Help Us Identify Distinguished Graduate 2016!

The Valencia Alumni Association needs your help!

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The application process for the Mary Smedley Collier  Distinguished Graduate 2016 Award is in full swing.  Along with the distinction that comes with being selected, the Distinguished Graduate 2016 will serve as the keynote speaker at both the morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies this year and will receive $2,000. We know from experience that many of our eligible students are too humble to see themselves in this role.

This is where you come in.

Don’t let your candidate slip by.  If you know an eligible applicant, please encourage them to apply today.  The deadline for accepting applications is February 19, 2016.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: -Must have a minimum overall 3.5 GPA.

-Must be nominated by a member of the Valencia faculty or staff.  (The nomination letter is required as a part of the online application packet the student submits.)

-Must graduate during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded. This includes Summer ’15, Fall ’15 and Spring ’16 terms.

-Must be available to attend both commencement ceremonies on May 8th and give their commencement speech at both.

APPLY HERE: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/ScholarX_ApplyForScholarship.aspx?applicationformid=4650&AYID=444

Please contact the Alumni Relations office for more information at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-3217.

 

1 week to the big day- let’s make some noise!

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What: #DollarsforScholars is Valencia College Foundation’s end of year campaign.

Why: #DollarsforScholars will make the difference for many students to get the education they’ve always wanted.

When: Starting with #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, on December 1 through the end of the year.

How: Donate any amount. Take an unselfie.  Spread the word.

 

Them

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William/Doris Paisley Memorial Music Scholarship

The William a2015-10-22 18.22.33nd Doris Paisley Memorial Music scholarship was established in 2012 with its first two scholarships awarded in October of 2013. Since then, it has funded three other scholarships—the most recent two awarded last week.

The scholarship exists to honor the contribution of Doris Paisley, a concert mistress violinist for years with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. She was also the violin teacher for Valencia professor Neal Phillips; Mrs. Paisley took Neal in as her youngest student ever at age 6, and he studied with her for 14 years.

When Mrs. Paisley passed away in 2012, Neal wanted to honor his teacher, and with the help of Donna Marino and Geraldine Gallagher via the Valencia Foundation, he was able to establish the music scholarship. Professor Phillips funds the award through the Valencia Foundation at a goal of $1,000. As the award is given annually, notice is given to music students in September; students are eligible to apply if they are declared Music or Music Education majors and plan to pursue the degree at a four-year university upon graduation from Valencia. As part of the application, students must detail their histories of musical experiences, write an essay explaining how the scholarship would benefit them, and submit a 10-minute video of a solo performance on their primary instruments. Additionally, students must have a 2.0 GPA.

After the application period ends, the scholarship committee selects a winner, and fortunately, there has been enough scholarship money available for two winners in 2013 and also 2015. The five winners have received a total of $5,000 over the past three years. In more than one case, this has allowed a prospective music major to continue with schooling he/she may have had to postpone due to lack of funds.

Professor Phillips’ goal is to continue to fund the award as long as he works at Valencia and even after, so music students will be benefiting from this for many years to come. The scholarship is awarded as part of the Instrumental Music Scholarship, with Professor Phillips’ contributions made in honor of William and Doris Paisley.

This year’s scholarship winners are first, Vedda Kangalova, an international student from Bulgaria who specializes in violin. The picture (above) is of her tutoring Stenstrom Elementary (Oviedo) students with Valencia’s 3D printed electric violin, first of its kind.

The second winner is Khalid James, originally from the Caribbean, who specializes in both trombone and steel pan drum.

Khalid James

 

 

Valencia Graduates Working to Pay it Forward!

Rebecca East Campus

Meet this year’s Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished GraduateRebecca Nash! Rebecca and her fellow graduates invite Valencia faculty and staff to help them meet their challenge to raise $5,000 or more before Commencement on May 9th. Their Legacy Class Gift will support future students through scholarships.

Please consider joining their legacy with your support!

Donations can be made:

By credit card: Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/classgift/ . Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.

Or by cash or check:  Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations office (407-582-3426) in the District Office or mail to: Valencia Alumni Relations, 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835, or mail intercampus to DO-41.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE. LEAVE A LEGACY. LEAVE YOUR LEGACY!

calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media PostCheck out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

College Night Sign-Up for Students

The 2014 Orange & Osceola County College Night programs for the state of Florida will be hosted at Valencia College. We are excited to share this opportunity with you.

Mark your calendars: College Night is Coming! Bring your students, the parents, grab some friends, and get your questions answered about college, and we’re not just talking about Valencia!

  • Start the college search process up close and personal
  • Visit with representatives from colleges and universities located across the country
  • Gather local and federal information regarding grants & scholarships

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

Tips for attending College Night

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu

Click here or view the list below for colleges that attended in 2013.

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  • Yale University
  • Florida State University
  • Columbia College, SC
  • Columbia College, FL
  • Cornell University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • Universal Technical Institute
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Rice University

 

  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Rollins College
  • Rutgers University
  • Adventist University of Health Sciences (formerly Florida Hospital College)
  • Ana Mendez University
  • Anderson University
  • Armstrong Atlantic State University
  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Ashford Universtiy
  • Aveda Institute
  • Barry University School of Law
  • Belhaven University
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Binghamton University- State University of New York
  • Catawba College
  • Clark Atlanta College
  • DeVry University
  • Drexel University
  • Eckerd College
  • Education Foundation of Osceola County
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Everest University
  • Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Florida Polytechnic University
  • Florida Southern College
  • Full Sail University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Morehouse College
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Herzing University
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Jacksonville University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Johnson University Florida
  • Keiser University
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Liberty University
  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Lynn University
  • Mech Tech Institute
  • Monroe College
  • National Aviation Academy
  • National University
  • New College of Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina Weleyan College
  • Northwood University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Orlando Tech
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Penn State University
  • Piedmont College
  • Polytechnic University of P.R./Orlando Campus
  • Purdue University
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • Radford University
  • Reinhardt University
  • Saint Leo University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Southeastern University
  • St. Joseph’s College, NY
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Stetson University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stonehill College
  • Strayer University
  • State University of New York College at Cortland
  • Technical Education Center Osceola
  • The Art Institutes
  • The Baptist College of Florida
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Mississippi
  • The University of Tampa
  • The University of the Arts
  • Thomas University
  • Trinity College of Florida
  • Troy University
  • Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Union University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Florida/Mid-Florida Research & Education Center
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of South Florida
  • University of South Florida Saint Petersburg
  • University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
  • University of West Florida
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • Valdosta State University
  • Warner University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Webster University
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Winthrop University
  • Workforce Central Florida

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola Campus
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West Campus
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu


Accommodations Information:

If you have any other disability that prohibits your participation in this event, please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). OSD contact information can be accessed on their website at http://valenciacollege.edu/osd/

after-hours wine and cheese reception

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Scholars, music and scholarships…

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Scholar, poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once said “Give what you have; to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called the Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Please consider supporting these talented scholars and their musical efforts by attending the live rock ‘n roll sing along show.

When:  Friday July 25, 2014 at 7 pm

Where:  Valencia College Osceola Campus Building 1 Auditorium

Donation:  Give what you can. Perhaps a $5 contribution at the door of event?

What to expect:  Live rock ‘n roll sing along family friendly interactive show with the Rogue Scholars.  We will be playing your favorite songs through the decades.  There will be opportunities for you to bid and sing with the band!

Proceeds:  All proceeds benefit Valencia Foundation http://www.valencia.org through the Jane Dewey/Monty Bilyue Emergency Healthcare Services Scholarship.

This scholarship was established to honor the memories of two individuals who spent their professional lives helping others in critical healthcare situations. It will provide tuition assistance to Valencia students seeking Nursing or EMT/Paramedic degrees.

To our Rogue Scholar friends I say thank you for what you have – both your time and your talents are appreciated!

For more information, please check the Rogue Scholars on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/roguescholarsband

An investment in knowledge

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community. By naming Valencia College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community. By naming Valencia College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

Valencia provides an authentic, learning-centered environment with giving, talented teaching and service-oriented professionals who care for and lead students to discover their greatest potential.

For more than 45 years, Valencia has swung open the doors of learning in Central Florida. We envision a day when no individual in our community is shut out of college because of family finances.

With your support, I believe this community can make this happen.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Philanthropy has built remarkable college institutions, cured deadly diseases and continues to fund research and facilities dedicated to our health and education.  This generosity also funds religious, environmental and social efforts globally and locally.

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community.  By naming Valencia  College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donations.

 The truth is that while many are limited by the realities of a day-to-day budget, a little careful planning today makes it possible for almost anyone to do more in the future through a planned gift.

If you haven’t already, please consider supporting the Valencia Foundation with your learning legacy, your gift makes a real difference for the students we teach and serve every day.

If you would like more information on planned giving, sample bequest language or just have general scholarship questions please contact the Valencia Foundation at 407.582.3150 or e-mail foundation@valenciacollege.edu.

 

Valencia employees share “Why I Give Where I Work”

Valencia employees make a big difference in our student’s lives!

Many Valencia College employees support students inside and outside the classroom. It was Sir Winston Churchill that said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

There are many reasons to contribute to Valencia Foundation, below are a few Valencia employees  who shared “Why I Give Where I Work.”

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Gustavo Morales, professor, geology, West Campus:

I give because I like to support all the fantastic work my colleagues do.

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James Thomas, professor, English, East Campus:

I give because I know exactly where my money goes: to help deserving students.

laurie-halftone-180w Laurie Youngman, manager, employee support:

I give because I believe in Valencia’s mission and want to show how strongly.

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Donna Sovern, administrative assistant in the math office on Osceola Campus:

I give because Valencia is a community of helpers, and I love helping our students.

Share your passion for learning and student success! Help our faculty and staff support those students who need it most. Please visit http://www.VALENCIA.org and click on Make a Donation.

You can join the team of almost 300 Valencia colleagues and give today. Simply complete the Payroll Deduction form to start your giving legacy.

If you have questions or would like more information on how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, contact Diana Ciesko, professor, psychology, or Josh Murdock, instructional designer — the Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Chairs, or Donna Marino, CFRE, manager, donor stewardship.

Want to share why you give to Valencia College? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

“Why I Give Where I Work” is a part of the faculty and staff giving campaign that was designed by a team of Valencia employees and honors the commitment of faculty and staff to student success while seeking to provide additional resources for faculty, staff and students who work together to realize educational goals. This campaign is focused on sharing the good work of the Valencia Foundation and encouraging faculty and staff participation based on individual interest and willingness to contribute. A faculty or staff member should not, at any time, feel pressured or compelled to give to the foundation.

Freshman Freebie: Valencia’s graduation gift to 2014 high school graduates in Orange or Osceola Counties

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Start this fall and get one free class.apply now

Class of 2014, this is Valencia College’s graduation gift to you. If you are a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola counties, we will pay for your first class (3-credit hours) at Valencia College. But hurry—you must enroll for fall classes by July 3.

To qualify:

  Be a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola county.

