closed for spring break

BeBackSoonValencia College and foundation are closed through Friday, March 7. We will be back on Monday, March 10. See you then!

taste for learning – the rosen connection

taste-logo-rgbTrue to their name, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits provide the wine, beer and spirits, but they need a place to take it. That’s where Rosen Hotels and Resorts and Rosen Shingle Creek come in. Since 2008, Rosen Shingle Creek has been home to Taste for Learning. The same is true this year for the May 17 event.

First, some history: In 1974, during an oil embargo, Harris Rosen decided to try his luck in the lodging and resort business, purchasing a 256-room hotel on International Drive. He personally traveled to places like New England persuading bus and tour companies to bring clients to Orlando. Today, his name is synonymous with the hotel and lodging industry, as well as long-standing philanthropy in our community.

Forward to 2007, when converging forces led Jonni Kimberly, Rosen Hotels and Resorts director of human resources, to Valencia, where she now serves as foundation board chair. At the time, Jonni was working with Rosen’s fledgling employee charity committee to hone its philanthropy and relationships with local nonprofits. Meanwhile, in his role as Valencia Foundation board chair, Alan Helman of HHCP Architects invited the Rosen organization to become more involved with Valencia, which was a primary source of its workforce.

Jonni was the obvious choice.

During her first year on the Valencia Foundation board, Jonni attended Taste. She was inspired by the notion that every single expense is covered, so that every dollar given is directed to scholarships and then matched by a challenge grant.

She proposed to her charity committee the idea of hosting the event at Rosen Shingle Creek, acknowledging that completely underwriting an event was unprecedented – not to mention inviting other hotels, restaurants and theme parks to join the collaboration on site. But Jonni was convinced that Rosen should lead the partnership with Valencia and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. “I was impressed with the amount of money Taste brought in, and the fact that it all goes 100 percent to the purpose. The promise that every penny that would come from Taste would go to scholarships for students was a big seller,” she recalls.

Committed to providing more than just a venue, Rosen employees leverage their vendor contacts to get additional services donated to the event. Additionally, the chefs and culinary experts at Rosen Shingle Creek donate food to the event, hosting a food station and providing a beautiful display of desserts.
Rosen-Color

In 2012, Orlando Health Foundation joined the event and the purpose grew to include medical education, as well as allied health science scholarships. 100 percent of auction proceeds, tickets and sponsorships will directly benefit students. Every Valencia allied health scholarship contribution is doubled.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased at http://www.atasteforlearning.com. And Rosen’s hospitality doesn’t end when the event is over; rooms are available on the event website at a special reduced group rate for Taste attendees.

Thank you to Rosen and here is a look at all of our generous sponsors:

Sommelier: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts and Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press: Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner: CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic and Valencia College

Cabernet: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Universal Orlando Resort and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

scholarship myths

downloadWe envision a day where no one has to worry about how to pay for college. We hope for a day where every student who wants to go to Valencia can, with no financial barriers. Scholarships are vital to achieve this goal.

Students only need to fill out one application to be eligible for the hundreds of scholarships Valencia Foundation offers. In an effort to maximize student participation in the scholarship process, scholarship coordinator, Jen Bhagirath, developed these myths about applying for Valencia Foundation scholarships.

I haven’t submitted a FAFSA; therefore I can’t apply for scholarships…
Most foundation scholarships require a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be submitted. However, there are some scholarships that do not require students to submit a FAFSA.

I applied for federal aid but didn’t qualify for financial aid, so I won’t qualify for a scholarship…
Not all scholarships require financial need.

I have to be a “straight A student” in order to receive scholarship funding…
Not all scholarships are based on GPA. Some scholarships are given based on majors, career paths, personal hobbies, the community you live in or community service hours.

Applying for scholarships will reduce my federal aid eligibility…
We strongly encourage you to utilize scholarship funding prior to taking out any student loans. Scholarships DO NOT have to be repaid.

