happy monday!

Happy thoughts this Monday from a Valencia scholarship recipient:

On this morning, Monday morning, I woke up dreading the start of a new school week. Do not get me wrong – I love school, but you know how Mondays are. The weekend is over and now you have five days of work! However, this Monday was a little bit different. Just like every morning, I check my email for any last minute information that the professors have sent out and instead I found an email from Valencia Community College. This email stated that I have received a scholarship. This has made Monday my favorite day of the week!

As you can tell, this is my thank you letter so let me start off by saying: Thank you! I cannot even begin to tell you how this scholarship money will come in handy. Currently, I’m a student enrolled at Valencia Community College going for my associate of science in nursing. As well as Valencia, I’m also enrolled in a concurrent program at University of Central Florida, going for my bachelor of science in nursing at the same time. This program is limited with only 28 students admitted this year, with two already dropped so we’re down to 26. My projected graduation date from Valencia is May 2012 – then I will go on to take my NCLEX to become a registered nurse and I hope to make the professors proud!

One day, I hope to become someone that makes differences, maybe not to the whole world but at least in someone’s life. I want to be a nurse that patients would be happy to see when my shift starts. I plan to go on to get my master’s in the future. The sky is the limit!

Thank you again for this wonderful surprise!

learning day: valencia employees give back to the community

More than 1,000 Valencia Community College employees collectively undertook a massive public service project Friday as a way of giving thanks for the community’s ongoing support.

It was all part of Learning Day, an annual event in which all college campuses are closed and faculty and staff gather to focus on the college’s learning-based mission.

Traditionally, activities have been campus-based and involved a variety of activities.

This year, employees started the day off by gathering under one roof — UCF Arena — for a rare convocation.

Attendees heard from distinguished alumni about how Valencia helped shape their lives:

Eddie Ruiz, principal of Jackson Middle School. Ruiz received his AA degree in 1999 and went on to graduate from UCF two years later. He is currently in the doctoral program at UCF. Before becoming a principal, he worked as a science teacher. He was a finalist for Orange County Teacher of the Year in 2006. Note: He attended Jackson Middle as a teen.

Abeer Beshir Abdalla, a 2005 Valencia grad — also named that year’s Distinguished Graduate – who works as a writer and communications specialist in Washington, D.C. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCF. She is also a former president of Valencia’s Alumni Association.

Francis Angibeaud Montjen, a Cameroon native who earned an AA degree from Valencia in 2002. Since moving to the United Kingdom, he’s received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southampton and is currently working on a master’s degree in finance and banking at Queen Mary University in London.

Following the convocation, employees jumped on buses for a ride to Moss Park in southeast Orlando.

Their mission: spruce the place up for the enjoyment of the entire community.

At the park/campground, employees:

– Widened and mulched the Bear Island Nature Trail.

– Replaced old guide poles and filled potholes.

– Cleaned up landscaping at the park’s entrance, removed invasive plants and cleared vegetation in certain areas to enhance sight-lines.

– Raked volleyball courts and filled with new sand.

– Cleaned playground equipment.

– Cleaned and refinished picnic tables, fire rings and grills.

Valencia teamed with Hands on Orlando, a nonprofit group that connects volunteers with service projects, to organize the Moss Park clean-up.

Valencia President Sandy Shugart thanked employees at the end of the day, saying he liked the idea of a collective service learning project because it presented the rare opportunity for employees of the far-flung college community to come together in one place. 

Choosing a public park as a focus instead of splintering across different projects had deep meaning too, he said.

“A park is great because it represents the community,” Shugart said.

For more information:  http://www.valenciacc.edu/learningday/

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

valencia closed feb 11

All Valencia campus locations will be closed for Learning Day on Friday, February 11th.

Learning Day is a college-wide event designed to provide an opportunity for Valencia employees to come together and collectively focus on Valencia’s learning-centered mission. Learning Day 2011 will be unlike any Learning Day we have ever had. For the first time, this year we would like to extend an invitation to all part-time and adjunct employees to attend this day of learning, service, and celebration. You won’t want to miss this opportunity reconnect, lend a hand, and celebrate Valencia’s commitment to being an extraordinary learning community.

For more information please visit online:  http://www.valenciacc.edu/learningday/

restaurant sponsors for A Taste for Learning

Please visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the event into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough when restaurants come with decor, fresh signature dishes, supportive staff and nothing but enthusiasm for scholarships. Thanks to our restaurant sponsors that have already commited to this year’s A Taste for Learning!