  Apply to Valencia

  Complete steps to enrollment

  Complete new student orientation

  Enroll in classes by July 3, 2014

  Pay for classes by August 15, 2014

 

Assistance is available on a walk-in basis at the Answer Center, or contact Enrollment Services.
Phone 407-582-1507 or email  enroll@valenciacollege.edu.

Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs : Taste for Learning May 17th is for you!

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.
An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

Save the date! Taste for Learning is scheduled for May 17, 2014. All oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs welcome.

For those who are new to Taste for Learning, this is an evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education. The event marks the continuation of joint philanthropy efforts with Orlando Health and Valencia College foundations.

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. With hundreds of wines available why would you miss this event hosted at the luxurious Rosen Shingle Creek?

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

100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to its intended purpose . Every item is donated – from the gourmet food to the international wines poured by their own vintners, and from the advertising to the decor.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128.

6 Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team

Six Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team.

Only 109 students statewide were selected for the team, which is comprised of high-achieving college students from the 28 state and community colleges in the Florida College System.

The students representing Valencia College are: Claudia Arbona Aguirre, Luis Lavieri, Sheri Lynch, Rita Maldonado, Sherin Mathew and Arabel Severe.

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

The All-Florida Academic Team recognizes outstanding students for academic achievement, leadership and service to the community. These students were also nominated to the All-USA Academic Team competition, which is sponsored by USA Today, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The members of the All-Florida Academic Team received the top scholar honor award during a ceremony held on April 24 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Phi Theta Kappa is the honor society for students attending community and two-year colleges. Membership is based on high grade point averages and other criteria, with members focusing on scholastic achievement and service to community and campus.

valencia, orlando health foundations to host ‘taste for learning’ fundraiser

untitledWhile the economy is on the mend, recovery has been difficult for nonprofits. The landscape has changed and those that survived, and thrived, have had to find unique ways to partner and bring support to those who need it most and during an extended period of time.

It is in this spirit of partnership that Valencia College Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation join together to host Taste for Learning on Saturday, May 17, at Rosen Shingle Creek. Taste for Learning is an evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts directly benefit student allied health scholarships and medical education. Every Valencia health scholarship is doubled, expanding the reach of each gift into our community.

Tickets for Taste for Learning are $125 per person and may be purchased online at www.ATasteForLearning.com

When Taste was first proposed in 2005 by Valencia Foundation board member Jess Bailes, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits executive vice president, the idea was to create an event that could be sustained by the support of community partners. The generosity of contributors who donate all necessary items has resulted in $2.27 million to support learning. In-kind contributions include the venue, food, wine, auction items, publicity, printing and décor.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits has invited vintners from around the world who donate hundreds of their finest wines, as well as provide exceptional auction items. Taste will feature over 100 wines coming to Orlando from throughout this country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

This year’s event will feature a selection of worldwide spirits, craft beers and a personalized Maker’s Mark dipping station.

Guests will enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres and sample entrée selections donated by A Land Remembered, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Cabin Creek Catering, Cala Bella, Hard Rock Cafe, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, Rainforest Cafe, Shutters at Old Port Royale (Walt Disney World – Epcot Resort Area – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort), Taverna Yamas, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, T-REX, and Yak & Yeti.

This year’s generous sponsors include: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits; Rosen Shingle Creek; Rosen Hotels and Resorts; Freeman Co.; McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc.; SunTrust Robinson Humphrey; Walt Disney World Resort; CliftonLarsenAllen LLP; Coca-Cola; Martinez Manglardi PA; Orlando Health; Orlando Magic; Signature Systems of Florida; Valencia College; Charles Perry Partners Inc.; Clancy and Theys Construction Co.; HuntonBrady Architects; Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – Dr. Mark Sand, Dr. Jeffrey Bott, Dr. Stephen Hoff; Universal Orlando Resort; and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a study released by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan research group, found that most students drop out of college when faced with the hardship of juggling their dream of education with having to financially support themselves. Far too often, work must come first. We see this struggle in Valencia students, working a full-time or several part-time jobs, as well as balancing family, community, volunteer and personal commitments. Scholarships make a tremendous difference in their ability to attend college.

In the past 13 years, the foundation has disbursed $30 million, making education possible for thousands of students. But there is still crucial work to be done. Valencia Foundation board and leaders strive for a day when anyone who wants to go to Valencia can, regardless of financial circumstance.

Valencia won the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence based on student performance and graduation data. Valencia was lauded for focus on college completion and job preparation. The Aspen Prize was a selection factor for President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Valencia to discuss the economy and leveling the playing field for women.

For more information or to make a donation, please call (407)582-3150 or visit WWW.VALENCIA.ORG

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.”

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.

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!

 

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

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.

spirit of the season

In this season of giving and thanks, what better time to share a heartfelt student scholarship thank you. Valencia student, Christopher, shares what it means to receive the Raymer and Dean Maguire Scholarship.

Saying thank you time and time again couldn’t nearly express my gratitude. I am writing this due to your generosity in extending a helping hand to someone in need, me.

Ever since high school ended and my college life began, it has been a constant struggle staying in school. Whether it was a family ordeal or lack of resources, I was not sure if I could continue attending classes. Recently moving out on my own and taking on more adult responsibilities put a lot more than just financial stress on me. The emotional stress was very taxing and I was not sure I could make it to the following semesters, but then you came along – an answer to my prayers. Just knowing that someone cared enough to help someone like me in such a big way is still awe-inspiring.

I could go on about my life story and my personal trials and errors, and how you helped me out in a time of need, but I won’t. You have given me a future to focus on, a new drive and hope that I will pursue until I succeed. There is no need to dwell on the past because I have been given an opportunity and I will not be taking it lightly. I can’t express my sincere gratitude through words alone and I hope and I pray that I will make you proud in achieving my goals. Thank you again so much for this wonderful blessing you have bestowed on me and I look forward to sharing my achievements with you in the near future.

For everyone that supports Valencia Foundation, thank you. You truly make a difference in the lives of our students. Best wishes for a wonderful new year!

winter blessings

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

This winter I’m reflecting back on the blessings received in 2013.  There have been many in my life including travels, new family members, additional professional accomplishments, budding friendships and visits to and from long time friends.

One of the most profound blessings is the work I do for the Valencia  and the students that are served because of our mission.

Valencia students are more determined than ever to improve their opportunities in life, and perhaps change the future of their family for generations.  This is where your generosity makes a huge difference.

I have witnessed how our student’s lives are impacted by the kindness of our donors. Without foundation scholarships, many would not be able to attend college. Your support continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these students.

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

If you are considering extending your generosity and want to make a difference in the lives of others this year, please consider a donation in support of Valencia College and the students we serve.

If you wish to make a donation please visit us online at www.VALENCIA.org and click on >>Give Now for our secure website.  You may also send your contribution to Valencia Foundation 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Checks dated on or before December 31, 2013 will be marked as a 2013 donation.

I trust that you will give as generously as you can to provide the opportunity for a life-changing learning experience for a Valencia students.

And I wish many blessings to you and your family in the New Year.

Happy holidays!

preparing for tomorow’s generations

When economic prospects look dismal it’s natural to focus on short-term, rather than long-term, goals. Our foundation board is committed to keeping both horizons in our line of sight so that we can serve today’s deserving student and prepare for tomorrow’s generations. 

We imagine a community in which family finances
never stand in the way of earning a college education.

As you plan for your family’s future, I invite you to use our new web site tools at www.VALENCIAGIVING.org, which may spark some creative thinking about how to maintain your legacy forever.

  • Make a bequest pledge that costs you nothing during your life.
  • Give a contribution that provides you lifetime income.
  • Preserve your estate for your heirs and provide years of income to Valencia.
  • Convert surplus life insurance coverage into an endowment.
  • Donate appreciated securities and realize larger tax savings than if you had used cash.

We welcome your feedback on our new online resources, designed to help you chart your charitable intentions, which can be found at www.VALENCIAGIVING.org. If you would prefer, our foundation team would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic objectives and to explore how you and your family can benefit.

P.S. If you have already made Valencia Foundation a planned giving priority please let us know so that you can become a founding member of our new Legacy Society. Feel free to contact Donna Marino, CFRE at (407) 582-3128 to learn more.

violin instructor’s fermata: legacy through music

Pennsylvanian music lover Doris Paisley took a chance on young Neal Phillips when she agreed to teach the preschooler violin. Neal became her youngest student ever.

Doris Paisley’s life was dedicated to performance violin. She joined the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, where she played a total of 40 years and achieved first violin. Doris was a graduate of State Teachers College at Indiana, now Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in education. Her passions were education and music.

When Doris Paisley passed away in 2011, Valencia faculty member Neal Phillips found a way to honor his childhood violin teacher: by providing scholarship funds for musically inclined students to attend college.

Last week, two Valencia College students each received a $1,000 Instrumental Music Scholarships in memory of Ms. Doris Paisley. Both students have a passion for music; the scholarship funds will provide students the resources to explore their love of music while at Valencia and still afford core classes.

Pictured here are students Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Neal Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley) and Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

Pictured here are students Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Neil Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley) and Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

Pictured here are the first students to receive the Doris Paisley scholarship: Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Ms. Paisley’s former student and Valencia professor Neal Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley). Pictured also is Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

sage – study abroad opportunities at valencia

SAGEmainPageBannerValencia students can experience the soul-changing study abroad experience through Valencia’s Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE) program. Scholarships provide access to those who might otherwise be sidelined by finances.

The mission of SAGE is to prepare students to live, work, and collaborate effectively in a global community by providing learning experiences that promote an understanding of cultural diversity, increase language acquisition and fluency, and develop intercultural competency.

What used to be about learning a foreign language in a “real” setting has grown to produce students who are much more reflective about their career path and how that path fits into the world community.

And an October Chicago Tribune article about Stacie Berdan’s book, “A Student Guide to Study Abroad,” says that those skills learned during international study can have lasting effects in the workplace as well, helping set the world traveler apart from their peers in the search for employment.

The SAGE process is started by a faculty member who would like to incorporate a study abroad component in their course. Faculty do research and select a destination that will best meet the course learning outcomes. Jennifer Robertson, director of SAGE, encourages faculty to do a survey prior to finalizing their proposal to ensure that the location is of interest to students.

Even with scholarship support, these programs can be costly. Currently, the committee expects to approve ten to 12 programs each year, but this will depend on the level of scholarship funding available. Interest and faculty involvement in SAGE is growing, but the reality is the program can’t afford to fund all of the expected 18 proposals for the upcoming year.

The SAGE office is currently accepting applications for 2014 short-term study abroad programs to England, India, Brazil, China, Germany and France, Poland and France and Belgium.

Trips to Italy, Panama and Italy and Greece have closed the application process and are scheduled for February and March of 2014. Chef Pierre Pilloud is leading the tour to Italy where students will have the opportunity to learn about various Italian cooking techniques at the Apicius Center School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy.