The scholarship application process is too much work…
The application requires you to answer a series of short questions and write a 600-900 word essay. All it takes is ONE application to qualify for multiple scholarships.

I don’t know where to apply…
Visit http://www.valencia.org and click on the scholarship application link.

The essay is too hard… I don’t know what to write about.
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.

I can’t reach my recommender… without their reference; I won’t be able to apply.
Recommendations are not required in order to submit your scholarship application. If you wish to submit a recommendation, we encourage you to connect with your recommender before listing their information.

Please help us spread the word. If you know a Valencia student, send them our way at http://www.valencia.org. Remember, one application = hundreds of opportunities.

a closer look – johnson scholarship foundation

Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s mission is to assist disadvantaged people obtain an education. They recently issued a challenge grant that brought together a number of local colleges and UCF to fund scholarships.

Valencia, Brevard Community College, Seminole State College and Lake-Sumter State College all signed on for this unique fundraising effort.

At the heart is something that we know works, the DirectConnect to UCF program. One out of every four UCF graduates started at Valencia. Valencia graduates are UCF’s number one source of transfer students.

The DirectConnect to UCF partnership is designed to help students transition from partner colleges to UCF. The program guarantees admission to students who have earned their associate degrees from a partner college and meet academic requirements.

The chance to strengthen this partnership with 2+2 scholarships that will travel with the student as they journey from Valencia to UCF was a very worthwhile endeavor to Valencia.

Simply put, each partner college has to raise a certain amount. These funds will be used for scholarships. Johnson Scholarship Foundation will match these funds, and that money will be used to create an endowment. This partnership is projected to raise $4 million in scholarships.

Students were identified; Osceola campus students who plan to receive a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from UCF. Students must demonstrate financial need and be enrolled in biology and chemistry courses.

Another unique aspect of this scholarship is that it will increase in amount over time. The amount of each award will increase each term as a student demonstrates academic success, growing from $500 to $1,500 in the fifth term.

Dr. Melissa Pedone, dean of math and science, offers her perspective on this unique partnership and its benefit to Valencia students. “The Johnson Scholarship is a very special opportunity to support students on the Osceola campus pursuing a STEM degree focused on biomedical sciences. It is unique in that it provides growing support as students make progress through the degree. STEM majors include many rigorous math and science classes that go beyond the standard math and science general education requirements. Sometimes STEM students run into problems when traditional forms of financial aid cannot accommodate the extra classes or time it takes to complete all of the requirements. The Johnson Scholarship takes this into consideration and provides the critical additional support necessary to help students reach their full STEM potential.”

The first of Valencia’s Johnson Scholars have been awarded, future doctors and researchers who will shape the landscape of tomorrow. In support of Dr. Pedone’s comments, each of these students is well on the way to their highest potential.

Duneishka Roman’s first patient was Mr. Cuddles, the teddy bear. She soon moved beyond the plastic stethoscope and is now in her first year at Valencia studying biology.

Valencia Johnson Scholar, Duneishka Roman

Valencia Johnson Scholar, Duneishka Roman


She started down an uncertain path in high school, influenced by the wrong people, but she soon got herself back on track, pushing her GPA up and taking part in scholastic clubs and doing volunteer work. Today, she maintains a 4.0 average by studying, handing in assignments on time and is sure to speak up if she doesn’t understand a concept in class.

She found out she was a Johnson Scholar mid-bite at a family meal. She pushed the food aside and thanked God for blessing her with this opportunity.

She hopes to one day be a pediatrician and says she wants to “give hope to those who find themselves weak and without hope, to be able to lift at least one person’s spirit.”

She hopes to take advantage of the education she has been given and use it wisely, “because I know for sure that all the building blocks I’m putting together now are to build my future tomorrow.”

She feels as long as she keeps her goals in mind, her dream will be realized and all of her passion and effort will pay off.

Mention of this scholarship kept finding its way into Ekaterina Karelova’s life so she thought she better take advantage of the opportunity. She heard about the scholarship in her chemistry class and then again, right after, in her biology class. On top of that, she received an email about the scholarship, and she decided to check it out.

