Photo: Mark WallheiserCarol Broxton, Pharm. D. is a past recipient of a Florida Lottery Bright Futures Scholarship.
'You Can Do It'
Growing up in Crawfordville, Florida, Carol Broxton, Pharm. D., had dreams but no direct path to them until she received a Bright Futures Scholarship funded by the Florida Lottery that paved her way to a college education. Now a regional pharmacy manager in Tallahassee (for JTJ Medical Supply, doing business as Mail-Meds Clinical Pharmacy & Bliss Rx), Broxton is working to return the favor.
Looking back, what would you likely be doing now if a Bright Futures Scholarship wasn’t available at your time of need?
"I love the small town I lived in, so taking a local job and staying close to home would have been an ideal option for me. As far as going to college, I could have potentially chosen not to attend college or faced many obstacles preventing me from fulfilling my dream of becoming a pharmacist. Bright Futures opened up so many doors for me.”
Now, you’re involved in the pharmacy industry. What has been your most recent involvement in pharmacy innovation?
"At my pharmacy, we utilize innovation automation that contributes to the proficiency of our prescription dispensing process. This technology has allowed us to grow and bring new opportunities for jobs. We have added a new pharmacist and a new pharmacy technician. This gives us more time to interact with patients and focus on pharmacy itself and serving the patient.”
Have you been able to share your own story with young people?
"Absolutely. I had the opportunity to go to Florida A & M University (FAMU) and meet with a support group called My Brothers and Sisters Keepers, where I shared the keys to being a successful pharmacy student, such as time management, perseverance and having a positive attitude. FAMU also has an “Emerging Pharmacy” summer camp program for high school students. As part of that, I was asked if they would be able to visit next summer to observe our pharmacy. I said, ‘That’s awesome!’ I set up a time for a tour and to answer questions. I want them to know about scholarships like Bright Futures, and that they can make their dreams a reality regardless of circumstances or economic limitations.”
Do you think it’s important now to pay it forward?
"Oh, yes, definitely. It’s something I truly promote and I’m excited about it. I’m actually getting ready to launch a podcast, with Dr. Amy Steele, the CEO of a company called Reach LLC, which has a college reach-out program (based in Concord, North Carolina). The podcast is called 2:10, because we’re two moms and we each have five children. We want to reach the masses with the message that ‘you can do it’ and despite your background, what you’ve gone through or your limitations, there are opportunities, like the Bright Futures Scholarship, that can help you achieve your dream of higher education.”
So, is the idea of working hard to achieve goals real?
"Yes, it’s definitely real. Coming from a single-parent home, I was always told by my mom that an education is important, but we didn’t have the money for me to go to college, so getting a scholarship was a must. With good grades and the right ACT score, I was able to receive the Bright Futures Scholarship. The Florida Lottery provided a resource I needed to be able to achieve my dream of being a pharmacist.”
ABOUT THE FLORIDA LOTTERY / BRIGHT FUTURES The Florida Lottery puts education in the spotlight with the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery is committed to helping students shine inside and outside of the classroom so that they can have brighter tomorrows. Since 1988, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $36 billion* to education and has sent more than 840,000 students to college on Bright Futures Scholarships.
*As of November 2019