Biology professor Melissa Schreiber will take students to Panama City to learn about public health awareness in Panama related to infectious disease. Students will attend lectures at the USMA University and spend time at a UNAIDS facility, as well as spending time with patients and their families at a hospice center and local hospitals.

Professors Tammy Gitto-Kania and Caroline Cully are heading up the trip to Greece and Italy. This humanities course will examine dominant areas in Greco-Roman culture as expressed through government, art, literature, music, philosophy and religion.

Jennifer cites funding support as an integral factor in student involvement. “I have found that if students do not have scholarship dollars then they do not participate.”

To make sure that more programs would run and be successful, the SAGE committee decided to award bigger scholarships to fewer students. Even with the $1,700 scholarships, students can still incur costs for a study abroad experience. It is a fact that keeps Jennifer and her staff always on the search to identify new funding sources for the program.

It is an effort that is most worthwhile and students reap the benefits of a successful SAGE program. Jennifer says, “There is a lot of research already published on the benefits of study abroad, and they have been able to conclude that study abroad increases a student’s ‘global-mindedness’ to sum it up in just a few words. While we cannot really create ‘global citizens’ with just one short-term study abroad experience, these programs open up the minds of our students to the unlimited possibilities that are out there. They come back with a whole new perspective on life and are forever transformed.”

Additionally she shares that study abroad has been linked to higher retention and graduation rates.

Danielle McArdle traveled to Beijing and Shanghai to learn about business in China and feels that she learned so much while she was there. “Study abroad opportunities are important because they broaden your perspectives and open your mind to the fact that the world you live in is not just your immediate surroundings but the whole world.”

Sharon Chacon is a student on Valencia’s Osceola Campus and she traveled to England for a leadership course. She feels it was an incredible experience that allowed her to expand her horizon and immerse herself in a different culture. She says the course changed her life.

“I feel that this study abroad experience and similar opportunities are important because they allow us to grow as people in areas of communications, relations and personal knowledge.” And she echoes the remarks of the Chicago Tribune, citing that study abroad sets her apart from her peers and looks “amazing” on college applications – to have explored beyond America and shown the responsibility and skillfulness required to function in another country.

Sharon is grateful to the scholarship donors who made her trip possible. “The fun and memories I made, along with the friends and partnerships I made in England are priceless. The knowledge and opportunities granted by their donations allowed me to grow as a young adult as well as providing information and experience in the real world. All these things aren’t something that can be taken from you and they will live forever in your heart and mind, thus making the thank you never-ending and completely sincere!”

For more information, you can find SAGE on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB9F7378CCA172DE9&feature=plcp

You can also join the Valencia College Study Abroad group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_192350680814167

consulate awards scholarships for valencia students of mexican origin

IME BECAS Scholarships Funds Awarded: The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

IME BECAS Scholarships Funds Awarded: The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

The Mexican Consulate in Orlando awarded Valencia College $4,000 in scholarships to benefit Mexican-American students. Together with matching dollars from the Valencia Foundation, the college will award four students each with a $2,000 scholarship. Recipients must be current Valencia students who are Mexican or of Mexican descent.

A total of $28,000 was awarded by the consulate to three Florida colleges and two nonprofits during a ceremony held earlier today at the consulate. Each award will be matched by the recipients’ foundations to provide $56,000 in scholarships to benefit more than 160 students.

“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the Mexican Consulate to provide scholarship support to students of Mexican descent,” said Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses. “One of our strategies to increase the number of students who pursue a higher education in our community is to reduce the financial barriers they face, and this scholarship program will help several of our students to realize their dreams at Valencia College.”

Hispanics make up the largest minority group at Valencia at 31 percent. In the last five years, Hispanic enrollment at the college has grown by 37%, or 4,959 students.

This is the second year that Valencia has received these funds, after awarding scholarships last year to four Mexican-America students, including:

  • Ashley Vasquez, a first-generation college student, member of Phi Theta Kappa, who dreams of becoming an optometrist and plans to complete her A.A. then transfer to UCF for her bachelor’s;
  • Daisy Mondragon, who’s pursing an A.S in Radiology Technician and is hoping to graduate in December 2014;
  • Carolina Lopez, married with small children, will be the first in her family to graduate from college. She’s studying for her A.S. in nursing—a highly competitive and rigorous program—and plans to complete her bachelor’s in nursing at UCF.

The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

Information on how students can apply for the scholarships can be found here: https://valenciafoundation.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/2013-14-ime-becas-scholarship-available-now-2/

note from the “Tina’s Heart” scholarship committee

The endowed scholarship created in memory of Valencia student Christine “Tina” Collyer will begin distributing to Valencia College students in 2014.  Family and friends of Tina celebrated her memory in the following letter that thanked community members and contributors of this learning legacy.

Thank you so much for your donation to Tina's Heart Scholarship. Your generosity made this scholarship possible. Most donations came through the 2011 and 2012 Tina's Turn Out events at Lake Eola, the support of Valencia's Alumni Association, and through the 2013 graduating class at Valencia College. We are so very grateful to all of you.We are happy to announce that the Tina’s Heart Scholarship in memory of Tina Collyer is now endowed!

Starting in 2014, Valencia will award one scholarship every year to a freshman student who will attend Valencia. EVERY YEAR!!! Although the specific criteria for eligibility to receive the scholarship has not been finalized, it will be awarded to a student who has participated in the Fire Department Explorer program and wants to pursue a career as a firefighter/EMT.

The Orlando Fire Department Explorer program was at the center of Tina’s heart, and she inspired the Explorers that she guided through the program. Tina’s legacy will live on in our memories and this scholarship will extend that legacy to future Explorers!

Thank you so much for your donation to Tina’s Heart Scholarship, as your generosity made this scholarship possible. Most donations came through our 2011 and 2012 Tina’s Turn Out events at Lake Eola, through the Valencia Alumni Association, and through the 2013 graduating class at Valencia College. We are so very grateful to all of you.

Please celebrate Tina whenever you think of her – when you take a walk around Lake Eola, or when you hear a fire truck, or just whenever you think of her crazy antics.

With heartfelt thanks,

The Tina’s Heart Scholarship Committee
Janice Collyer, Bill Collyer, Shannon Omark, Suzanne Rhodes, Barbara Shell, Randy & Genie Tuten

P.S. If you would like to provide input on the eligibility and selection criteria prior to the 2014 Scholarship season, please contact Shannon Omark at sbomark@mchsi.com or Suzanne Rhodes at suz403@yahoo.com prior to March 1, 2014.

Christine ”Tina” Collyer’s lifelong dream of becoming a fire fighter was ignited by an AS degree in Fire Officer Technology, an AS in Emergency Medical Service Technology and a certificate in Paramedic Technology from Valencia Community College. In January of 1996 she joined the Orlando Fire Department and also served as Paramedic and instructor for the department and citizens of Orlando.

Tina was the Explorer Advisor for many years and proudly served on the Honor Guard. Her contributions to the Orlando community extended as a volunteer with Burn Camp, Dream Flight, and the Winnie Palmer Secret Santa.

Friends and family are honoring Tina’s commitment to learning and her giving spirit with a scholarship in her honor.  The family wanted to create hope with Tina’s Heart marking one year since Tina’s passing in October 2008.

For more information about the efforts of this committee in memory of Valencia Grad Tina Collyer please read the blogs In memory of Tina Collyer and The results are in: Tina’s Turnout for scholarships.

checking up on the dental hygiene program

DentalHygieneReunion015October is homecoming month for Valencia with a number of events scheduled to bring alumni back to campus, including the 35th anniversary Valencia dental hygiene program reunion on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Valencia College’s dental hygiene program was established in 1977 and graduated its charter class of 23 students in 1978. The graduates of the program are employed as clinicians, educators and public health hygienists. Numerous graduates have continued their education in dental hygiene, dentistry, education and public health.

The reunion celebration offers graduates a chance to stay connected to the program. One alumna takes that connection a step further, by offering generous scholarship funding. Megan Warlow is a 1989 graduate of the program and provides scholarship dollars to those who are following in her footsteps.

Emily Anderson is a 2012-2013 recipient of that funding. She found out about the opportunity through the dental hygiene program director, Pamela Sandy. Without this assistance, she would not have been able to return to college.

Emily plans to continue schooling and obtain a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. She wants to be active in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and support the work to increase the scope of practice for dental hygienists in Florida.

Beyond the dollars, the greatest gift she received from the scholarship was the confidence to go after what she wanted. “I feel like I have a team of cheerleaders in my corner,” she describes, declaring that she feels obligated to succeed and pay it forward.

And she already is paying it forward, seizing an opportunity that presented itself at a First One campaign event for the foundation. It was there that Emily met a young man who was the eldest of 12 siblings whose life had a rough start with a teenage mother and trouble around every corner. He shared that sometimes he gets lonely and wants to give up on his dream of education.

As Megan Warlow was the cheerleader for Emily, she became the cheerleader for this young man, sending him the link to apply for scholarships and offering to be that friend in need when the going gets tough.

She credits the scholarship with helping to shape this outlook. “It has created a momentum that carries me and affects all those around me.”

She realizes that scholarships are a blessing that can help dreams become a reality and have a positive effect on the community. “I feel that the more skilled and educated people become, the more they contribute to making our society better as a whole. Often without the support, many talented individuals will not reach their full potential because they cannot afford to go to college.”

Jessica Alexander is another 2012-2013 recipient. She is finishing up her core classes, currently with a 4.0 GPA, and she hopes to find “a job that I love” after graduation.

She was referred to the online scholarship application through the Answer Center at the college. “When I saw the foundation scholarship, I figured I would give it a shot.”

And quite a shot it was. “Amazing!” she recounts. The scholarship surpassed anything she could imagine and provided almost a year’s worth of schooling for her.

Like Emily, Jessica comments that the financial burden is what keeps so many people from getting a degree. Thanks to her benefactor, she has peace of mind and can focus on her studies.

She thinks that scholarships are important because they reassure students that they are headed in the right direction. “All students have a time when they wonder if they are on the right path and when you receive a scholarship, it makes you feel like you are in the right place.”

And after graduation, expect to see both of them at reunions and alumni functions. Jessica says, “I will definitely keep in touch with the dental hygiene program. I have had such a great experience so far at Valencia. This year has changed me so much and I know over the next few years I will grow even more. I will always have the relationships and experiences to take with me.”

From Emily, “I definitely plan to keep in touch with the dental hygiene program after I leave. My entire experience with Valencia has been about making connections and feeling like part of a family committed to helping everyone succeed. At each event I have attended, I have seen the dedication that alumni have shown to their alma mater and I know that I will want to do the same!”

For all interested in the October reunion, the event will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Special Events Center on the college’s West Campus. Please RSVP by Oct. 7 to 407-582-3426 or alumni@valenciacollege.edu.

a closer look: valencia’s paralegal program

paralegalAs Valencia’s alumni relations efforts continue to grow, certain disciplines develop their own alumni followings and host receptions that provide professional networking opportunities, as well as a great chance to catch up with former classmates.

