remembering fallen heroes

Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) hosted a memorial service on April 27 to honor Orange County Deputy Brandon Lee Coates who died in the line of duty last December.

Deputy Coates attended basic recruit law enforcement training at CJI in 2006. His wife, Orange County Deputy Sheriff Virginia Coates, is also a graduate of the program.

Donna Marino, donor stewardship manager at Valencia Foundation, announced at the ceremony that a memorial scholarship fund had been established in memory of Coates. An initial gift of $500 was made by students now enrolled in the same class that Coates once was.

Numerous law enforcement officials from central Florida, along with Deputy Coates’ widow and mother, Debbie Griffin, attended the ceremony.

Inscribed in a memorial monument that stands at CJI were these words:

“This monument is dedicated to the valiant men and women that have selflessly given their lives to protect the innocent and preserve the American way of life. We honor the valor in their hearts and the fortitude they showed in the face of death. As recruits at this academy, we strive to walk the path they have laid before us. To be as brave, chivalrous, and have the same courage under pressure. We celebrate their lives, their sacrifice, and the hope they inspired in us all.”

CJI’s ceremony was the first of many local, state and national law enforcement ceremonies that occur each May to honor officers who have died in the line of duty.

To make a donation to the Brandon Lee Coates Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit Valencia Foundation’s Web site at

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

take stock in children of orange county

Take Stock in Children of Orange County is administered by Valencia College, in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. It is part of a statewide program that provides underserved children with a college scholarship and a mentor in the effort to help them stay in school, earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce.

This program is based on the principal that given extensive support, motivation and accountability, children will work hard to ensure that they graduate from high school and attain a college degree. Take Stock in Children of Orlando funds the college scholarships and student services through a unique public-private fund raising model, and the mentors generously volunteer their mentoring services to the children.

Take Stock in Children’s multi-year commitment to at-risk children is also an investment in the community. The education of a child is an investment in their future and an assured way of breaking the cycle of poverty.

The goal of Take Stock in Children is to continue to reduce the number of high school drop-outs and to increase the number of students who finish college and enter the workforce successfully.

Participating children begin the program in the eighth grade and continue on until they graduate high school. They must sign performance contracts agreeing to get good grades, exhibit positive behaviors and remain drug and crime free. In return, they will receive a 2 + 2 Florida Pre-Paid scholarship, which provides two years tuition at any community college followed by two years tuition at any state university.

For more information or to make a donation to this support the program, please visit Take Stock in Children of Orange County or contact Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, Director, Orange County Take Stock in Children or e-mail

traditions! class songs and class support

2010-2011 Class Songs & Class Support

Raise Your Glass
I Made It

This year three, yes 3, songs have been selected to play at commencement – celebration at its best after the years of hard work! Plug in and preview Firework, Raise Your Glass, and I Made It here!

A 2nd tradition is continued this year: current students along with past alumni are working together to help future Valencia students attend college.

Any gift to support students, no matter how large or modest will help a future Valencia Student! You have many ways to contribute to the 2010-2011 class gift – in any amount!

  • Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations Office (407-582-5483) on West Camppus in the Special Events Center – Building 8
  • Have card will travel? Make a credit card donation of any type by filling out the online form.
  • Just the text – feel free to text VALENCIA to 20222 to make a $10 one-time donation that will appear on your next phone bill.
  • Or donate $10 at and enter your phone number – don’t forget to reply YES on your cell.

Your help with the student effort is needed and appreciated!

Text VALENCIA to 20222 to donate $10. Or visit and simply enter your cell phone number. Donations will be applied to Valencia’s Student Government Association Scholarship. Visit for more details.

A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Valencia Community College by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help.

valencia students are programming champs of intercollegiate competition

Valencia’s computer programming students took on students from Seminole State College and  Brevard and Lake Sumter community colleges at the first annual Intercollegiate Computer Programming Competition held in late March.

Gabriel Arvam from Valencia won first place and a $500 prize by being the first to solve four programming problems. The competitors could choose their language from amongst C, C++, Java, C# or Visual Basic.

