my first one story – Angel Sanchez

Angel at the First One campaign kick-off

Angel at the First One campaign kick-off

As we enter the final days of the First One campaign, we asked Angel to share his personal story about being a first-generation student. The campaign ends tomorrow, but there is still time to support at

My name is Angel Sanchez, and I am the first in my family to not only get a GED, but to go to college and excel at it. Despite not having the resources and guidance available to make college a realistic possibility, today I am a 4.0 honor student at Valencia College and much of it has been thanks to the support I’ve received from grants and Valencia Foundation scholarships which have made college a reality.

My story, as is the story of every first-generation college student, is the story of heroes. I feel that by going to college and defying the odds, I am becoming the hero in my family.

I was struck with this reality when I was visiting my family in Miami during the winter break and was talking with my little niece, Destiny. Destiny is 7-years-old and growing up in the crime ridden inner cities of Miami and knows no one who has ever finished school besides her teachers. Before leaving, Destiny asked me why did I have to go, and I explained that I had to return to Orlando because I had classes the following Monday. In shock, Destiny asked, “Uncle, you’re in school? What grade are you in?” I giggled and said, “Baby, I’m in college; I’m past high school,” and with sheer confidence she replied, “Uncle I’m going to go to college too.”

At that point I realized that I carried with me a great responsibility and had been given a great privilege: as a first-generation college student, not only did I have the opportunity to change the trajectory of my own life, but I was also changing the idea of what was possible for my little niece—I was given the opportunity to be a hero for my family.

However, I am not the only hero in this story. Just as I am having an impact on Destiny’s life, there have been countless individuals who have impacted my life and helped make my college dream a reality—they too are heroes!

Therefore, whenever you are able to help someone be the first in their family to do something great, such as going to college, you are being a hero, because as one of my friends once told me, “when we change someone’s life, we are changing that life plus the ripple effect.” So I challenge you today to be a hero and join me in helping other first-generation college students become heroes too!

Visit and help someone today.

5k honoring 9/11 heroes




Dear Friends,

Want to make a difference in our community? Sign up for the Valencia College Family Walk/Run for Heroes Osceola Campus 5K run and 2.5K run. All proceeds go toward the Rotary Club of Lake Nona’s Sept. 11 Memorial Fund to support Valencia scholarships for emergency responders at the Osceola Campus.

The Rotary club of Lake Nona’s September 11th Memorial Project — A flag for each of the 2,977 people that were lost on that fateful day — will be installed at the Osceola Campus for the second year.

Date: Saturday, September 7
Time: Race Start is 6:30PM
Distances:  5K and 2.5K fun run

Come and enjoy:

  • Lots of awards and fun
  • Refreshments
  • Kids Fun Run and crafts for kids under 10
  • Commemorative t-shirt and race bag
  • Flag display honoring 9/11 heroes

Go here for more information and to register.

See you there!

Your Osceola 5K Planning Committee

ALL Sponsors

free federally funded high-manufacturing programs available via workforce central! apply today!

Valencia’s office of Career and Workforce Education dedicates itself to improving the quality and impact of instruction in career and technical education programs within our college. Recently highlighted in the Orlando Sentinel, Valencia offers a six-month training program that affords its participants job training to become certified technicians and high-tech manufacturing, thus allowing them to continue onto seeking careers in automation and simulation fields.  

Receiving grant funding from the U.S. Department, Valencia has an available $4,000 to be awarded in scholarships to be used towards the cost of classes, books and certification testing. With the availability to fund participants, the workforce team has experienced a low number of applicants interested in the program.

Applicants are welcomed to apply via Valencia’s Workforce Education team as the agency is still in search of  

Students are encouraged to connect and apply throughout the month of September in order to still enroll for the fall term.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Annmarie O’Brien at Workforce Central Florida at or 407-531-1222 ext. 2080.

apply today for the hispanic business council scholarship!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship! Apply today for a chance to receive scholarship funding for the 2013-14 academic year!  