This is the case for the paralegal program, which is hosting an alumni reception on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the auditorium of Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute.

As the legal system becomes more and more complex, lawyers are increasingly turning to qualified paralegals to provide essential support services. The paralegal is one of the lawyer’s most valuable resources, performing substantive legal work delegated and supervised by the lawyer, including assisting with trial preparation and real estate closings, drafting legal documents and performing research.

Students in Valencia’s AS degree program in paralegal studies develop a strong background in many areas, including civil litigation, real property, business organizations, legal research and legal technology. Students also gain an understanding of the ethical framework within which they work and can effectively analyze and communicate in these areas.

Students may choose to specialize in two areas, litigation or transactional, and can work for lawyers in myriad of institutions, including firms, banks, corporations and government agencies.

Approximately 35 percent of program graduates transfer to an institution offering a baccalaureate degree. For students who choose this route, the program at Valencia has an articulation agreement with UCF and Valencia graduates may transfer to UCF’s BA or BS in legal studies program. There is also an articulation agreement with Florida Gulf Coast University, offering students a chance to complete an online bachelor’s degree in legal studies.

The program provides many ways to prepare students for the job market, beginning in PLA 1003, Introduction to Paralegal Practices and Ethics. In this class, the students are required to prepare a resume, cover letter and references. A guest speaker is also invited to provide information regarding the current job market and hiring tips. Students are encouraged to attend a free seminar sponsored by the Central Florida Paralegal Association that addresses the topic of resumes.

Program director, Wendy Toscano, is an important resource for the students. Upon request, she will meet with a student individually, review their resume and assist them in job searches. Students are also supported by the college’s Career Center, which provides resume writing assistance, mock interviews, career counseling and reference materials related to the paralegal profession and law school.

In their final year of studies, students will take PLA 2192, Legal Research and Theory III: Capstone. In this class students will create a portfolio of their assignments completed through the program. This portfolio can be used to showcase work during a job interview. Students are also required to prepare an updated resume, cover letter and reference list, as well as participate in a mock interview with a career counselor. This course also affords the opportunity to job shadow with local attorneys and paralegals to experience law firm culture.

For many, internships are a key experience when deciding a future career and life path. The paralegal program does provide an intern course as an elective. A member of the paralegal program faculty is responsible for placing, monitoring and evaluating the internship. Valencia paralegal students have interned with the state attorney’s office, working closely with the assistant state attorneys. Students have also interned with local law firms, small and large, as well as solo practitioners.

The program is supported by a strong advisory committee. The committee provides meaningful guidance, job shadowing, internships and jobs, funds for book scholarships and other program needs. They also help with the most important factor in getting a job – networking. Wendy Toscano states that bringing the alumni together with current students and the advisory committee is a great way to learn about job opportunities and recent developments in the paralegal arena.

Wendy expands on the importance of alumni in the equation: “Program alumni are one of our primary sources regarding paralegal job opportunities in the Central Florida legal community as well as current trends affecting the paralegal career. They are also living, breathing examples of the quality of Valencia’s paralegal studies program.”

There is something else that provides assistance to our paralegal students, and Valencia students in all disciplines – scholarships. Scholarships lead to more graduates, which strengthens our alumni base and leads to all of these great networking and reunion events.

One day soon, Melixa and Katie will be proud alumni sharing their stories and serving as the embodiment of how education can change the trajectory of a life.

Melixa is currently unemployed and has a child with severe learning disabilities, but she says she will continue to fight for their future. It is a future that will involve more education as she would like to transfer to UCF to complete a bachelor’s degree. Her dream is to go to law school and one day have the initials JD behind her name.

Flattered and blessed, that is how Melixa feels about her scholarship support. Her first reaction to the scholarship news was to laugh out loud and say, “Thank you all!” She feels the faculty at Valencia is doing a superb job and she is proud to say that she is a Valencia student.

To the generous donors, she says, “God has provided angels disguised as scholarship benefactors. Again, my children and I say thank you for investing in our future. I will do the same for others when the time comes.”

A very special benefactor offered assistance to Katie, Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq. Helen is a past president of the Valencia Foundation board and one of our most treasured friends. Her generosity knows no bounds and students like Katie reap the rewards of that philanthropy.

Katie is a single mom with four children and this is her first time in college. There was a problem accessing her financial aid and she found herself struggling to pay for two semesters. She hopes getting a degree will improve her life and her children’s. “I want to show them I can, and will, succeed.”

Come share your success and mix and mingle with fellow paralegal graduates on the 24th. RSVP to 407-582-3426 or alumni@valenciacollege.edu by Oct. 21.

Note: Paralegals cannot give legal advice, represent a client, or provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

thank you femmes de coeur

Sending appreciation to Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) for the recent $5,000 donation to Valencia Foundation. This generous contribution is earmarked to support Valencia College nursing students through the Femmes de Coeur Endowed Nursing Scholarship.

In addition to Valencia College Nurising program, Femmes de Coeur also contributed to Florida Hospital College of Health and Sciences, Seminole State College and UCF College of Nursing.

FemmesDC

first one campaign success

First One GroupThanks to grassroots support, Valencia gathered $203,746 in scholarships for students who are the first in their families to attend college. That total includes our dollar-for-dollar match through a challenge grant; 100 percent of this money will go directly to students.

Top internal fundraisers were: Paula Pritchard, dean of nursing, Annmarie Coco Wise, purchasing agent, Katie Shephard, speech professor, Brenda Jones, facilities specialist, David Hosman, student life skills professor, Amanda Kern, graphics technology professor, Rob McCaffrey, graphics technology professor, and Josh Murdock, instructional designer.

The top Valencia alumni teams were led by Michele Nichols (Generation One), Julie Bennett (Gladiators in Wingtips) and Zia-ur-Rehman Ansari (Team Zia).

Foundation board members Rebecca York and Sue Foreman and foundation director emeritus and alumnna Sarah Kelly helped the team surpass its goal.

The most productive internal teams were graphic design, nursing, purchasing and OIT. These fearless internal philanthropy warriors were led by many, including Kristy Pennino and Ariane Dicarlo.

Kudos to Jason Dodge and the Valencia Volunteers team for their commitment, enthusiasm and heart.

Our thanks to each of you for, once again, putting students first.

discussion on philanthropy

This month we are going full spectrum, featuring both a donor and scholarship recipient perspective.

Patti Riva is a true friend of Valencia Foundation. She has been an active donor for 15 years. She is a planned giving donor and member of the Legacy Society as well as a member of the Jeffersonian Society (formerly the President’s Circle).

Born in Orlando, this Florida native attended University of Hawaii for her master’s degree and also worked there for six years. She then moved on to Los Angeles and worked at the University of California for ten years.

She came back to Florida in 1996 and became a Valencia employee in 1998, working in the marketing department coordinating the production of the continuing education course booklet. She then secured a position overseeing a grant funded program for single parents, followed by her role as evening/weekend manager for the Winter Park campus. In July 2011, she began a new adventure as operations manager, energy education with a focus on energy savings college-wide.

Her definition of philanthropy is simple: “As part of my job and how I hope each day of my life allows, I would define philanthropy simply as helping make a positive difference for someone or some group.”

She feels it is important to support Valencia scholarships as it is all about giving back. “I always say we are in ‘this’ together. ‘This’ represents so many aspects – the Valencia family, my own friends and family; and yet however one defines ‘this,’ we do it together. It’s exciting to see what a difference a scholarship can make for someone,” she says. It shows that someone believed in them and cared enough to invest in their future. “What do we know about their circumstances? How big of a difference did this make for them? What message does it send to their family and friends about how you are valued and we gladly support you? I can’t say enough about the value of giving.”

Valencia student Fleck Cadeau has been on the receiving end of this giving as a foundation scholarship recipient. Fleck has always been fascinated with the unknown and drawn to science. With the goal in mind of becoming a doctor, he chose to major in biomedical science, which combines his passion for science with his interest in medicine. His short term goal is to earn an undergraduate degree from UCF and then gain entrance to medical school, hopefully at UCF’s College of Medicine. His long term goal is to become a licensed surgeon working at one of Orlando’s hospitals.

Fleck Cadeau

Fleck Cadeau

He takes a global view of philanthropy. “My definition of philanthropy is showing compassion for your fellow human being; whether it is through donation, volunteering or just making steps towards improving life for others who are less fortunate. I believe that through philanthropy, we are able to care for and help improve parts of the world that have less than we do. For example, when we donate money and nourishment to poverty-stricken countries we are helping improve these countries with philanthropic acts.”

He believes it is important to support scholarships as they provide aid to students who are in need and serve as accolades for students who have persevered and excelled throughout their educational journey. He uses himself as an example, not being from an affluent background made it difficult to afford school. He found himself working a lot, “which complicated my education because now I had to balance work and school. However, with the help from the scholarship I received, I am able to work less and place greater focus on school.”

Fleck feels that supporting education will benefit Valencia as a whole. “When Valencia awards scholarships to deserving students it indicates to that individual that his/her hard work actually does pay off. This trend will filter to the rest of the school’s population, increasing performance in education.”

This month gives us interesting perspective from two active audiences at the foundation – the student who has big plans for the future and the benefactor who makes it all possible.

a closer look – valencia’s first one campaign

Our First One campaign ended on Aug. 31 with $200,495 raised for student scholarships. This amount includes the dollar-for-dollar match that is the result of a challenge grant. 100 percent of the amount will go directly to scholarships for those that are the first in their families to attend college.
first-one-avatars-23

We’ve had a lot of fun during the campaign, reaching out via social media and tracking progress on WWW.VALENCIA.ORG/FirstOne.

Keith Houck, Valencia’s vice president of operations and finance, was the top fundraiser with $2,254 raised. And coming in second with $1,289 was donor Sarah Kelly.

There was some competition between Osceola campus president, and first-generation scholar, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, and West campus president Dr. Falecia Williams and both made the top fundraiser honor roll. And kudos to our very own Donna Marino!

Valencia alumna Michele Nichols and foundation board member Sue Foreman also made the list. And there was a strong showing among Valencia faculty and staff: Dr. Paula Pritchard, Annmarie Wise, Katie Shephard and Carol Millenson all made the list of top 15 fundraisers.

Foundation board member Rebecca York joined forces with Sue Foreman and their One Valencia team was at the top!

There were top teams throughout Valencia, including ones from the leadership team, West campus, graphic design, nursing, purchasing and OIT. Student government rallied and raised $1,105, surpassing their $500 goal.

You were introduced to Patti Riva in the above story and now you know she and Carol Millenson were behind the top producing AAWCC Prima team. Valencia retirees had a strong showing with $655 raised.

Professors Diana Ciesko and April Raneri joined top fundraiser Katie Shephard for the Speak Up team and Valencia’s very own house band, Rogue Scholars, raised $479.

Valencia alumni teams filled out the rest of the top 15 teams with Julie Bennett and the Gladiators in Wingtips team and Team Zia led by alumnus Zia-ur-Rehman Ansari.

