7th Brazilian Film Festival at Valencia College Osceola

View a selection of the best current Brazilian films moderated by renowned producer Elisa Tolomelli.
View a selection of the best current Brazilian films
moderated by renowned producer Elisa Tolomelli.

Valencia College will hold its 7th Brazilian Film Festival from Feb. 13 through Feb. 21, with free showings of six Brazilian films. The week-long film festival is one of only two Brazilian film festivals in Florida. Admission to the film series is free and open to the public. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles.

The films will be shown on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, and at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee.

For more details, including film trailers, visit http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival 

The Brazilian Film Festival at Valencia College is presented in partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce and the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies. The films were selected by Valencia Professor Sansone and renowned Brazilian filmmaker Elisa Tolomelli, who will moderate each film and hold a question-and-answer with audience members following each film.

Below is a partial listing of films for the full listing, locations and times please visit  http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival 

BuddiesFeb. 13 at 7 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Colegas” (“Buddies”)
Cinematic stars rarely portray as much charisma nor evoke as much sympathy as the Down syndrome heroes do in “Colegas,” an adventure-comedy road movie that shines a poetic light on the simple things in life. ence along for a fantastic ride. The film will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles. Appropriate for audiences ages 10 and older.

CocoFeb. 17 at 6:30 p.m., Valencia College, Osceola Campus, Building 1, Auditorium
“Coco” (“Coconuts”)
This five-minute short feature from documentary director Luciano Mota Reis Filho captures the traditions surrounding coconut production in his adopted community of Camaratuba. The short film celebrates the

Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., Valencia College Osceola Campus, Building 1, Auditorium
“Xingu”

Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Faroeste Caboclo” (“Brazilian Western”)

Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Coco”(“Coconuts”)

Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., Valencia College West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Disparos” (“Auto-Exposure”)

Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., Valencia College West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Minha Mãe é uma Peça” (“My Mom is a Character”)

For more details, including film trailers, please visit http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival

For more information, please call 407-582-1383.

common scholarship myths

There are many myths about applying for Valencia Foundation scholarships. Our scholarships are a great financial resource when seeking higher education from Valencia College. Some myths suggest student eligibility requirements only target only a portion of the college’s student body.

Join us as we tackle these myths with facts about applying for Valencia Foundation Scholarships.

Scholarship Myths

MYTH: I haven’t submitted a FAFSA, therefore I can’t apply for scholarships…
FACT: Not all scholarships require students to submit a FAFSA application or demonstrate need.

MYTH: I applied for federal aid but didn’t qualify for financial aid, so I won’t qualify for a scholarships…
FACT: While most scholarships are need-based, not all Valencia Foundation scholarships require students to complete the FAFSA. As long as you’ve successfully completed your FAFSA application, you’ll satisfy this requirement.

MYTH: I’d have to be a “straight A student” in order to receive scholarship funding… 
FACT: Students of different enrollment statues, majors, and GPA’s are considered for scholarship funding.

MYTH: Applying for scholarships will reduce my federal aid eligibility…
FACT: We encourage you to utilize scholarship and grant funding prior to utilizing student loans as scholarship funding DOES NOT have to be repaid.

MYTH: The scholarship application process is too much work…
FACT: All it takes is ONE scholarship application. Upon submission, our foundation will then forward your application to ALL scholarships to which you qualify for.

MYTH: I don’t know where to apply…
FACT: In order to apply, visit www.VALENCIA.org and submit your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application today.

MYTH: The essay is too hard… I don’t know what to write about. 
FACT: The essay portion of the scholarship application is what allows the donor to really get to know you. Share your story, educational, and professional goals. Explain what an impact scholarship funding will make in your life.

MYTH: I can’t reach my recommender… without their reference, I won’t be able to apply.
FACT: Although letters of recommendation allow the donor to learn more about you, recommendations are not required in order to submit your scholarship application. We encourage you to connect with your recommender before listing their information in hopes to add to your scholarship application.

Don’t let another moment pass by, submit your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application TODAY!

For more information, visit: www.VALENCIA.org

bloom n grow scholarship

Bloom N Grow Scholarship

The Bloom N Grow Scholarship, an affiliate of Florida Federal Garden Clubs, Inc., was organized by a group of West Orange County women sharing a common interest in gardening and horticulture. The purpose of this scholarship is to support educational opportunities for students who have an interest in gardening and horticulture. All applicants must meet these requirements:

  • Must be Enrolled Full-Time or Part-Time.
  • Preference for graduates of West Orange High School.
  • Must be enrolled in Horticulture Science, Landscape or Horticulture Technology

The scholarship will pay toward tuition, books and fees. To apply please complete the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application found HERE.

