a second chance at life

2007 Board Member of the Year, Kay WaltersSecond Chance fund celebrated with students and friends to generate awareness and support to single mothers pursuing a Valencia nursing degree. Last month, foundation board member Kay Walters shared the mission of Second Chance fund and how her scholarship has enabled single moms to accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams.

According to the 2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1.2 million families in Florida are headed by a single parent. From this same source, some 428,000 single women are in the labor force and have children younger than 18.

Holly Kohler, a 2009 Second Chance recipient, sends her heartfelt thanks for being invited to the event: “I had such a wonderful time, and I am sincerely grateful for the experience.” Students are invited each year to share their motivating and uplifting testimonials regarding their Valencia experience.

Melissa Lowry-Vice is a three-year scholarship recipient of Second Chance. During the gathering she was kind enough to share her inspiring story about being a single mother and finding her passion in nursing. “Without your support, I have no doubt that there would be fewer women who would be able to support themselves and their children while attending college. When I graduated high school I chose to seek my EMT in order to better serve my fire department. Just before my daughter’s second birthday, my husband left me and our children. Shortly after that, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She eventually succumbed to her illness. But before she did, she had several home nurses caring for her.  Their care and assistance showed me yet again that nursing had a profound effect on the lives that they touched. I’ll be graduating in May, and I’m certain that it would have been much harder for me to be here if not for your generosity and Ms. Walter’s desire to help single mothers get a second chance at life.”

With the continued guidance of Kay Walters, Second Chance has assisted more than 45 single moms enrolled in Valencia’s nursing program through scholarships and mentor relationships. The fund has made a dramatic impact on individual student lives – and those of their families – whose prospects are changed for generations to come. Students often tell us that now their children see them as role models.

We could not be more grateful to Kay and her daughters, as well as community volunteer Dean Maguire and the many donors who contribute to this worthy initiative.