Another great thing about the campaign was hearing all the “first” stories and meeting some of our first-generation students. This campaign afforded all of us at the foundation a chance to learn more about those we work with and the students we serve, truly a valuable outcome of the First One campaign.

Last month we learned that Dr. Kathleen Plinkse, Osceola campus president, and Dr. Joyce Romano, vice president of student affairs, were both first-generation students. This month we hear from Belen Caba, assistant director of admissions and records at Osceola campus, and Debra Hodges, associate professor of speech and instructional assistant for the Writing Center on West campus.

Belen was the first in her family to obtain a degree beyond high school. She completed her bachelor’s degree in business administration, while at the same time managing a business and raising three children with her husband. She recently obtained her MBA with a specialization in information technology. Both of these accomplishments are very proud moments in her life.

Belen grew up in an urban community, where it was a struggle to make ends meet and the dangers of violence and drugs were always present. She credits her mother with making her the person she is today and instilling in her the belief that “education will take you farther than you can see.”

She feels she is living proof of that sentiment and through her work today, she hopes to spread that same passion for learning. She feels this passion and zest regarding education is especially important when students are facing what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. “I always tell them that working toward this goal is hard, but the rewards of completing a degree are worth it in the end.”

And it is not just in the workplace, on the home front too she promotes education, and it has worked. One of her children will be completing a degree in civil engineering this fall and another has a goal of being a computer engineer.

She credits education with getting her where she is today. “If it were not for my pursuit of higher education, I could not have made it to the position I currently have. I could not be in a better place to help the next generation attain the goal of being first in their family as I was. I hope to serve as a role model to others that education is attainable no matter your circumstances.”

Debra Hodges grew up in a family of five children, four girls and a boy. Her earliest memories were of the joy she experienced at school. Her favorite doll was “Suzy Schoolteacher,” with a little student desk, chalkboard and chalk. Though her sister was five years her senior, it was Debra who was always the teacher when they played school.

Her parents were proponents of higher education and Debra heard their message. While her sisters and brother dropped out of high school, Debra was determined to continue her education and become an educator.

It was at church when she was just 9 years old that she chose her school. The famed concert choir from Trevecca Nazarene University performed and she whispered to her father, “Daddy, I want to sing in that choir when I go to Trevecca!”

And she did. She graduated from high school a year early and auditioned for the concert choir at Trevecca Nazarene University, a small, liberal arts college in Tennessee. She traveled and performed with the choir in eight countries in Europe and throughout the southeast United States.

She completed college with honors after just three years and immediately began to pursue her master’s degree in preparation to teach college. She received the coveted master’s degree and remains the first in her family to gain a higher education.

She happily shares that her daughter is a Valencia alumna who went on to receive her degree from UCF. Debra is hopeful that her daughter will continue on with her education. “Who knows, maybe she will achieve a doctorate!”

Belen and Debra certainly paved the way for their children. Valencia students Taisha and Bianca had to navigate their journey on their own. They agreed to share their stories so that we can better understand the true impact of investing in first-generation students at Valencia.

Taisha Imani is expected to graduate in May 2014 with a degree in medical office administration. She wants to start her career immediately and is open to the possibility of continuing her education to advance in her profession.

As to why she chose Valencia, she says, “Valencia is an amazing school that gives many people, young and old, the opportunity to seek a degree and better their lives.” She is also grateful that tuition rates have stayed constant, unlike other institutions that have raised costs over the last few years. “I don’t know of any other school that cares about their students that way.”

She is the first in her family to go to college and acknowledges that is important. She sees herself “breaking the cycle of poor education in my family and hopefully beginning a new one that my children will follow.” She hopes to make life better for her family and wants to be a role model for her children so that they too will pursue a higher education. Her actions reinforce the belief that education is important and valuable in life.

She feels that scholarships are important because, simply put, college costs money. Not everyone can afford it and there are so many that may not qualify for financial aid. She echoes the sentiments of both Patti and Fleck from the story above, it is not just the gift of funds, but the fact that someone cares. “Scholarships, in my opinion, not only help out students financially, but it tells the student that someone believes in them and wants to invest in their education without any expectation of having to pay it back.”

Bianca Maldonado is also a first-generation student. She chose Valencia “because of all the great things I heard about it.” Even though they did not attend college, her parents raised her with the belief that she would have a higher education. “Even when I was younger, going to college was always something that was planned for me.”

Bianca Maldonado

Bianca Maldonado

Her father is very successful now, but she admits it was hard for him to get to that point without a college degree. Now she serves as an inspiration to the younger generation of her family. They can look up to her and say, “I can go to college too!”

Bianca will graduate in the summer of 2014 with an AS degree in nursing. She plans to go on to UCF and attain her bachelor’s degree.

She has met many other Valencia students who struggle with paying for education, working more than one job and juggling family responsibilities. She feels that scholarships offer a sense of relief and it is a great achievement to be chosen. “It makes you feel that all of the hard work that you have been doing is for a reason and someone out there thinks you are doing a great job.”

I asked both Bianca and Taisha what they would say if they could meet their scholarship benefactors. For all of you who donated to the First One campaign, these words are for you.

“I would tell them how grateful I am for the opportunity. This scholarship has offered me a way of focusing on my studies and not on how I am going to pay for it, so thank you!” – Bianca

“I would tell the kind people who donated the scholarship money how thankful and appreciative I am that they chose to donate this money for my future. I would let them know that they have not only invested in helping my life, but also the lives of my three small children. Their generous support will help me to be the role model I so desperately want to be, to show them that no matter where they come from or what people say, you can always make something of yourself if you put in the work and dedication.” – Taisha

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 http://www.valencia.org/FirstOne.

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 http://www.valencia.org/FirstOne and help someone today.

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 http://www.valencia.org/firstone, 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 dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or extension 3128.

a closer look – a conversation with dr. joyce romano

Dr. Romano and Barbara Shell at the First One kick-off

Dr. Romano and Barbara Shell at the First One kick-off

I learned that Valencia’s vice president of student affairs, Dr. Joyce Romano, was a first-generation student when she spoke at our First One campaign kick-off celebration. After hearing her words, I was interested in learning more. Hers is a first-generation student story set against the women’s movement and the changes of the 70s.

She was a good student in high school and counts herself lucky that she had friends whose families were college oriented because her family was not. Her parents lived very simply, there was no savings account, much less one for college.

Her father was born in 1910 and her mother in 1916. When she was 17, Dr. Romano’s mother told her that a girl didn’t need a college education. And she was right, speaking from her life model – women grew up, got married, had children and did not work outside the home. Looking back, Dr. Romano also thinks that this sentiment was shared because “she felt really bad that she couldn’t pay for it and I had to struggle on my own.”

Dr. Romano started to save for college early, babysitting when she was 12, getting a job at 16, working every summer, sometimes two jobs at a time. She worked very hard and saved every dime. “My friends used to beg me to go out with them but I would tell them no, I already spent my $5 this week.”

She was always a saver and always oriented toward college. She went to college before all the federal financial aid programs were available, so she paid her own way and took out a small loan from her hometown bank. She also had two or three different jobs on campus and feels those were an enrichment part of her education.

She was interested in psychology so she chose that as her major, receiving her bachelor’s degree and going on to receive her master’s in counseling psychology. She then went to the University of Kansas and received her doctorate by the time she was 31.

She was planning on being a therapist, working in community mental health, but a job opportunity changed her plans and set the course for her future. The job was in Residence Life and the men she worked with were extremely inclusive, treating her not as a graduate student, but as a professional. When she finished her master’s degree they offered her a full-time job with the office. And it was in this realm of student affairs and student activities that she built her career.

She came to Valencia as coordinator of student development on West campus. A few years later, then college president Dr. Gianini revamped student services as a result of feedback he got through the 1993 SACS reaccreditation process. She took an interim role in the new organization in 1994. Soon, she championed her own cause and pushed for a job search, with no guarantee she would get the job, and became a college administrator. She was in that position for nine years and when senior administrator Dr. Hooks retired, Dr. Shugart made her interim vice president of student affairs. She went through another search process and after about 9 months, she was named as vice president of student affairs. That was almost ten years ago.

She admits that even when she went to college, she had no idea she would be doing what she is doing now. It brings her back to her first-generation experience, “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.” Even in her career, she admits that it never crossed her mind to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer or pilot.

Part of this view was due to being the first in her family to attend college and part of it was the women’s movement. Dr. Romano went to school when times were changing for women, their roles in life – home and work – were moving toward what we may take for granted today. Dr. Romano admits that she is definitely a product of the women’s movement and the women she met on campus and saw as role models were the real leaders of the movement. These were the days of Betty Friedan, founder and first president of the National Organization for Women, speaking on campus. Dr. Romano recalls her resident assistant when she was a freshman. She would get everyone together to go to speeches or programs, either on her campus or at nearby Cornell University. People were acknowledging barriers and having conversations about it. The feminist perspective was gaining momentum and was enormously eye-opening. “That’s definitely what my college education gave me,” she says.

Asked why she feels college is so important, Dr. Romano is quick to reply, “It expands your sense of yourself and what is possible. It expands your view of the world and what is in it and what people are in it and what opportunities are in it.”

And she says one thing that students don’t understand when they start, and she didn’t understand, is that it is a process. “Learning is a process. It’s a true development so it is not just a collection of 20 courses that you take to get a degree.” She feels it is much more, following a concept of Gestalt psychology, “that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts.” It is not an additive process, she shares, more of a multiplying process where you build on experiences that just get bigger and bigger and sets you up to be a curious person in the world.

Dr. Romano did something wonderful during her remarks at our campaign kick-off. She presented foundation president Geraldine with a check to endow the Cliff Romano Scholarship.

She had a few reasons to establish the scholarship and one led back to her dissertation tribute. In it, she wrote that she regrets that her parents did not have the opportunity for a higher education as she did, and that it was simply a matter of the time they were born, it had nothing to do with intellect or curiosity. Indeed, she shares that both her parents were very curious. And her husband’s parents have a similar story. Neither were college educated, although his father went to the community college in his area after he retired and got an associate degree, becoming involved in the theater department. It is an artistic trait that she says runs in her husband’s family. It really is fitting that it is the Cliff Romano Scholarship because they are both first-generation college students. The scholarship also offers a wonderful way to pay tribute to the memory of these four parents, leaving a legacy that will last a lifetime.

She admits that, given the simple way her parents lived their life, she was surprised there was any money to inherit. She felt very strongly that she wanted to take the funds and pay it forward to help people like her parents get an opportunity. She chose Valencia Foundation because she feels that under Geraldine’s leadership, the foundation is humble and focused on serving the students. And she also loved the fact that here, at Valencia, $25,000 can make a remarkable difference in the lives of our students. When people hear or think about philanthropy, they might assume that you have to be a billionaire to be able to do something. But she proves that wrong and says, “It feels pretty good to be able to make a difference in someone’s life.”