Apply TODAY!

the mercury marine scholarship

Mercury Marine Scholarship 

The Mercury Marine Scholarship is seeking an applicant who is the son, daughter, current spouse of a Mercury Marine employee or of a former employee of Mercury Marine who had contributed to the scholarship fund.  Applicants must also meet these additional requirements:

  • Submit a complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Demonstrate Financial Need.
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

The scholarship will pay toward tuition and books. To apply, please complete the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application found found HERE.

Don’t let another minute pass by, apply today!

 

valencia theater to stage ‘jealousy,’ winner of annual playwright competition

JealousyThe Valencia College Theater will present the winner of the 23rd annual Florida Playwright’s Competition, Ricardo Soltero Brown’s “Jealousy” from Feb. 5-9 at Valencia College’s East Campus.

“Jealousy” is a bitingly vicious, yet hilarious, tragicomedy revolving around three individuals – Celia, Al and Gunnar – who are trapped in a room of uncertainty, betrayal, love, desire, truth and lies.

Written by Brown, a Valencia graduate, the play will be directed by John DiDonna, with stage design by Kristen Abel and Aaron Babcock.

Evening performances will be held Feb. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. On Feb. 8 and 9, matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m.

During the run, the cast will perform two special performances. The Feb. 8 afternoon matinee will be an experimental all-female cast, while the Feb. 8 evening performance will feature sign-language interpretation for deaf or hearing-impaired patrons.

Question-and-answer sessions with the playwright, director and cast will occur after the Feb. 7 evening performance and the Feb. 8 afternoon matinee.

Please note: The play contains adult subject matter, language and situations.

All performances will be held in the Black Box Theater on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, in Orlando. General admission tickets are $12; tickets are $10 for Valencia College staff, senior citizens and students. Order tickets online (at http://www.valenciacollege.edu/arts) and receive $2 off when you use the discount code: VALENCIAWEB.

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

valencia graduate- michael maguire

 

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By Joy S. Jones

For Michael Maguire, operations manager, video productions, Valencia represents access to opportunity, which he experienced first as a degree-seeking student majoring in theater in 1992.

“Prior to Valencia, my future prospects were dim and the idea of getting into and affording college seemed impossible,” said Michael, a first-generation college student. “No one in my family had ever gone to college, few had even graduated high school, and because of a series of hardships, they were often caught in a vicious cycle of low-paying jobs, living check-to-check, and under constant threat of homelessness.”

Graduating from Valencia in 1995 enabled him to break this cycle. “It transformed my life in countless ways, both personally and professionally. It opened doors of opportunity and life experiences that I would have never had access to without it,” he said, enabling him to build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that would help him, and future students, to be successful.

Over time, he would come to see the College through many lenses.

From 2007 through 2008, he taught two courses — electronic imaging and digital video and sound — as an adjunct professor for the graphics technology program. “Fostering student learning and witnessing their growth over the semester was incredibly rewarding and gave me unique insight into the many challenges instructors face.”

Now, those classroom insights come in handy as he uses his skills as a video producer to help students develop a richer understanding of their subjects via instructional videos.

The student becomes the master.

Michael managed a full-scale, five-year renovation of the West Campus video production studio when the mission of the department shifted from broadcast to educational video production, resulting in a user-friendly, state-of-the-art studio with robust teaching tools.

valencia-productions-collage-grove-568x256

“This facility is positioned to handle instructional video needs better than ever before and provides a host of options for instructors to make their videos more dynamic and engaging for students,” he said.

A collaborative effort, the studio represents the culmination and refinement of rich conversations with faculty and input and support from numerous areas of the College including OIT, plant operations, learning support services and others.

Michael values the joyful experiences he shares daily working alongside colleagues who radiate a strong sense of purpose and who give freely of themselves, because they know their work here is meaningful and has the ability to positively impact a student’s life. He shares that it’s the strong sense of community, shared passion for learning and the culture of inquiry and collaboration that keeps him motivated; and it’s something he brings to each project he undertakes.

He’s carried this sense of community with him ever since professors Celine Kavalec-Miller, now faculty director of the Teaching/Learning Academy (TLA), and Elizabeth Eschbach, professor of humanities, sparked a flame in him for learning that continues to blaze white hot. After graduating from Valencia, Michael would go on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in communications from Florida State University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Rollins College.