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at:

welcome back students – monday inspiration

Today is the first day of classes for the semester – welcome back students!

Here is some inspiration for all of us as we get our week started – favorite “firsts” from the Wall of Firsts that was at our campaign headquarters. Our First One campaign is a celebration of all firsts and raises money for scholarships for those that are the first in their families to attend college. There is still time to participate – visit today!


help make a difference!



Has Valencia College had a positive impact on your life or on a loved one? A college degree, a new career, a better job, renewed self confidence?

If so, please consider making a modest donation to support deserving students who are the first in their families to attend college. Every dollar matters, goes 100 percent to scholarships and will be doubled by a challenge grant.

More than 100,000 students have graduated from Valencia, and more than 60,000 will enter our classrooms next week. Our professors and staff are committed to student success, which has resulted in extraordinary completion rates, jobs after graduation, and starting salaries.

These achievements earned Valencia the first-ever Aspen Institute Prize for community college academic excellence.

We are grateful for your consideration.

apply today for the 2013-2014 hispanic business council scholarship!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship! Apply today for a chance to receive scholarship funding for the 2013-14 academic year!  

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at:

valencia to host exhibit by renowned artist, social activist luba lukova

Luba-Lukova-JPG1-I_have_a_dreamValencia College is proud to host “Graphic Guts,” an exhibit by internationally acclaimed artist and social activist Luba Lukova, which will run Aug. 16 through Sept. 27 at Valencia’s Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

Valencia will hold a gallery reception to welcome the artist on Sept. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lukova will speak at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.

The Bulgarian-born Lukova is regarded as one of the most distinctive image-makers working today. Whether by using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint essential themes of the human condition or to succinctly depict social commentary, her work is powerful and thought-provoking. In a climate dominated by complex multi-layered imagery, Lukova’s work is a refreshing contrast. Using engaging composition and energetic contrasts, her distinctive style is powerful in its simplicity and vivid palette, often achieved with single ink on colored paper.

Lukova’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the UNESCO in Paris; the DDD Gallery in Osaka, Japan; La MaMa Gallery, New York; and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work is included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the World Bank.

In 2008, she released a critically acclaimed book of posters entitled Social Justice 2008, 12 Posters by Luba Lukova. Since its publication, the posters have been exhibited widely around the world.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located in Building 3 on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. For more information, please call 407-582-2298.

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

first one: college team leaders share their stories

The First One campaign only has a few weeks left to raise $100,000 in scholarships for first generation students. The best part is that the $100,000 raised by August 31 will be doubled by a matching grant.

So far the community has contributed over $47,000 (and that does not include the match)!

Josh, Amanda and Lisa are doing their part for the First One Campaign by sharing their ‘firsts’ and leading a team – how can you help first generation college students?

This  fundraiser is a grassroots effort spearheaded by faculty, staff, students, alumni and other friends  – please consider getting involved today!

Josh, Amanda and Lisa are doing their part for the First One Campaign by sharing their ‘firsts’ and leading a team – how can you help first generation college students?

  • Lead – Consider being a team leader! You can have fun with your friends setting up a team with a ‘fun’ name online at, and then begin inviting others to join your team. Many templates, (for example a “join my team” email template) are available to make this an easy process.
  • Join – Not one to lead a team? Well, you can volunteer with one of the already established teams – simply click on the team name you would like to join and click “join team”.
  • Share – Get involved by spreading the word about the First One campaign, and share your “first” story to inspire others. Change your Facebook profile pictures and/or Twitter avatar in support, and invite others to do the same (#firstone). You can visit the Facebook ONE page for over 20 awesome options of profile pictures to choose from.
  • Donate – If you’d like to make a donation, visit the First One donation webpage, and click “give now”.

For more information and ways you can contribute to the First One campaign, contact Donna Marino, donor relations manager, at or extension 3128.

letter from the governor to valencia graduates

College Graduate

are you a 2012-13 duke energy (formerly progress energy) scholarship recipient?