And she brings it all back to her first-generation experience and how college changed her world view. Somebody like me could actually establish a scholarship? Dr. Romano proves that yes, someone like her and her good works can have a lasting effect on Valencia students. And she feels that through the scholarship, it is her parents, still giving her opportunity that she never felt that someone like her would ever have.

support first generation in college students

Have you pledged your support to our First One campaign? With a deadline of Aug. 10, we are trying to raise $100,000 for first-generation student scholarships.

Life is a celebration of firsts, and through this campaign, you can give a first that lasts a lifetime – being the first in the family to attend college.

Please join us today at www.valencia.org/FirstOne

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faculty and staff giving committee award 5 student scholarships

Valencia’s Student Opportunity Circle Scholarship — the first scholarship created solely with donations from faculty and staff —  awards 5 student scholarships for academic year 2013-2014.

Special thanks to Valencia’s faculty and staff committee ambassadors for their work diligently screening and reviewing scholarship applications from deserving students.

This scholarship is the direct result of Valencia’s annual Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, designed by a team of Valencia faculty and staff.

Valencia Faculty and Staff campaign ambassadors offer their support of First One.  Valencia established the First One campaign to help first generation college students, those that are first in their families to attend college.

Valencia Faculty and Staff campaign ambassadors offer their support of First One. Valencia Foundation established the First One campaign to help first generation students, those that are first in their families to attend college, with scholarship support.

At the quarterly meeting on July 19th, the faculty and staff committee ambassadors also committed their individual time and resources in support of Valencia’s First One campaign.

Valencia Foundation launched First One as a fund-raising effort to help first-generation, low-income students pursue a college education.

The First One campaign provides the opportunity to give another first by helping a student go to college. For more information on First One please visit: http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE

For more information on Valencia’s faculty and staff committee please visit: http://www.valencia.org/fsg/committee.cfm

The First One campaign takes advantage of Florida’s First Generation Matching Grant Program that maximizes state dollars for students through a dollar-for-dollar match of private contributions. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 29,000 Valencia students were the first in their families to go to college.

online fundraising campaign for first generation scholars

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful. The students you serve are grateful. The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful.
The students Valencia serves are grateful.
The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

Were you the first person in your family to attend college? If so, we’d like to hear your story and share it as an inspiration for our students and our donors.

Valencia has launched its first online fundraising campaign called First One. This short-term grassroots effort is spearheaded by faculty, staff, students, alumni and other community supporters.

We’re looking to gather $100,000 from our friends, which, quite frankly, is an ambitious initial effort. But think about the impact your efforts will have on individual lives!

Gifts raised by August 31, 2013 are doubled by a matching grant! This means that once we reach our fundraising goal, we’ll be able to provide $200,000 in scholarships to deserving students who are among the first ones in their families to attend college.
Here’s how you can play an important part:

• Share your story! Please email a few paragraphs to jwileden@valenciacollege.edu.

• If you use social media, please temporarily change your avatar to one of our nifty First One pictures, which you will find here. (Your friends will ask questions.)

• We welcome your gift, which can be made by credit card by clicking here.

• To make a donation by check, please send it to: Valencia Foundation at DTC-1 with First One in the memo line. We’ll be sure it counts toward the online campaign and that it is matched.

• To amplify your reach and impact, consider creating a team you can manage at WWW.VALENCIA.ORG/FirstOne. If, for example, you have nine other team members and each raises $250, your impact will be $2,500 x 2 = $5,000 for scholarships!

• If you’d rather use your mad social media skills to spread the word about the First One campaign far and wide, please click here.

• Visit WWW.VALENCIA.ORG/FirstOne to start a team or make a donation today. For more information on the campaign, contact Donna Marino  at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or Barbara Shell bshell@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-582-3150.

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful. The students you serve are grateful. The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

Through this campaign – and every day on campus – you are transforming lives and families.

Thank you.

Geraldine

Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE

President and CEO

Valencia College Foundation

first one campaign kick-off

Last Wednesday, the foundation kicked off our First One campaign. The First One campaign is a six-week online campaign that hopes to raise $100,000 in scholarships for first generation college students. These students are the first in their family to attend college, and the campaign itself is a celebration of firsts – those special memories that help shape who we are today. For more information on the campaign, please visit http://www.Valencia.org/FirstOne.

a first that will last a lifetime

Now, you have the opportunity to help someone else have a first that will last a lifetime — becoming the first person in their family to go to college. And, with dollar-to-dollar matching on donations, you can make twice the impact.

First One Donate

Valencia established the First One campaign to help first generation college students, those that are first in their families to attend college.

The First One campaign provides the opportunity to give another first by helping a student go to college. – See more at: http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE

first one efforts support first generation college students

New Campaign Seeks to Raise Scholarships for First-Generation College Students – by Carol Traynor

Valencia Foundation has launched a fund-raising effort to help first-generation, low-income students pursue a college education. The “First One” campaign takes advantage of Florida’s First Generation Matching Grant Program that maximizes state dollars for students through a dollar-for-dollar match of private contributions.

First One Kickoff

To share your “first” or show your support through a donation, go to http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE or http://facebook.com/myvalenciafoundation

“For first-generation students, a college degree not only transforms their lives, but alters the trajectory of their families for generations to come,” said Geraldine Gallagher, Foundation president and CEO.

During the 2011-12 school year, more than 29,000 Valencia students were the first in their families to go to college.

The campaign, which lasts from July 1 to August 9, seeks to raise $100,000 in private donations with a $100,000 state match. Students who qualify will be eligible for a scholarship of up to $2,000 to help offset the costs associated with college, including tuition, books and supplies, that cannot always be met with state or federal aid alone.

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First-generation student and Valencia graduate Donald Gibson shared that he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school, not just college.

At a kick-off event held yesterday, first-generation student Donald Gibson, 31, told the crowd assembled that he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school, not just college. After graduating from Poinciana High in 2000, he spent five years in the military and later enrolled in college.

“I got my first-generation scholarship right as my GI Bill was running out. If it weren’t for that, I probably would have had to drop out my last semester,” Gibson said.

Finances are just one of the obstacles many first-generation students face. Joyce Romano, Valencia’s vice president of Student Affairs, shared the story of a student she met who drove to Valencia’s Osceola Campus six times before she could muster the courage to get out of her car, go inside the building and apply.

Romano herself was the first in her family to go to college. “I didn’t think of law school. I didn’t think of being a doctor. I didn’t think of owning a business. I didn’t think people like me did such a thing,” she said. “That’s another restraint for people who are first-

generation: they don’t know what things are possible.”

The First One campaign makes use of social media and peer-to-peer outreach and invites others to share how they were the first one to do “something.”

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Available state funds are contingent upon matching contributions from private sources on a one to one dollar basis.

The First Generation Matching Grant Program (FGMG) is a need-based grant program available to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need, are enrolled at Valencia College, and whose parents have not earned baccalaureate or higher degrees.

Available state funds are contingent upon matching contributions from private sources on a one to one dollar basis.

To share your “first” or show your support of first-generation students through a donation, go to http://valencia.org/firstone/first-one.cfm or http://facebook.com/myvalenciafoundation

share your first …. help someone become a first

Your first day of college, your first road trip or your first born -- show your story with a First ONE profile picture and help spread the word on Facebook, or use one as an avatar wherever you share. http://valencia.org/firstone/first-one.cfm

One’s life is full of firsts — first steps, first day of school, first car, first kiss. They only happen once, yet they stay with you forever. Now, you have the opportunity to help someone else have a first that will last a lifetime — becoming the first person in their family to go to college. And, with dollar-to-dollar matching on donations, you can make twice the impact.

 tell-your-story

Show your support with a First ONE profile picture.

Your first day of college, your first road trip or your first born — show your story with a First ONE profile picture and help spread the word on Facebook, or use one as an avatar on Twitter, WordPress or wherever you share.

Download an avatar — right click and select “save image as” on a picture below.

first-one-avatars-1first-one-avatars-23first-one-avatars-16first-one-avatars-24

first-one-avatars-13first-one-avatars-7first-one-avatars-8first-one-avatars-20first-one-avatars-17foundation-first-one-wordmark-4c-stacked-print

spotlight story: valencia launches first ONE campaign

foundation-first-one-wordmark-4c-stacked-printMany people I interview reference their parents and families as role models for higher education. Their parents went to college and they followed in their footsteps. But what if you didn’t have that? What would you do? Would you have enough courage to start down that path alone? Would you have enough motivation and faith to overcome obstacles?

Last year, more than 29,000 Valencia students did just that, they were the first in their families to attend college. These students are their own role model and work hard every day to change the trajectory of their family for generations to come.

To help these students, Valencia has launched the first ONE campaign. This is a six-week online effort to raise $100,000 for first generation student scholarships. 100 percent of the funds raised will go directly to support these scholarships, and each donation is eligible for a dollar to dollar match.

Each student story is unique but there is some commonality among first generation students. Often, they report that they watched their parent(s) struggle, not having a postsecondary education. And for each there is a mention of pride, pride they have for their accomplishment and the pride that they feel from their families being the first to attend college.

Natacha suffered a great tragedy, she lost her parents. That caused her to choose a career in the healthcare field. She wants to be a doctor to save people because she doesn’t want others to feel the way that she feels, not having those she loves and cherishes there to cheer on her accomplishments.

Samantha’s parents didn’t go to college, but they instilled in her the importance of education and greatly influenced her decision to become a nurse. She wants to give back to her parents and make them proud.

Alexander watched someone close to him struggle with cocaine addiction and since then he has always been anti-drug. He plans to finish his AS degree in criminal justice and attend the police academy.

Bianca’s dad was her only parent growing up and he never got past middle school. She shares that although he lacks a higher education, he is intelligent, gaining his accomplishments through hard work, and he taught her not to take any of life’s experiences for granted. She has been accepted to Valencia’s nursing program and recently got a job in the field.

Sequilla wants to get her AS in accounting and then move on to get a bachelor’s degree in business. She finds that going to school and being committed to her goals has had a ripple effect on her ten-year-old son. He has gone from a C student to straight A’s.

Isaias did some soul-searching and decided he would like to pursue a career in medical administration. He realized that a higher education would afford him more opportunities and a chance for a career.

Taisha remembers a childhood of poverty, addiction and welfare. As an adolescent she found herself in homeless shelters twice. When she became a mother she got serious about her education, determined to break the cycle of poverty and give her children a cherished childhood. Taisha is completing all of her pre-requisites and hopes to be accepted into Valencia’s sonography program.

Edith started a company with her husband but the economic downturn hit the business hard. She realizes that the job market has become much more competitive and most employers now require some sort of degree. She is at Valencia pursuing a degree in computer programming and analysis.

These stories represent the students that will benefit from the first ONE campaign. This online campaign will be a new venture for the foundation and we invite you to embark on this journey with us. Visit www.valencia.org/firstONE for more information.