“There just is no substitute for that gratifying feeling of creating an ‘aha’ moment in a student’s life. Creating videos that help students develop a richer understanding is very rewarding, and in some ways, is the most significant work I have ever done.”

 

duke energy scholarship for female engineering students! apply today!

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: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 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: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process.

For additional information, please visit the Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

alumni events!

Blue Martini Flyer

We are starting the year off right and it’s all happening TONIGHT, you don’t want to miss this! The FIRST Alumni after-hours mixer of 2014, so come on out Valencia Alumni and Friends.

Solar Flyer II

Don’t forget to get your DISCOUNTED tickets while they’re HOT and going fast for the Valencia College Alumni and Friends with the Orlando Solar Bears Night.

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship for Biomedical Sciences

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship is intended to provide scholarship funding to Valencia-Osceola DirectConnect students enrolled in (or already completed) entry level Biology and Chemistry courses and intend to continue on to earn their Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida as a Johnson Scholar.

The 2+2 component of the Johnson Scholarship starts with 1-5 semesters, each semester increasing the scholarship value at Valencia College from $500 in the Spring of 2014 to $1500 in the fifth term. As a 2+2 scholarship, students qualify to receive Johnson Foundation scholarship funding at the University of Central Florida with the condition that the meet all of the original scholarship requirements.

Qualifying candidates must be first year Valencia College students with less than 15 college credit hours completed, demonstrate Financial need (verified via FAFSA), be enrolled in BSC1010C, CHM1025C or CHM1045C at Osceola Campus and intend to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida after successful completion of an Associate’s Degree from Valencia College.

Potential for renewal available to students who maintain a 2.75 GPA, follow precise educational plan for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, meet with an Academic Advisor/Faculty/Johnson Scholars Osceola each term, participate in Undergraduate Research and attend University of Central Florida Johnson Scholars events once a year.

In order to apply, please complete the Johnson Foundation Scholarship Application. Submission addresses are listed on the cover page of the application.

For more information this scholarship and more, visit: Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board today!

Special kudos: 1st United Bank

1st United Bank recently contributed $5,000 towards student scholarships at Valencia College. These funds will provide for 50 credit hours of support and is roughly equivalent to 16 classes at Valencia.  Now, that’s an ROI worth supporting!

1st United Bank presents a check for $5,000 to Valencia Foundation for student scholarships at Valencia College.  From left to right: Michelle Matis, VP Valencia Foundation; Sam Miles, Sr. VP 1st United Bank; Jennifer Hinkle, Business Development Officer, 1st United Bank; Donna Marino, CFRE Valencia Foundation Manager

1st United Bank presents a check for $5,000 to Valencia Foundation for student scholarships at Valencia College. From left to right: Michelle Matis, VP Valencia Foundation; Sam Miles, Sr. VP 1st United Bank; Jennifer Hinkle, Business Development Officer, 1st United Bank; Donna Marino, CFRE Valencia Foundation Manager

duke energy scholarship for female engineering students! apply today!

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: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 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: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process.

For additional information, please visit the Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship for Biomedical Sciences

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship is intended to provide scholarship funding to Valencia-Osceola DirectConnect students enrolled in (or already completed) entry level Biology and Chemistry courses and intend to continue on to earn their Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida as a Johnson Scholar.

The 2+2 component of the Johnson Scholarship starts with 1-5 semesters, each semester increasing the scholarship value at Valencia College from $500 in the Spring of 2014 to $1500 in the fifth term. As a 2+2 scholarship, students qualify to receive Johnson Foundation scholarship funding at the University of Central Florida with the condition that the meet all of the original scholarship requirements.

Qualifying candidates must be first year Valencia College students with less than 15 college credit hours completed, demonstrate Financial need (verified via FAFSA), be enrolled in BSC1010C, CHM1025C or CHM1045C at Osceola Campus and intend to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida after successful completion of an Associate’s Degree from Valencia College.

Potential for renewal available to students who maintain a 2.75 GPA, follow precise educational plan for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, meet with an Academic Advisor/Faculty/Johnson Scholars Osceola each term, participate in Undergraduate Research and attend University of Central Florida Johnson Scholars events once a year.

In order to apply, please complete the Johnson Foundation Scholarship Application. Submission addresses are listed on the cover page of the application.

For more information this scholarship and more, visit: Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board today!

