Investment in students reaps harvests


For every dollar invested in their education, a student sees a $5.60 return on income increase. The same is true for donors. Every dollar you donate to make education possible shows a five-fold return. Click through the graphic to learn more.

What has caused you to walk away from a nonprofit?


As this info-graphic indicates, 53 percent of givers can become completely disillusioned because the nonprofit is not communicating well. The donor feels under-appreciated, unthanked, overlooked or treated poorly. So they vote with their feet. And who could blame them?

Has that ever been your experience?

As a nonprofit organization, we are keepers of the public trust and stewards of invested resources. So in the next couple of months, Valencia donors may look for opportunities to tell us just how well we are doing in serving you, and how we can exceed your expectations. It may be by phone, by email or by snail mail.

Today, we invite your thoughts about what has ever prompted you to part ways with a charity. Feel fee to participate in this poll, comment below and/or send an email to You are welcome to share this poll with friends or colleagues if you’d like.

What has been your worst experience? What has been your best experience? Reply below the poll.








Orlando architect helps etch a community


If you visit most any Valencia College campuses, you will see the impact of Orlando-based architect C.T. Hsu – not only the design of the buildings, but also his impact on the administration, faculty and staff, and, most importantly, the students who fill those structures.

“I feel the only reason I am here today, for me to become who I am today, to be able to achieve the goals before even coming to Florida, to the United States, is education,” Hsu says.

photo (13)

Business opportunities brought Hsu, a native of Taiwan, to Orlando in the early 1980s, where he predicted the Sunbelt would be promising for the architectural field. Already the father of two children, he believed that Florida was the perfect choice for both family and business.

“When my wife and I came to Orlando, we didn’t know anybody,” Hsu says. He founded his firm, C.T. Hsu and Associates, in 1984.

His first design project with Valencia College was a renovation of the downtown center. The founder of a still-youthful firm, Hsu was thankful that Valencia gave him a chance to prove his talents. CT’s acumen consistently boosted his firm to the top of a state-mandated, open-bidding process that resulted in the design of buildings that include the University Center on West Campus and the Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute near East Campus. Continue reading

who is counting?

I like to count things. Our CFO, Michelle, and my college professor friend, Brian, would tell you I am neither a financier nor a mathematician. But still I like to count.

So when I saw the list of Orlando’s 50 most powerful people, I had to dissect it. We have a whole untold story.

Among the 50 I found at least 20 percent with a clear tie to Valencia, as donors and/or alumni.

Valencia tends to fly under the radar, quietly going about our business of offering learning opportunity to tens of thousands each year. This has been true for more than 40 years.

But I’d say that the presence of our friends on the “Most Powerful” list demonstrates Valencia’s value to our community. Perhaps more important than that are the lives that are transformed because of education and opportunity. That definitely counts!

board members enjoying taste 3

Our foundation board members took a minute from the festivities to pose for the camera. Don’t miss the opportunity to join us for Taste 4, benefiting 2+2 scholarships for Valencia students planning to transfer to UCF. Join us Oct. 17 at Rosen Shingle Creek.

the story behind taste for learning


Perhaps the biggest misconception about the green phenomenon is that it requires enormous sacrifice. Yet the contributions of many working together create renewable resources and sustainability, leading to a healthier planet and a brighter future.

Nowhere is that alchemy truer than in philanthropy. Donors to endowment sustain communities for generations to come.

Special event fundraising might not be considered part of the green equation; however, a very organic idea led to Valencia Foundation’s three fundraising events, A Taste for Learning, which have generated $1.2 million in scholarships for deserving students in need. Continue reading

welcome and thanks for stopping by

Welcome to our new home on the web. I hope you’ll spend a few minutes exploring and share with us your thoughts on how to make this blog rock. Our five staff bloggers (the Bloggettes?) will be joined occasionally by guest authors. Would you like to be one?

Here is why I care about this college and its people.

Valencia is a place of great hope. You see it in the faces of our students. You witness it in the nurturing hands of faculty and staff members who guide students through their learning odysseys and help them overcome hurdles. On commencement day, hope is manifest as graduates – some proudly, some humbly and others doing a little jig – cross the stage to accept their hard-earned diplomas. Countless, for the first time ever, are optimistic about their futures.

While our nation faces enormous challenges, it is comforting to know that hope abides.

What is even more heartening is to watch our students’ hope evolve, little by little, into faith:  faith that they can withstand challenges and not only survive but thrive; faith in their own abilities and intelligence; faith that allows them to accept help from others.

Among the knowledge gained at Valencia, perhaps the most important lesson a student can learn is to keep faith with himself. Continue reading