If you are interested in leading a fundraising team, please contact Donna Marino, CFRE, at 407-582-3128, or Barbara Shell at 407-582-3219.

discussion on philanthropy

This month I am turning the keyboard over to scholarship recipient Angela Bardwell-Owens. She shares with us her definition of philanthropy and explains the importance of scholarships.

Angela Bardwell OwensEasily defined as an inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, usually through monetary donations, philanthropy is more than just a financial endeavor. Philanthropy begins from a frame of mind that sometimes, people need a little assistance. This benevolence extends into donations of services or self as well.

As a sophomore studying psychological sciences, I am exposed to numerous theories and abstract ways of thinking. I am often asked why I stay after class or stay up late to help classmates with class materials. My reply is always the same, “I am able to do the right thing by offering myself as a service to students who are struggling, because someone else has offered their assistance to me.”

I have been the fortunate recipient of nine scholarships since my arrival at Valencia in the fall of 2011. These scholarships have alleviated some of the financial burden I have placed myself and my family under for the pursuit of higher education.

My dream is to lead my own lab as a research scientist creating new research, overseeing graduate student research, undergraduate activities, managing multiple projects and continuing to provide leadership to institutional and community organizations.

I am active in several student organizations on campus, in the community, as well as interning at a research lab at UCF. The philanthropists who have generously offered funding to scholarships inspired me long ago to give something of myself to Valencia College. The act of giving is philanthropy, in which I am able to give my assistance to anyone who needs it.

Scholarships have made a significant impact on me financially, which I have now transformed into service to my college. I will continue to offer my late nights for student services until I am financially able to increase the well-being of humankind, specifically the student scholarships at Valencia College. Without having received scholarships through Valencia Foundation, I may not have had as many opportunities to give myself in service to others, who sometimes, need a little assistance.

student pin up highlighted in valencia vitae

PinUP

Ryan Dey assembles his project for UCF’s pin-up review.

Valencia architecture students pin up their work–and their hopes for admission to architecture school. — By Linda Shrieves Beaty

The temperature in the room is rising. So is the level of stress and excitement. Architectural models, foam board and pins are scattered all over the floor at Valencia’s Special Events Center. Nearly 80 architecture students are painstakingly pinning their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board. For the students, the boards represent more than a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

These are their tickets to architecture school. How well they present their work on those boards—known as pin-ups—is crucial. Their admission to architecture school hangs in the balance. The excitement in the room is palpable. So is the exhaustion.

“We haven’t slept in, like, three days,” said Valencia architecture students Angel Almanzar, 19, and Juan Diaz, 20. Working side by side, they have been fueling themselves with energy drinks like Monster and 5-Hour Energy.

Held at Valencia’s Special Events Center on April 17 and 18, the UCF “pin-up” is an annual ritual for Valencia’s graduating architecture students. Valencia students who want to be admitted to the University of Central Florida’s architecture program present their best work—and then display it for a team of judges who will decide which students get the 38 seats in next year’s junior class at UCF.ShowtimeBut the Valencia students are not alone at the pin-up. Students from 10 other colleges and universities are also competing, just as eager to get admitted to the UCF architecture program. At UCF—and at architecture schools around the country—admission to the upper division (or junior and senior classes) in the architecture program is limited. This year, more than 80 students are competing for the 38 seats in the UCF program. Last year, only 44 students applied for admission to UCF’s architecture program, so the competition is getting stiffer, says Lynn McConnell Hepner, associate dean of UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities.

And that’s just the beginning. When the Valencia students take their work to the University of Florida’s pin-up—held only a few days after UCF’s—they’ll face even more competition.

“It’s competitive, but that’s a good thing,” says Valencia architecture professor Allen Watters. “The competition is a friendly competition and it brings out the best in the students.”

At the UCF pin-up, students have seven hours to pin-up their boards. When the doors to the Special Events Center open at noon, students stream in, carrying the models and work they’ve done during their first two years in architecture design classes.

They also come bearing tools—scissors, X-Acto knives and lots of pins—for pinning their models and work to the large foam boards, which will be the canvas that holds all their work.

“It’s always been a fantastic event,” says Watters, who gets excited by the energy the students generate. “There’s always been a lot of excitement, but the event gets better each year.”

Mauricio Zamora and Sara Ramirez at pin up. They are part of nearly 80 architecture students who painstakingly pinned their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board to create a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

Mauricio Zamora and Sara Ramirez at pin up. They are part of nearly 80 architecture students who painstakingly
pinned their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board to create a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

While other students are buzzing around the room, Paola Munoz, 21, is busy in one corner, carefully pinning models and sketches up on her board. “I think I got about four hours of sleep last night,” says Munoz. “I was up until 5 a.m. figuring out how and where to pin everything.”

There are many rules, both written and unwritten. The top quarter of the board must be devoted to work done in a student’s first year, so that judges can see the students’ progression. And though they don’t have to, most of the students display their best work at eye-level to attract the judges’ attention.

But it’s tricky, says Valencia student Chris O’Beirne, who is working next to Munoz. “You can’t have too much white space, but you don’t want too much clutter,” says O’Beirne, 22.

Like many of Valencia’s architecture students, Munoz took a circuitous route to architecture school. She started her college career at UCF as an engineering major. When she discovered she didn’t like engineering, she transferred to Valencia to study architecture. “I wanted to do something more creative,” she says. “Besides, it runs in the family,” she adds, noting that her uncle is an architect in Ecuador and her cousin is currently studying architecture too. While Munoz wants to attend UCF—and hasn’t applied elsewhere—Juan Diaz is aiming for admission to the University of Florida’s architecture school. So when he takes apart his pin-up board, taking down the models and sketches and artwork, he’ll drive to Gainesville and start all over again the next day, for UF’s pin-up. “For me, this is more of a practice for UF,” Diaz said. But the process—the nights without sleep and the madness of producing a 3-D portfolio in a matter of hours—is nerve wracking.

Even the professors, most of who went through the same process as undergraduates, remember pin-up vividly. “You didn’t sleep for weeks beforehand,” says Valencia professor Jennifer Princivil. “This was Show Time. If your board didn’t sing, forget it.”

Adds Professor Christine Daelo: “This process is extremely nerve-wracking. Even if the air conditioning is cranked down to 30 degrees, you can feel the heat in the room.”

Valencia’s reputation heats up

The day after the students finish pinning their work to their boards, the judges—local architects and architecture professors at Valencia, UCF and UF—converge on the Special Events Center to score the students’ work. Judges hand out scores from 1 to 10 for each board.

“I look at the density of the board, meaning almost the entire board is covered, the work is pretty well laid out and the content is interesting,” says Daelo. “I always look for ones that are doing something different. Are they experimenting with different materials, for instance?”

The pin-up process even attracts former students, eager to see what this year’s crop of graduates has produced. This year, one of the visitors is Charles Green, who graduated from Valencia’s architecture program in 2011 and is graduating from UF’s architecture program in May. Now he’s headed to the University of California- Berkeley for graduate school. Green applied to Harvard, MIT, Columbia University, University of Florida and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as Berkeley for graduate school—and was thrilled to get into Berkeley. He—and many other Valencia graduates who’ve been accepted to top-flight graduate schools—is proof that Valencia’s architecture program is producing excellent students.

“I strongly believe in Valencia’s program,” said Green, 23, who transferred to Valencia after growing frustrated in an engineering program at the University of South Florida. “Wherever students want to go after this—whether it’s UF or UCF or Berkeley—Valencia gives you a good base of design knowledge. The work here is comparable, if not better than, UF.”

As Valencia students spread out to architecture schools around the country, they are discovering that word about the program is spreading. At the University of Michigan—one of the top architecture schools in the country—professors are offering encouragement to applicants from Valencia. “Some of our students went up there and the professors were raving about them because they already have two Valencia students there who are doing quite well,” said Valencia professor Kourtney Baldwin.

“They already know the reputation of our program.” Here in Orlando, the architecture community is supporting—and noticing—the progress at Valencia’s program. “I’ve been to three pin-ups now and I think that the quality of the work for pin-up is improving,” said Dr. Frank Bosworth, director of the University of Florida’s Citylab architecture program, an Orlando master’s level program that has partnered with Valencia and UCF. Bosworth believes the

Valencia program is maturing rapidly, thanks to contributions from Orlando’s well-established architecture community and the value of the 2+2+2 partnership between Valencia, UCF and UF. The partnership doesn’t guarantee Valencia students admission to UCF and UF, but is a transfer agreement that ensures a student is taking the right classes for a seamless transition. The growing maturity of Valencia’s architecture program, says Bosworth, is demonstrated at pin-up events and by the large number of Valencia students being admitted to the University of Florida’s architecture school. “Getting into the University of Florida is not easy. It requires a certain level of attention to detail, and to the quality of the work,” Bosworth says. Meanwhile, back on the floor of the Special Events Center, the Valencia students are relieved to finish their pin-up boards, but anxious to hear the results.

Jamie Connell, for instance, has applied to UCF and the University of South Florida architecture programs. And though she has already been accepted to USF’s program, she’s waiting to hear from UCF. “I really love Orlando and would like to stay here,” says Connell, 22. But whether she lands at UCF or USF, she’ll be content. “There’s a lot of competition every year because there are only a few seats available. Architecture is a competitive program.”

welcome back – admission fee waived for former students at open house

http://valenciacollege.edu/return/

Former Valencia students, attend a Welcome Back Open House event and meet with representatives from admissions, advising and financial aid to find out everything you need to know about coming back to Valencia.

Students drop out of college for lots of reasons: Work. Family. Bills.

But if you dropped out of Valencia College at some point, it’s a great time to pick up where you left off.

That’s because Valencia is currently offering former students a financial incentive to come back to college: Attend one of Valencia’s Welcome Back Open House events and Valencia will not charge the $35 admission fee.

At the Welcome Back Open House, representatives from admissions, advising and financial aid will be on hand to answer questions.  In addition, a $500 scholarship will be awarded at each open house. Former Valencia students will be entered to win.

The open house events will be held:

■ Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Building 11 on Valencia’s West Campus, 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando;

■ Tuesday, June 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Building 5 on East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

To RSVP for the open house events or learn more about re-enrolling, please visit www.valenciacollege.edu/return

If you cannot attend the open house events, but are interested in returning to Valencia, you can ask for an advisor to contact you. For more information, go to http://valenciacollege.edu/return/contact.cfm

welcome back – admission fee waived for former students at open house.

financial aid event scheduled this summer

Valencia College is hosting their biggest financial aid event on June 13. Students and parents can receive expert help to complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form for college funding.

FAFSAFRIDAY

Osceola Campus
East Campus
West Campus

June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 2, Room 131

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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 5, Room 213

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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Building 11, Room 133

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spotlight story: elizabeth fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

This story started easily enough, a colleague sent me a story idea about one of Valencia’s great students who was doing good work and gaining recognition through Phi Theta Kappa, Valencia’s honor society. I met with the student, Elizabeth Fulcher, and after our discussion I realized this story was about so much more. It is about starting over but never giving up, a story about leaving a wonderful legacy through scholarships and a powerful tale about bullying and what can be done to stop it.