SGA campus leaders send appreciation for student scholarship support

Student Government Association (SGA) presidents gathered across multiple Valencia campus locations to express appreciation for student scholarship support. The result? A heartwarming note of gratitude!

Your support is key to our success

Your support is key to our success.

On behalf of Valencia College and the students we serve, please accept our appreciation for your contributions which provide deserving individuals access to education in our community.

As Valencia College student government leaders, we represent driven and motivated students. Unlike the college generation of years ago, most of our peers are often balancing family, work and community commitments.

The combined efforts of our donors help students through funding for essential and key needs like scholarships, books, tuition and supplies. All Valencia students greatly benefit from the support they receive, no matter how large or modest the award.

We appreciate your support of students like us!

Valencia Student Government Association Presidents

foundation mash-up

It’s a little of this and a little of that as we kick off this new year. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and great memories were made.

While we enjoy the Florida “winter,” there is one Valencia student who remembers a more frozen landscape.

Megan Morrison’s journey to Valencia took a long road, all the way to Alaska! She was recruited to play volleyball for the University of Alaska. She says she was “a Floridian looking for an adventure.” Memories of the Sunshine State soon won over the incredible cold and darkness and she came back to Florida and to Valencia.

Her start at Valencia was smooth and she immediately received help with submitting appeals for credit transfers and staff made sure she got right back into classes. Now she is exactly on track as a sophomore planning to graduate at the end of spring and begin her junior year at UCF. She recently made the decision to study speech therapy.

She found out about scholarships through her college email and recently applied for funding. Hopefully, we can add another chapter to her story – as a scholarship recipient!

Scholarship coordinator, Jen Bhagirath, shares, “It takes the submission of one scholarship application to obtain a grand opportunity. I encourage all Valencia students to submit a Valencia Foundation scholarship application. This grants our team the ability to seek scholarship funding opportunities that will lessen the financial burdens they may face as students. This is wonderful and possible with the submission of just one scholarship application.”

At our core is helping students. Every scholarship application is a chance to change the life of a student in need. It is something that is always reflected on at this time, when the spirit of giving surrounds us and hope springs eternal with the new year.

And speaking of spirit, or should I say spirits? Please don’t forget that tickets to Taste for Learning are on sale now. It is a celebration like no other and a ticket purchase would be the perfect post-holiday pick me up!
taste-logo-rgb
The event is May 17, 2014 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Now through Feb. 14, two tickets are on sale for $200. Individual tickets are $125. You can get yours today at www.ATasteForLearning.com.

And we ring in the new year with another new sponsor, Orlando Magic. Here is a look at our sponsors to date:
Sommelier – ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek
Vintner – Orlando Magic
Cabernet – Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

All have sponsored past Taste events and we are so very appreciative for their continued support. To find out more about sponsorships, contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

discussion with a scholar – a valencia scholarship recipient story

(l to r) Jen Bhagirath, Valencia Foundation scholarship coordinator, and Elizabeth Rodriguez

(l to r) Jen Bhagirath, Valencia Foundation scholarship coordinator, and Elizabeth Rodriguez

Elizabeth Rodriguez is special; she has the drive and determination of someone twice her age. She was a speaker at our November board meeting and agreed to spend a few extra minutes with us to share more about her story.

She knew early exactly what she wanted to do. In 7th grade, she decided she wanted to study psychology and from that beginning she hasn’t thought of anything else. She did round out her goals by adding education to her list of future majors.

So ready was she to start her college career, she graduated from high school early with the help of online classes and dual enrollment. She says of her decision, “I wanted to do something better and greater, start my education already.”

When she met with her guidance counselor she knew two things, that she was graduating early and that she wanted to go to UCF. Valencia’s DirectConnect to UCF was “it” and with the automatic transfer offered through our partnership with UCF, the decision was perfect for her.

The fact that education is important was constantly reinforced at home. She remembers that ever since kindergarten her parents were making sure she was reading and doing her homework. Achieving high marks can be hard, but she says that she is grateful to have someone there to tell her she should do better.

And to make it even more fitting, her mother is a Valencia alumna and studied accounting at the Osceola campus. Her mom remembers when the campus was portables and is amazed at how much the campus has flourished through the years.

While she was ready for her start at Valencia, she acknowledges that coming into the college environment from high school can be shocking and there are so many things going on. The advice she would give to students is “to put themselves out there to look for scholarships and to definitely apply for a Valencia Foundation scholarship because it is easy and so straightforward. Scholarships are there and ready to be given away.”