Ekaterina grew up with her grandparents and they stressed the importance of learning English. “At the age of six they got me an English tutor and no matter what the financial situation was, we would always have money set aside for my English tutor.”

Ekaterina is from the Republic of Georgia and first came to the United States to study business. It was part of a foundation implemented by the then-president of her country, and she traveled with a group of seven kids for what was supposed to be one year, but ended up being much longer.

Curiosity brought her to biomedical science. She was doing research on what could be the underlying cause of an illness and “one day it just hit me. In order to see the big picture, first I have to understand the basics. That is when I enrolled at Valencia College.”

Today she juggles a full-time course load with a full-time job and admits sometimes she is not sure how everything gets done.

She said she felt a great feeling of accomplishment and relief when she found out she was a Johnson Scholar. She sums it up so well: “Education is not cheap. A lot of people with great potential might never attend a college or university because they cannot afford it. Scholarships give this amazing opportunity to everyone.”

Ekaterina brings an international perspective to what many of us may take for granted, access to education. “Schools in the United States have so many resources and opportunities to give students, to teach students and help them be who they choose to be, whether it is great lawyers, great teachers, great businessmen, great doctors.”

Daniel Salas doesn’t care about statistics; he firmly believes his mindset will carry him through any obstacle.

When Daniel’s grandfather passed away during an effort to find the right surgeon, he made a choice. “I chose to dedicate my life to make sure another member of my community would not have to go through that experience.”

He came to Valencia knowing his path, having shadowed medical professionals at both Osceola Regional Hospital and Good Samaritan Village and continuing his community service at Celebration Health.

Daniel chose Valencia because staff member Nelson Sepulveda made him feel “like an individual versus a number.” He was also swayed by the small class size. Unlike large, auditorium-seating classrooms, Valencia’s average class size is 23.6.

His roster of activity seems endless with active involvement in the Student Government Association and he is an active member of the Seneff Honors College, the Valencia Ambassadors Program and the American Medical Student Association at Valencia. He keeps his drive and determination by always asking himself a question when faced with a distraction, “Will attending that bring me any closer to my goals?”

A conversation with Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Osceola Campus president, made him aware of the Johnson Scholar opportunity. Daniel followed up with Dr. Pedone, who encouraged him to apply for the scholarship.

On the importance of scholarships, he says, “Personally, I believe that scholarships are much more than giving away money. They impact the lives of students by allowing us to focus more on our studies so that we can one day give back to those who believed in us.”

5.17.14 food, wine and spirits to benefit scholarships and medical education

On Saturday, May 17, from 7pm to 10pm at  Rosen Shingle Creek vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Hundreds of wine and spirits options will be available. Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

On Saturday, May 17, from 7pm to 10pm at Rosen Shingle Creek vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Hundreds of wine and spirits options will be available. Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

join our team – special events consultant needed

Valencia College is a premier learning college that transforms lives, strengthens community and inspires individuals to excellence.

Valencia College Foundation’s mission is to support learning at Valencia College through scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, program enhancement funds and development of capital dollars.

We are looking for a short-term special events consultant to fill the position of Special Events Coordinator. This is a high impact position that will help put together a large-scale signature event to benefit the community we serve.

Primary function
This contract position is responsible for assisting foundation staff with the planning and execution of our signature event on May 17, 2014, Taste for Learning.

Length of contract: March 10, 2014 – May 23, 2014

Location: Valencia College Foundation, 190 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. There will be event planning meetings at other locations from time to time. Some duties may be done from a remote location. Event will take place at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Pay range: Inclusive fee of $4,000 – $5,000 for length of contract, commensurate with experience

Key roles/responsibilities
Responsibilities include coordinating all aspects of the silent auction for the signature event but are not limited to:
• Preparing various forms of correspondence to request in-kind donations from constituents.

• Coordinating the delivery or pick up of in-kind donations.

