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UNF offers scholarships to youths on 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'


The University of North Florida puts its money where its mouth is — by offering a college education to three deserving community members.


The University put its mission to the test when the popular ABC television program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” came knocking.


Without hesitation, UNF offered full, four-year scholarships covering tuition, fees, and room and board to the Brewer sisters, three Northeast Florida young women who were featured on the Mother’s Day edition of the show. The students have to do their part by maintaining their grades and standardized test scores.


“At UNF, the academic profile of our freshman class rises each year making admission to the University more and more competitive,” said Deborah Kaye, associate vice president for Enrollment Services. “We are committed to providing an enriching educational opportunity to all students who meet our entrance requirements, whether they enter at the freshman or [associate degree] transfer level. We are excited to welcome the three sisters to the UNF family and look forward to working with them to help them achieve their dream of a college education.”


The scholarship recipients, who are residents of Middleburg, live with Carrie “Coach” Prewitt, an award-winning volleyball coach and physical education teacher at Middleburg High School for the past 25 years. The coach has become a beloved member of her community by serving as a mentor, counselor, confidante and sometimes a second mom to some of her students.


Two years ago, that mothering role became real when Prewitt took one of her players, Ashley Brewer (now 18) into her home along with her two younger sisters, Taylor and Gina, after their parents died. Prewitt’s former small, run-down house didn’t accommodate them and was unsafe, especially during hurricane season.


The Prewitt-Brewer family (known collectively as the “Brewitts”) took a vacation to the Virgin Islands in February while the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” design team and local builders Ark Remodeling and Construction, J.A. Long Design Builders and community volunteers — including UNF students — built them a new home.


Though the family’s circumstances have been far from ideal, the story has a happy ending — a home full of love and laughter. Now, all three girls can reach their full potential with the possibility of full scholarships from UNF. For Ashley, attending UNF has always been her dream. Now, as long as she meets UNF admissions requirements, it can come true.


The Emmy-award-winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its eighth season and airs Sundays from 8 to 9 p.m. EST on ABC.