Duke Energy (formerly Progress Energy)  is boosting access to female students who are pursuing a career in the engineering field.

If you are:

  • Female
  • 19 years or older
  • Currently enrolled in an engineering program, with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Live in Orange or Osceola counties
  • Have documented financial need

You may qualify for the 2013-14 Duke Energy Scholarship.

This scholarship awards $4,275 annually for 2 years at Valencia and 2 years at UCF!

The Duke Energy Scholarship is renewable! If you were awarded the Duke  Energy (formerly Progress Energy) Scholarship in the 2012-13 academic year, you may qualify for a scholarship renewal. You must meet all original requirements and be enrolled full time in an engineering-degree seeking program.

In order to apply, visit: and submit your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Your Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application may also be considered for any additional scholarships to which you may qualify for. These scholarship selections are based on donor discretion.

In order to renew your scholarship, please contact Jen Bhagirath at (407) 582-3154 or via email at: in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process.

For additional information, please visit the Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board at:

fall fee payment deadline: august 16, 2013!

Valencia Foundation

The 2013-14 fall fee payment deadline is vastly approaching!

Term charges and payments are due by August 16, 2013 in order remain enrolled in your fall classes.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships! 

The Valencia Foundation offers a number of privately funded scholarships that are donated by organizations and individuals interested in supporting Valencia’s students.

By completing one scholarship application, our foundation will then try to match you to any of our scholarships to which you qualify for. Per review & donor confirmation, should you receive a scholarship, thank you note submissions are required as a the final steps in awarding students Valencia Foundation scholarships.

Our application is available yearlong for the 2013-14 academic year. Scholarship funding is awarded as they come in to the first set of applicants that qualify for them.

Apply today for your chance to earn a Foundation scholarship!

Most scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year and has a priority deadline of November 15th for the upcoming academic year. To complete your FAFSA application, visit:

 *In order to complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarship application, visit:

*For more information on Valencia College’s important dates and deadlines, visit the Business Office’s website at:

first one – campaign extension

first-one-avatars-23The foundation’s First One campaign has been extended! We heard from some of our hardworking team leads that perhaps we were too quick to end the campaign on Aug. 11. Scheduling things in the summer months can be difficult and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be successful. We want to be sure the campaign ends at an appropriate time, and raises all the funds we can for our first-generation students.

All funds raised are still eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match and 100 percent of all money raised will go directly to scholarships.

For those of you already working on the campaign, thank you so much for your support. Yes, our campaign goal is important, but your friendship matters more. If there is anything we can do to help you reach your fundraising goal, just let us know! (

If you haven’t yet pledged your support, please visit today to find out more about this important campaign that supports education in our community.

First One Kickoff

WCF partners with Valencia College

Workforce Central Florida is partnering with Valencia College to offer training to fill a shortage of skilled workers in Florida’s high-tech manufacturing industry.

WCF is recruiting applicants and will link students with jobs, while Valencia will provide the training to become certified production technicians. The entry-level positions will create a foundation for a career in automation and simulation.

The $683,412, four-year grant, called Florida TRADE (Transforming Resources for Accelerated Degrees and Employment), will educate 200 people and pay up to $4,200 per applicant for classes, books and certification testing in Central Florida. It is part of a $15 million Department of Labor grant to deliver technical training to students, displaced and unemployed workers, current workers who want to learn new skills and veterans who are transitioning back into the workforce.

“This program will bring our workforce up to par with the skills and technology needed to fill jobs that are open today,” said Pamela Nabors, president and CEO of Workforce Central Florida. “The partnership creates a pathway for success for both job seekers and employers.”

Valencia’s six-month training program is a combination of classroom and virtual learning where student will earn nationally-recognized industry certifications.  Upon successful completion, students will have the opportunity to continue their learning during a 12-week on-the-job internship making $9 to $11 an hour working with Central Florida manufacturing companies.