• Tracking and entering in-kind donations into Raiser’s Edge database.

• Sending acknowledgements to in-kind donors.

• Attend event planning meetings.

• Recognizing silent auction donors and promoting the event through social media.

• Assemble in-kind donations into silent auction packages.

• Prepare bid sheets and on-site silent auction set up and subsequent break down.

• Coordinate volunteers for silent auction area.

• Work with foundation staff to coordinate the development and printing of silent auction listings for event program and other donor recognition pieces.

• Assist in packaging auction items for delivery to event location.

• On site auction area set up and subsequent break down.

• Follow up on final payment and delivery of auction items after event (for items not paid and/or picked up at event).

• Maintain oral and written contact with foundation management, staff and event partners for the purpose of exchange of information as it relates to the event.

• Other event-related duties as needed.

Skills/knowledge required
• Experience in nonprofits, including managing or organizing large-scale special events required. Demonstrated ability to secure auction items and sponsorships a plus.

• Strong oral and written communications skills.

• Highly adaptable and flexible individual who can excel in a fast paced environment and respond to last minute requests.

• High level attention to detail.

• Ability to work independently and with a team.

• Strong computer skills, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and donor database experience. Raiser’s Edge experience preferred.

• This position will initially require only a few hours a week and then steadily progress to more in the weeks and days leading up to and through the event.

Application
For immediate consideration, please submit cover letter and resume via email to foundation@valenciacollege.edu. Upon reviewing, we will contact you to schedule an interview. Contract to remain open and resumes will be accepted until filled.

Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs – May 17 2014

On May 17, 2014 vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek.

Tickets and sponsorships are available for this evening of abundance: food, wine, craft beers and spirits paired with an auction. Every item is donated from the gourmet food from Landry’s Restaurants, Rosen Shingle Creek, Tommy Bahama, Taverna Yamas, to the international wines poured by their own vintners, all advertising and even the decor.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

For more information on the event including tickets, sponsorships and Rosen Shingle Creek Resort special room rates for attendees please visit www.aTasteForLearning.com.

2014-15 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship available now!

Since 2006, the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program has helped technical education students across the country realize their educational goals. This scholarship recognizes outstanding students with a $2,000 scholarship and customized Westward toolkit upon successful completion of the student’s technical education program.

All applicants must provide ALL of the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why you chose to study skilled trades/public safety, how your achievements and/or leadership roles have helped you grow individually and your future career goals.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study will be in 2014-15 from a Skilled Trades or Public Safety program.  
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) if applicable.

All required documents must be submitted no later than March 17, 2014 to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger 2014-15 Application

**The scholarship is not transferable to another institution. The scholarship monies must also be used by the student within 24 months.**

Grainger employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply. Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents at select community colleges.

orlando magic youth fund gives valencia’s take stock in children $35,000

Take StockTake Stock in Children of Orange County received $35,000 to help disadvantaged and at-risk youth be successful in school and go on to college. Take Stock was one of 25 local charities that received grants totaling $600,000 from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, in celebration of the Magic’s 25th anniversary season.

“We are proud to be one of the 25 organizations recognized for making a significant difference in our community,” said Elisha Gonzalez, director of the Take Stock in Children program.

“The commitment of the Orlando Magic Youth Fund and The McCormick Foundation to provide opportunities to our students locally is unprecedented. This grant means providing scholarships, mentors and hope to many more students to end the cycle of poverty. We are honored to celebrate 25 years of the Orlando Magic and to be part of their All Star team.”

In addition to the grant award, each organization will be recognized during the remaining home games this season.

“In what has become one of my favorite days of the year, we are proud to assist these very deserving organizations who work tirelessly to improve the lives of youth in Central Florida,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins.

Valencia administers Take Stock in Children—a statewide program—in the Orlando area in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. Valencia’s Take Stock In Children program pairs community leader mentors with students starting in the 8th grade. Students who maintain good grades, remain crime and drug free, and meet with their mentors are awarded a 2+2 Florida Prepaid scholarship upon graduating from high school. Students can attend a two-year community college and state university of their choice.