– Rosen Shingle Creek
– Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana
– P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

I know that we are greteful for their continued support of our mission, and look forward to the many goodies that they will provide this year.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a restaurant sponsor, please contact Valencia Foundation at (407) 582-3150 or foundation@valenciacollege.edu. See you there!

the crucible comes to valencia

The Valencia Character Company will present “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. Showtimes are Feb. 16-19 and Feb. 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 20 and 27 at 2 p.m., with an additional matinee on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at Valencia Community College’s East Campus.

A dark and disturbing look at the Salem witch trials of 1692, “The Crucible” explores a society whose very soul is on the line due to wild accusations and widespread hysteria. Miller wrote the play as a parable for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s crusade against communist sympathizers. More than just a period piece, the play’s theme of the deadly consequences of unchecked rumors and fear mongering may well have parallels in the modern political landscape.

Miller’s work will be directed by John DiDonna and designed by Valencia theater professor Michael Shugg.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, and $8 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Seating is limited in the Black Box Theater, so advance ticket purchase is suggested and latecomers may not be seated until intermission. Please be advised that this play contains themes that are not suitable for children under age 10.

For reservations or further information, please call the box office at 407-582-2900. Tickets are also available online at www.redchairproject.com.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

valencia film program alumnus shows film at OLA Fest

The Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival’s seventh edition opens Thursday, with four days of movies, music, talks and a staged reading of a play.

Full story: film festival orlando: Ol – OrlandoSentinel.com.

Orlando filmmaker Aaron Hose is a Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida film program alumnus who works in video production at UCF.

“Tony was doing things around town to make people aware that Taiwan was not just Chinese, that there were these tribes that were there before the Han Chinese came and took over the culture,” says Hose. “His mother, who had died, had never told him she was from the Atayal tribe. We thought ‘There’s a documentary in that story.'”

Hose spent years documenting former Orlandoan Tony Coolidge‘s search for the indigenous heritage his mother hid from him all his life.

Filmmaker Aaron Hose shot "Voices in the Clouds" in locales from Orlando to Taiwan. (Aaron Hose, Voices in the Clouds / February 3, 2011)

Full story:

film festival orlando: Ol – OrlandoSentinel.com.

Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/movies/os-movie-story-olafest.2011-20110204,0,5117464,full.story

3 in motion

Kristin Anthony (from left), Christin Carlow and Cara Carper perform Yow Dance's "Empty," part of the "3 in Motion" program. (photo by Selena Moshell)

Yow Dance, Valencia Dance Theatre and Dr. Phillips students team for ‘3 in Motion’

A trio of dance organizations bands together tonight for “3 in Motion,” a free production on the first day of ArtsFest, the annual festival of arts and culture run by United Arts of Central Florida.

The twist to “3 in Motion”? Each group is at a different level of development: The dancers come from the Dr. Phillips High School dance magnet program, Valencia Dance Theatre at Valencia Community College and Yow Dance, an Orlando professional company.

“The idea is to really get the three different groups intermixed,” says Eric Yow, artistic director of Yow Dance.

During the show, each group performs numbers from its repertory — but what the public sees is just the final event in a three-day educational program.

Beginning Wednesday, the companies met for dress rehearsals, master classes, mini-performances for Dr. Phillips students and a sometimes emotional discussion about life as a dancer.

“The room kind of sizzles” during the discussion session, says Kathy Follensbee, dance director at Dr. Phillips High.

Yow says the students are transfixed by stories from the real world: “They have it from the horse’s mouth — because these [professional] dancers are doing it, are living it.”

In past years, the professionals have become emotional when discussing the challenges in their careers.

“Some of my dancers really opened up,” Yow says. “It was a real heartfelt discussion. Some of the dancers cried.”

The students soak up an incredible amount of knowledge in a short time, Follensbee says, from technique to how to behave professionally during a warm-up session.

“Any time you work with people of a higher caliber, it raises your game,” she says.

The enthusiasm of one group ignites the others, says Suzanne Salapa, director of dance at Valencia Community College.

“We all eat, sleep and breathe dance,” Salapa says. “We share the same belief system — to get dance out in Orlando.”

Because each troupe has its own flair, the “3 in Motion” program lets the audience experience a variety of contemporary styles. “It becomes really special because it’s about education — not only for the three companies but for the community,” Follensbee says.

The joint performance perfectly represents the collaborative nature of ArtsFest, says Margot Knight, United Arts president.