“When I first saw the problems, I was afraid that nobody would be able to solve any of them in the time they had,” said Colin Archibald, computer programming professor at Valencia East Campus. “They were very challenging.”

Competitors were presented with four programming problems and given just three hours to complete as many as they could. Winners were determined by the number of problems solved and the total time taken.

A second Valencia computer programming student, Brent Richardson, took second place and received $250. The third place plaque and a $100 prize went to Jonathan Lundstrom from Seminole.

The team trophy was won by Valencia.

Archibald said, “We had a large team at the competition, and the more advanced students won the prizes, but the students who are earlier in their studies gained some valuable experience in the competition, and we should have an even stronger team next year.”

Professional software developers from AAA, Clear Channel and Lockheed Martin served as judges. Additional support and prize money came from EA Sports and Disney.

The competition, which took place at Seminole State College’s Lake Mary campus, was organized and hosted by Seminole Professor Dick Grant and was partly funded by a National Science Foundation grant.

The NSF grant had been awarded to UCF and the four participating colleges (Seminole State, Brevard, Valencia and Lake Sumter community colleges). The main goal of the grant is to create a new educational pathway—the Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Development. This UCF degree is designed for graduates of the partnering schools’ Associate in Science Computer Programming and Analysis degree programs. The new bachelor’s program is expected to begin offering classes this fall.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

parent information sessions

If you are the parent of a graduating high school senior you are encouraged to attend on of our Valencia parent information sessions

These evening sessions are scheduled on all campuses throughout the month of May. 

Information will be provided on multiple areas of interest including: Residency, Financial Aid, Orientation, Testing and more.

For session dates and to register online please visit the PARENT INFORMATION website at

valencia takes second in national collegiate recycling competition

Valencia Community College has placed second among nearly 200 colleges and universities that competed in the waste minimization category of RecycleMania, according to final results released today.

This is only the second year that Valencia has participated in the friendly eight-week competition that ended April 2.

Schools competed in various categories highlighting ways to handle recyclables. The waste minimization category recognized efforts to reduce waste at the source.

“This not only involves our recycling efforts but also how we work, teach and learn in our facilities,” said Jerry Cochran, Valencia’s recycling coordinator, in a college-wide email he sent out shortly after final results were announced.

“We have demonstrated to our peer institutions that by reducing our waste stream, the impact on the environment has been significantly altered and the Green movement is alive and thriving at Valencia,” Cochran wrote.

“Next year’s goal is to take that No. 1 position,” he added.

Valencia placed fourth in the waste minimization category in its first year of competing.

For all the RecycleMania stats:

For more about Valencia’s recycling efforts:

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

valencia celebrates earth day with farmer’s markets, vegan food, music

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, but Valencia Community College is getting a jump on things by scheduling activities at various campuses earlier in the week.

The lineup:

Osceola Campus has scheduled activities from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, mostly in the area of Building 2. They include an “eco-adventure” speaker in the auditorium whose topic is “Around the World in 90 Minutes.” The main event begins at noon outside Building 2. Participants can decorate clay pots and then plant seeds in them and also make personalized bumper stickers. Organic chai tea will be offered.

West Campus has scheduled activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the Student Services Building patio. Among them: a plant and bird house sale by the Office of Sustainability; a farmer’s market, shredder truck, resource fair and other attractions by Peer Counselors; plant seeds and shirts and organic chai tea from Valencia Volunteers; a vegan barbecue by Phi Theta Kappa; and a performance by singer Jason Levassuer at 1 p.m.

East Campus has schedule activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the mall area. Among them: 20-minute yoga sessions starting at 1:10 p.m.; a T-shirt giveaway; decorate a clay pot and choose from 150 native plants and herbs to put in it; and a performance by the Commercial Music Ensemble.

Winter Park Campus got the earliest start of all, celebrating on April 7 with a farmer’s market, a T-shirt giveaway and a salad/wrap bar.

For information about the history of Earth Day and how it is marked around the world, visit the Earth Day Network at

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;