“The grant is about closing the gap – getting skilled manufacturing workers to employers,” said Carolyn McMorran, director of continuing professional education at Valencia College. “The kind of work that they’ll be doing is not your grandfather’s factory job. It’s automation; it’s simulation. It’s very high tech.”

Local employers looking for high-skilled workers include a global medical-device manufacturer that uses computerized machines to create radiation therapy equipment.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to email for further information.  Applicants must meet Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligibility requirements, which can be found at Enrollment is under way for classes, which start in August and November.

Workforce Central Florida offers tools for residents of Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter counties to find a job and advance in their careers. On average, WCF provides more than 9,000 job seekers each month with services such as an online job bank, career counseling, recruitment events, training, financial aid, career assessments and internships. WCF also assists an average of 1,300 employers each month with recruitment, retention and training. For more information, visit

aha is hosting another exciting luau for alumni!

luau 3

Tomorrow night The Association of Honors Alumni (AHA) will host their 4th Annual Luau. This wonderful networking event will not only be fun, but will include tropical food and beverages, music, games and much more! Casual or tropical dress recommended!

This year’s event will be held on Valencia College West Campus, Special Events Center Bldg. 8, from 7-9 pm.
Suggested Donation $10.00.

ALL donations will support the Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship; Marleina Ubel was this year’s 2013 recipient. Donations can be made online at

womens executive council 2013 scholarship applications due august 10, 2013! apply today!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013


  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please

5K to benefit student scholarships for emergency responders

Valencia College Osceola Campus will host a Family Walk/Run for Heroes with a 5K run & 2.5K ‘fun’ run
on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds go toward the Rotary Club of Lake Nona’s Sept. 11 Memorial Fund to support Valencia College student scholarships for emergency responders.

ONLINE race registration or MAIL IN registration

For sponsorship opportunities, call 407-582-3426 or email Barbara Shell at


Valencia College – Osceola Campus
1800 Denn John Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744

Map of Location

This event is a 5K two loop course around campus.  The 2.5K ‘fun run’ is a one loop course.  The 5K will be the only officially timed event with age group awards, whereas the 2.5K will be timed but but for fun, not award eligibility.  Results for the 2.5K will be done in overall format only.

General Entry:
$25 through August 31
$30 September 1 through September 5
$35 Day of Race (cash or check only)

Valencia Student:
$20 through September 5
$35 Day of race (cash or check only)

Valencia Alumni / Retiree
$20 through September 5
$35 Day of race (cash or check only)
Day of race registration opens at 5:00PM

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE (processing fees do apply)


Mail in completed entry form to race headquarters at:Race Time Sports
478 E. Altamonte Drive, Suite 108-716
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Checks payable to: Valencia Alumni

All per-registered participants are guaranteed a special event day t-shirt.  Shirt sizes are not guaranteed for day of race registrations.

Pre-event packet pick-up:
Pre-event pick up of race number and t-shirt will be at Valencia College, Friday, September 6 from 4pm to 7pm in building 4.  Packets will also be available on race day at the race site starting at 5pm.

Awards and Timing:  5K
Awards are given in overall and age group categories.  Overall male and female, overall masters male and female and 3 deep in the following age groups:  14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 and over.

Timing: 2.5K
This event is electronically timed but for FUN ONLY.  There are NO AWARDS for this event.  All participants will received their time in an overall results format.

All proceeds will go to the Rotary Club of Lake Nona’s September 11 Memorial Fund to support Valencia College student scholarships for emergency responders.

For safety reasons, in-line skates, bicycles, and pets will not be allowed on the race course.  Headphones are discouraged.

Baby joggers and strollers are welcome to participate, however will be required to start at the back of the starting corral.

For additional race questions please email

Registration: All registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

valencia alumni news



Miriam Ivelisse Martinez ’03 earned an AA degree in General Studies from Valencia College. She graduated from UCF in May with her Master’s degree and will be working with Homeland Security (ICE).

Go Miriam!