“The more you get creative minds together, the better the product,” Knight says. “When we get creative people in a room together exciting things happen — and audiences like it when exciting things happen.”

See for yourself

  • What: ‘3 in Motion’ contemporary dance program
  • When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Dr. Phillips High School Performing Arts Center, 6500 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando
  • Tickets: Free. Go to artsfestFL.com and click on “Schedule.” Then scroll to page 8 of the schedule and click on the “Tickets are limited” icon.
  • Call: 407-355-3200

Source: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_arts_letter/2011/02/yow-dance-valencia-dance-theatre-and-dr-phillips-students-team-for-3-in-motion.html

free tax help for low-income residents

IRS-trained tax preparers will be available to assist members of the community with their 2010 tax returns and electronic filing at Valencia Community College. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, low- to moderate-income individuals and families (incomes of $60,000 and below), students, the elderly, the disabled and those who don’t speak or read English well can receive free tax assistance and electronic filing on the following dates:

 East Campus – Feb. 12 & 26, Mar. 5 & 19, Apr. 2 & 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Bldg. 7, Rms. 113/117

Osceola Campus – Feb. 4, 18 & 25, Mar. 4 & 18, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Bldg. 3, Rm. 330

Volunteer tax preparers will provide assistance with completing the 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040 forms, along with schedules A, B, EIC and 2441 (childcare deduction). Any other returns must be approved in advance by calling the appropriate contact person at the location you plan to visit (listed below).

Those interested in getting tax help are asked to bring the following:

–        All W-2s, W-2G and social security amounts

–        1099s, 1099R, Interest and Dividend Statements

–        Documentation to show other income

–        Total paid for daycare provider and daycare provider’s tax ID number

–        Copy of last year’s return if available

–        Social Security cards for you, your dependents and/or spouse

–        Driver’s license or photo identification for you and your spouse

–        Proof of bank account for direct deposit of refund (e.g., voided check)

For more information, contact Walter Martin at the East Campus at (407) 582-2849 or wmartin@valenciacc.edu, or Mabel Machin at the Osceola Campus at (407) 582-2291.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee.

Source: Carol Traynor

take stock means a chance at college

On Thursday, Feb. 3, Take Stock in Children of Orange County will hold a ceremony to recognize and celebrate its new and returning student participants, as well as their parents, mentors and community and corporate sponsors.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. in the Special Events Center (Bldg. 8 on Valencia Community College’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

This year, 24 seventh-grade students from local middle schools will be inducted into the program, bringing the total number of participating students to 108.

Take Stock in Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed, starting at age 12, by providing college scholarships, volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to the program’s success.

“The generous support of Take Stock in Children by founding partner Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and Mears Transportation has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “This will have a huge impact on our community.”

Just last week the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Valencia Foundation in support of Take Stock in Children.

Attending Thursday’s ceremony will be:  Commissioner Daisy Lynum, City of Orlando; Bill Sublette, Joie Cadle and Nancy Robbinson, Orange County School Board; Commissioner Lui Damiani, Orange County Government; Ron Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools; John Newstreet, regional director, office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio; Bill Dymond, president, Florida Citrus Sports Foundation; Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports; Linda Landman Gonzalez, Orlando Magic and Valencia Foundation chair; Betsey Bell, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; T. Picton Warlow IV, Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation; and guest speakers Adonal Foyle, former Magic player and director of player development for the Orlando Magic, and Tom Stroup, SWAT commander and host of the NBC reality series “School Pride,” which tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools.

This year’s inductees include students from Howard Middle School (Selena Acevedo, Brook Bonner, Jacob Davis, Mahagony Davis, Daylees Guzman, Quiniya Howard, Destiny Lane, Jacob Mclemore, Mallorie Paulk, Natalie Raphael, Irene Rodriguez, Trinh Tran, Asia Watson, Devon Watson and Tia Williams); Lee Middle School (Umesha Beckwith, Taymel Christian, Jacob Henderson, Briana Murphy and Alaysia Sims); and Lockhart Middle School (Briana Campbell, Kevin Diaz, Robert Massaline and Anthony Swingle).

Valencia Community College brought Take Stock in Children to Orange County in 2008. The first class of student participants is now in the tenth grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

Since 1995, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving students in the state of Florida, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships.

To volunteer as a mentor, provide a tax-deductible contribution or to obtain more information about Take Stock in Children of Orange County, please contact 407-582-3336 or takestockinchildren@valenciacc.edu.

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications