parent or guardian beginning their journey in the program. They have agreed to remain drug/crime free, maintain a “C” or better in their classes and meet with a mentor once a week at school.

Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a nonprofit organization in Florida that provides an opportunity for deserving low-income students to escape the cycle of poverty through education. Scholarships are funded through a public-private fundraising model in which local scholarship donations are matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation when the scholarships are purchased.

Santa Rosa County has 113 students between sixth and 12th grade in the program and more than 100 former students in college.