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Scholarship Success Stories: Amy Gross

Name: Amy (Anderson) Gross

Chapter: Beta Psi Chapter at the University of Florida

Scholarship Received: Bertha Bodian Scholarship

Current Position: Founder and CEO of a tech startup


"Yes, it was a nice feeling to be recognized for my academic and leadership efforts. But it also definitely made a difference in funding my education."

How did your Foundation scholarship impact you and your career?

In 1993, I received the Bertha Bodian award/scholarship. At the time I was my chapter's Archon (Beta Psi) and also paying my way for college at the University of Florida. My parents were unable to assist in tuition, books and other living expenses while I was in school. I was completely reliant on scholarships, grants and a part time sales job which I held during breaks from school.


I remember receiving the award and feeling so encouraged in my endeavors at school-- both academically and in the extra curricular activities-- and also feeling so relieved to receive the scholarship dollars. Paying my way through school was not easy and this most definitely helped.


Since graduating from the University of Florida in 1994, I have held several jobs in my field, my favorite being the PR and Marketing Director at the Children's Museum of Houston. At the museum I established a trend of front page coverage locally and also national coverage in such outlets as USA Today and the New York Times. I was the museum's spokesperson and a regular guest on local TV. This visibility enabled the museum to raise more funds to reach more children and parents, guiding parents in supporting their children. When I became a mom, I leaned back on all I had learned and shared while at the Museum, and valued that job even more.


While staying at home rearing my three children, I launched a blog, MomsToolbox. MomsToolbox was and is a hobby, not a business. With it I encouraged moms globally and also guided thousands through reading the Bible, cover to cover, in just 90 days several times. MomsToolbox helped me to put to use things I learned at the University of Florida while pursuing my journalism degree, things I learned as a Phi Sigma Sigma undergraduate and things I learned at the Museum to help others.


Now my blogging days are sparse, as I am a tech startup founder and CEO. My business uses machine learning and sensory science to build and power recommendation engines in wine and beer, with ambitions to move into coffee, tea, chocolate, cheese.... and all things you buy at the grocery store.


We help businesses help their consumers to navigate big lists to find what they really want, personally. Not only does this help the shoppers get what they want, it helps the businesses reduce waste in learning what their shoppers want... and giving it to then. In building VineSleuth, I assembled a team of sensory scientists, flavor evaluators, applied mathematicians, software engineers and more. It's been quite a journey!


I am ever so grateful to Phi Sigma Sigma for the scholarship I was awarded in 1993. Yes, it was a nice feeling to be recognized for my academic and leadership efforts. But it also definitely made a difference in funding my education.


Learn more about Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation's Scholarship and Grant program, here. The deadline for 2020-2021 scholarships is March 25, 2020.