Elizabeth found her way to scholarships by asking during her registration process. She was directed to our website, filled out an application and was chosen as a recipient of the Foreman Family Scholarship.

When she found out about the scholarship, she thought, “What? Is this real?” Then she talked to her mom and they confirmed the good news and excitement ensued. She was so thankful for the scholarship because it meant she could go to school over the summer, taking the financial burden off of her parents.

Elizabeth extends her heartfelt thanks to the Foreman Family, from her family to theirs a big thank you. Isn’t it wonderful how the actions of one family provide an opportunity that affects another entire family? That is the truth of scholarships, far more than simply a donation; your gift has the potential to have a positive effect on a family. Not just financially, but in terms of being a role model for siblings or cousins and proving the fact that there are people out there who are willing to help fund dreams.

Elizabeth is so grounded and easy to talk to; she is well-fitted for a career in psychology. When she envisions her private practice, she hopes to help adults, those that just don’t know how to cope with illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder. She has a respect and understanding for those who have a mental illness, acknowledging that it is not something a person has control over. Embarrassment and stigma might stop people from getting help and that can be much worse.

As for her other area of study, education, that came from having such a passion for education growing up. It is a gift she wants to give to others. “I’ve had many great teachers that have influenced me and made me the person that I am today. I thought that would be something amazing to experience and hopefully be that person for a student.”

She remembers her creative writing teacher in high school, Justin Helm, and how his own studies fueled her passion for psychology. At Valencia, she enjoyed Dr. Lubold’s abnormal psychology class because the focus was on learning.

Through talking with academic advisors and professors, Elizabeth has her education plan in place and her goal is to have her doctorate by the time she is 25. I have no doubt this amazing scholar will do just that, reaching her goals and beyond.

a closer look – grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship

(l to r) Rhonda Fensterer, market manager at Grainger's branch in Orlando, and Gabriella Johnson

(l to r) Rhonda Fensterer, market manager at Grainger’s branch in Orlando, and Gabriella Johnson

Scholarships are a step among the path. They help students to enroll, or stay enrolled, at Valencia. Another step along the path is completion. Through Valencia’s A.S. degree programs, learners are able to immediately join the workforce.

When we measure the college’s impact on our local community it is vital to remember that we provide training and tools that lead to a better workforce, which benefits all of us who work and live in Orange and Osceola counties, and even beyond.

It is this path, from scholarship to completion to workforce, which leads us to companies like W.W. Grainger Inc. (Grainger), North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations.

We work closely with businesses like Grainger to make sure that we are graduating students with the highest level of ability, and from these partnerships we know there is a need in the workforce. Many businesses that rely on skilled workers report difficulty finding qualified individuals to fill open jobs. In fact, skilled trades have been the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff for the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup.

It seems that part of the challenge in finding trained workers comes from misperceptions of the skilled trade industry. To promote the innovation of careers in the industrial skilled trades, Grainger, in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges, launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship for 129 students at 70 community colleges in the U.S., with one-half of the scholarships targeted to U.S. Armed Forces veterans. In addition to a $2,000 scholarship, each student receives a Westward tool-kit upon graduation to help jump start their career.

“Grainger is investing in the future industry and communities through the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program,” said Rhonda Fensterer, market manager at Grainger’s branch in Orlando. “We are proud to partner with Valencia College and believe business and college partnerships are one solution to building a stronger workforce.”

For consideration, Valencia students must be in their last year of study and in good standing to graduate from their technical education program in 2014. And we found a perfect fit with Gabriella Johnson, who is studying toward her A.S. in drafting and design technology.

She heard about the opportunity through a professor and was so surprised and grateful when she received the scholarship, as she had tried for other scholarships but never heard back.

She shares that the scholarship will help her take her last classes and keep her motivated to maintain good grades. She thinks scholarships are important because applying for scholarships helps one reflect on their goals and the level of motivation they have to pursue an education. And she says they help financially of course, alleviating the responsibility and worry of paying for classes. “Instead, said responsibility is focused on education outcomes and accomplishments.”

Gabriella was drawn to industrial trades because she is interested in the function of things. She enjoys learning how to create, work and improve machinery and design.

Her career aspirations are “to demonstrate creativity, commitment and quality in drafting.” She hopes to work in a career where designing skills are used to develop and innovate.

What a perfect addition to the trade, and it was all made possible through Grainger’s Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship. The foundation is ever thankful for these relationships, as they help so many students forge ahead on their own paths with an ultimate destination that makes the community stronger.