For more about Take Stock in Children: http://valenciacollege.edu/tsic

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

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!

if you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply for 2013-14 valencia foundation scholarships!

Image

2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

One application is needed per academic year. To apply for a fall 2013 scholarship, please visit: 
https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466.

Some 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 by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

a special date – feb.14

Feb-14-Valentines-Day-690x431According to NPR, it has rather barbaric origins with the ancient Romans. Chaucer and Shakespeare sweetened it with their prose, with popularity eventually bringing it to America. In 1913, Hallmark Cards produced the first cards for the holiday.

Wait just a minute! We are not discussing Valentine’s Day, but instead another special occurrence that happens on Feb. 14. For this is the last day of our special couple pricing – two tickets/$200 – for Taste for Learning.

Taste will be Saturday, May 17 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Purchase tickets at www.ATasteForLearning.com. And on the site, you can also book a room at Rosen Shingle Creek at a special-event price.

After Feb. 14, each ticket will be $125, which is still a bargain for all the event has to offer.

This year will feature spirits and you can even expect some craft beers, but the emphasis is wine with vintners from all over the world pouring the finest they have to offer.

Wine and the celebrated Valentine’s Day do have something in common, both can trace their roots to ancient times. The New York Times tell us that wine “is as old as civilization itself.” 6000 B.C. dates the first evidence of fermenting grapes for juices. Wine permeated society and gained popularity in the Roman era. It was during that era that something wonderful was born – the wine bar.

wine corks

As time moved on, giving us new empires and ages, the method and consumption of wine changed. By the 18th century, the wine market boomed and came to the New World and Australia in the 19th century.

It was many years later, in 1936, that ABC Fine Wine and Spirits was born. Jack Holloway, a cigar store manager, thought the end of Prohibition brought an opportunity to expand from cigars into spirits.

No doubt some of you drive or walk by that first store on a daily basis, Jack’s Friendly Neighborhood Bar, at the corner of Orange Avenue and Wall Street in downtown Orlando. Growing to a half-dozen stores during the next decade, it was the year 1950 that the name ABC Liquors was chosen. Company legend has it that Jack wanted a name that folks would remember, and one that would show up first in the phone book!

The 70s brought the addition of lounges to retail stores and the 80s brought an expansion to the northern part of Florida.

The updated name, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, came in 1993 and today the company is celebrating 75-plus years in business with stores all over Florida.

ABC_3D_LOGO_HI RES2

It was when Jess Bailes, executive vice president at ABC, crossed paths with Valencia that Taste was born. The year was 2005 and board members agreed to the event only if all event proceeds went directly to scholarships. That is still in place today – 100 percent of all sponsorships, ticket sales and auction proceeds go directly to the intended purpose.

But time does bring some change for Taste. The event was blessed with another special presenting sponsor, Rosen Shingle Creek. Next month we will take a look at Rosen’s impact on Taste and Valencia.

2012 saw a new partner for the event, Orlando Health Foundation. They are again our partner for the 2014 event and plan to use their portion of the funds for medical education.

What will Taste bring next? The best way to find out is to purchase your tickets today. Hope to see you there!

taste – where does the money go?

new Taste logo

new Taste logo

Have you bought your tickets to Taste for Learning at www.ATasteForLearning.com? Well, you can be proud of the fact that 100 percent will go to scholarships and medical education.

From the ticket holder to the presenting sponsor and all the auction items in between, all of the money goes to the cause. And it has always been that way. The last six Taste events have raised a total of $2.27 million for educational support.

Money for the event comes from ticket sales, the silent auction and, of course, sponsors. With the addition of McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort, here is a look at our generous benefactors.

Sommelier level: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek
First press level: McCree General Contractors and Architects
Vintner level: Orlando Magic
Cabernet level: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

In order to maximize recognition, we ask sponsors to sign on as soon as possible. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

While our partner, Orlando Health Foundation, will fund medical education efforts, Valencia Foundation will put the money toward scholarships for first-generation college students.

Just last year, the foundation completed a successful First One campaign and raised $200,000 for first-generation scholarships. During that time, we got to know students, faculty and staff who are first-generation scholars.

Dr. Joyce Romano, Valencia’s vice president of student affairs, put it best when she said, “When you are a first-generation college student, your ideas of what is possible are so limited because you just don’t know what you don’t know.”

Unfortunately, first-generation students are not always set up for success. Not knowing about the college experience, families may be unprepared to offer support when it comes to education after high school. Maybe college was so out of their realm of thinking that they neglected to take core college-prep classes in high school. If the going gets tough, do they have a support network or role model who can offer real-life inspiration that college is attainable?

Being a part of that support network, that is what these scholarships hope to do. Scholarships offer not only financial support, but the belief that someone cares and wants them to do well.

Here are the thoughts and thanks of some of our first-generation students.

Qunesha is the oldest of three and no doubt a big inspiration to her siblings. She said, “Not only will your scholarship help me in obtaining my degree here at Valencia, it will continue to encourage me as I enter the workforce, knowing that I have supporters that believe in my success by investing in my future.”

Bobi shared that education was stressed at her house, but only through high school. She is a mom, working and going to school full time. From her: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and for helping students who have a vision of bettering themselves through education.”

Jazmine’s career goal is to be a nurse. She plans to continue her education at UCF after Valencia. She acknowledged, “Being the oldest of eight kids puts me in a role model position and I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to prove myself and set an example for my younger siblings.”

And Jerome shows us that any time is a perfect time to start at Valencia. He loves computers and looks forward to having a career working with them. He shared, “Because of your generous donation, this third-generation, native resident of Orlando will be able to achieve his dreams and become the first in my family to obtain a college degree.”

Again, tickets can be purchased at www.ATasteForLearning.com. You can truly make a difference in someone’s life.

a closer look: 1st united bank scholarship

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

It used to be thought that people provided charitable donations for some pretty broad, single-focused reasons – they gave because of a religious calling or for the tax deduction. However, now we know that there are a myriad of reasons why people give. Just as each of our students has a story, so too do our donors. The tapestry of each life has been woven and we are grateful to be a part of it.

Relationships are a big part of our work, and it is the same for 1st United Bank, who builds successful relationships with customers, investors and business leaders.

To further promote financial literacy, 1st United Bank established a scholarship program in all the bank’s assessment areas, which includes Orange County. In support of this program, the foundation was gifted $5,000 for scholarships. Senior vice-president, Sam Miles, and Jennifer Hinkle, business development officer at 1st United Bank, delivered the check personally to the foundation. (See photo.)

The scholarship is for low-and-moderate income students who meet the requirement for federal financial aid. They must have a 3.0 or above GPA and be studying banking and finance, nursing or teaching.

These funds will provide 50 credit hours of support and is roughly equivalent to 16 classes at Valencia.

The first of these scholarships have already been awarded and are helping students in need. From Marie, a recent recipient: “It is because of your generosity that I am able to go to class with academic worries instead of financial worries. The 1st United Bank Scholarship has made a huge difference in my life. I appreciate everything that the scholarship has done for me this semester. I will do my best to make this another successful semester.”

And from Ashley: “I would like to sincerely thank you for your generous gift. The scholarship for spring 2013 came to me at a time when I needed it most. With your kindness, I was able to afford my tuition. This scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies without financial concerns.

I currently have an additional two years of school ahead of me. Once I have completed my education I will become a registered nurse. My ultimate goal is to work on a cardiac unit and take an active role in saving lives. From a very young age, I have always wanted to help others. Your generosity has brought me one step closer to reaching my goal.”

And let me add the thanks of Valencia Foundation as well. We count on generous partners to fund scholarships and make education a reality for students who might not otherwise be able to afford an education.