At the center of it all is Elizabeth. So let’s start with a little bit about her and then see where the story takes us.

Elizabeth Fulcher is currently a sophomore working to get her associate in science in paralegal studies. She plans to continue on at UCF and get a bachelor’s in legal studies, taking the transactional path of litigation to be a paralegal.

Elizabeth actually started her post-secondary education at Winter Park Tech studying court reporting. The program was downsized and at the same time, she had an accident and required back surgery. The surgeon told her to pick a sedentary job. She decided to completely start over at Valencia. “I remember I was lying in bed after surgery and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to Valencia.’ So I got up the next day and I took my time and I went to the registration office. They told me what they needed and I got it all taken care of. I just started slowly and I had to do remedial courses but so what? It will pay off in the long run.”

She acknowledges it was difficult to completely start over but says that it made her stronger and made her have more self-discipline. “Things happen, but I can pick myself back up.”

Soon she was approached by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and she was inducted as a member of the Alpha Gamma Omega chapter. She became involved with the “Honors Study Topic.” Every two years there is an “Honors Study Topic” and it is a theme for which essays for awards and projects are done to develop and create activities, experiences and service. The theme during Elizabeth’s involvement was called “The Culture of Competition.” Her and her fellow PTK contributors called it the anti-bullying project. They felt that bullying has a direct effect on competition and is particularly relevant to the college student population, who might be bullied for being smart or acting different.

Their investigation and research led to two things. First, they proposed a buddy system for children transitioning from middle school to high school. Each middle school student would be linked to a high school student who would be their resource and offer guidance. Additionally, they found an anti-bullying application for tablets and smart phones that would make reporting bullying much easier. To raise funds for their project, they held a prom for those who never got to go to their traditional prom. While a largely social event, it still supported their anti-bullying campaign by offering a prom for those who may have felt too scared or out of place to attend their high school prom.

The group worked with a few schools, but in the end the schools did not want to use the app due to increased liability issues. But Elizabeth didn’t stop, she spoke with Sheriff Demings and he gave her some insight on who to contact. She also wrote to the National School Board Association and the Florida Department of Education, as well as Representative Joe Saunders and Representative Darren Soto. Representative Soto did respond favorably to her idea, and during our chat she reminded herself to follow up with his office.

Elizabeth worked so hard for this effort because for her, this was a personal battle. She suffered at the hands of a group of “mean girls” and found that reporting it did little to stop the problem. Things escalated from verbal abuse to physical harm and she dropped out of school in 12th grade and got her GED. The project “had a big impact on me because I would recount the days that I was affected…it just brought back a lot of memories and I was so adamant, I just wanted to do something about it.”

Although Elizabeth is reluctant to admit she is a role model, which she most certainly is, one doesn’t have to look far at all to find people who will praise just how awesome she is. Professor Keith Malmos is the advisor for Elizabeth’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Right off the bat he shares, “She’s very appreciative and very modest but she is an amazing student and deserves what she gets.”

And as a testament to her modesty, it was Professor Malmos who filled me in on all the accolades Elizabeth has achieved through Phi Theta Kappa. She won an Elaine Turner Service Award through her Alpha Gamma Omega chapter. The anti-bullying essay was submitted to the Florida region for awards and helped her chapter receive a Distinguished Chapter of the State, recognizing the top 10 in the state. The chapter also submitted a Distinguished Member Award application on Elizabeth’s behalf and she won regionally and also won national recognition as a distinguished member.

Elizabeth credits her dad and her sister for helping to instill the drive to succeed. Her father told her, “Get a good education, you can take it anywhere you want.”

But for Elizabeth, it was her setbacks that really got her mindset focused on herself, not just because someone else says that education is important. “I truly feel in my heart if you don’t learn you are not doing anything. Success has no age limit and learning does not end at college. Learning is infinite in my opinion. Life is an education.”

In talking with Elizabeth, it is clear that the camaraderie and fellowship of PTK means a lot to her. “It’s just amazing how nice they are. I never knew people were that kind and caring and I’m so glad they graced my path.”

It was through Phi Theta Kappa that she learned about the Justin Harvey Alpha Gamma Omega Scholarship. She submitted an essay for consideration and was ecstatic when she found out she received the scholarship. She was moved by Justin’s story and incorporated how he inspired her in her winning essay.

I too was very moved when Elizabeth and I met and I decided to find out more about this wonderful young man and the legacy he left.

Justin’s mother, Sharon Skoloski, is a professor at Valencia in the social science department. She recounted stories of a young man who was successful but very humble, extremely talented and generous but quiet about his good deeds. Professor Skoloski remembers Thanksgiving, when dinner would have to wait until Justin returned home from feeding the homeless. “He would load up his car and just hit the road for different areas of Orlando and hand out dinner to the people on the railroad tracks or wherever they might be on the street so that they could have Thanksgiving dinner. That was my son.” And it wasn’t until after he passed that she found out the true extent of his gifts to others: There was the time he saved a friend during a river excursion and the many times he would take a homeless person to dinner while in downtown Orlando.

Justin graduated from Valencia in 2005 and continued on at UCF to study sports medicine. But his involvement with Valencia was not over; he served on the board of directors for Valencia’s alumni association.

Justin Harvey

Justin Harvey

He spearheaded efforts to start Valencia’s 5K event. Unfortunately, he passed away before the first event, but the event is still held each year and his memory is a part of each one. Also due to his good work and in the spirit of partnership, it is because of Justin that UCF’s sports medicine students are involved with the 5K event.

Justin was a classic violinist. He played since kindergarten and won many state awards in both Florida and West Virginia. While he had no problem performing in front of large audiences, he sometimes became shy when his mother would ask him to play for family or friends. “Truly, really humble,” Sharon remembers.

Justin was in Phi Theta Kappa and so was his best friend, Abeer Abdalla. Abeer wrote an article about Justin that shares even more of his community involvement and good deeds. He was committed to living the ideals of servant leadership and served as senator of membership for the Alpha Gamma Omega chapter of PTK, the same chapter Elizabeth is involved in now. He was recognized as a Fall 2004 Distinguished Officer, a Spring 2005 Distinguished Officer and the Fall 2004 Officer of the Semester.

While at Valencia, Justin was named a 2004 Coca-Cola Scholar and was most proud of winning the 2004 Florida Region’s Original Music Composition Award. And the support he gave to the local community was above and beyond, serving as a longtime volunteer for the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, Habitat for Humanity, Harbor House, Project Graduation and the National Kidney Foundation.

It was through the efforts of Phi Theta Kappa and the alumni association that the Justin Harvey Alpha Gamma Omega Scholarship was named and endowed. Sharon says, “It is an honor every semester to give out that scholarship.”

Sharon loves being an educator and interacting with Valencia students and as a professor she knows the importance the foundation and scholarships can make. She is grateful that the college remembers Justin’s legacy and considers it “an honor for me that Valencia carries it on as they do, so I’m always very grateful for Valencia.”

In putting this all together, I am struck by the humble nature of both Justin and Elizabeth. They both do good without needing accolades or recognition, and it is these quiet leaders that can change the world. Justin certainly did in the time he was here and Elizabeth is a wonderful representative of his spirit and legacy. I am honored to have been able to share their stories.

a closer look – femmes de coeur and let us entertain you

What started out as a fundraising group for the American Heart Association has grown into a wonderful group that raises important nursing scholarship funds for local areas colleges and universities.

The group started as Coeur de Coeur in 1980 and raised more than $2.5 million for the American Heart Association. They reorganized in 1998 as Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) and have raised another million dollars for local charities. The group is made up of 50 members who are women volunteering time and sharing a common goal to serve the needs of the community. Part of their uniqueness is that they partner with existing organizations to accomplish their mission. The sharing of resources allows Femmes de Coeur to provide help to a larger community audience.

Each year, Femmes de Coeur hosts an event, Let Us Entertain You!, a dance challenge full of dancing and music. Funds raised at the event go to support Adventist University of Health Sciences, Seminole State College, UCF College of Nursing and Valencia College. The event features a professional dance show including a dancing challenge by local celebrities. Additionally, faculty from each participating school are paired with a dance professional for the challenge.

People vote with their dollars and competitors do quite a good job fundraising and collecting donations. These donations, as well as the judges’ score, produce the winners of the celebrity and faculty dance challenges.

The current president of Femmes de Coeur, Judy Conrad, shares how the event was created. Six years ago she was the event chairwoman and wanted to include all of the four teaching colleges in their fundraising efforts. Judy and her co-chairs, Doris Holiday and Betty Wilson, were ballroom dancers and after the popularity of televised dance competition shows, they decided to approach some of the professionals in the dance community and the event was launched. The faculty challenge was added in the second year.

Not to brag, but Valencia seems to produce some great talent. For the past four years, our dancing divas and dudes have been the ones to beat! Past winning competitors include Dr. Paula Pritchard, dean of nursing, Manny Ramos, professor of nursing, Dr. Mike Bosley, executive dean at Lake Nona Campus and dear foundation friend and donor Dean Maguire.

This year’s event was held on June 2 and our competitor was interim dean of science on West Campus, Dr. Bob Gessner. He was chosen as a result of his friendship with Valencia’s nursing division and their dean. “Paula asked if I could dance and I said of course.”

But he didn’t know it was ballroom dance, which he had never done before. He credits his dance pro, Jennifer Caminas, with helping him get competition ready. “It has been a lot of work, but the time has been well spent doing this for our nursing division and for the scholarships this will fund for our nursing students.”

Last year, Valencia’s nursing students were so touched by Femmes de Coeur generous $12,500 donation that they did the photo below, “You have our heart.” Those funds are earmarked to support Valencia College nursing students through the Femmes de Coeur Nursing Endowed Scholarship. We add our thanks to that, Femmes de Coeur is an organization made up of women who bring great help and hope to our community and we are so happy for our long-time partnership.
Nursing Students

And in breaking news…Valencia continues the winning streak! Last night, Dr. Gessner was crowned as this year’s winner. Congratulations and keep dancing!

sending appreciation to faculty and staff

You may soon see Valencia employees on campus sporting a new piece of Valencia flair: the gold Valencia Foundation lapel pin.

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Employees who contribute by payroll deduction can select which scholarship they would like to support. These scholarships may reflect discipline, organization affiliation, or in memory of a colleague.

Others Valencia employees support Valencia’s Student Opportunity Scholarship, the first scholarship created and funded solely by faculty and staff for the students they serve.

For a full list of scholarships please visit the Valencia Foundation website.  If employees wish to contribute by semi-monthly payroll deductions please download the application here.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special thanks to Katie Shephard and Josh Murdock who lead the 2012-2013 Faculty and Staff Committee!

If you are interested in serving as a faculty and staff campus ambassador please contact Donna Marino, manager of donor stewardship for Valencia Foundation at 407-582-3128 or email dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

every drop counts: the courtyard fountain

Tucked away in a courtyard on Valencia’s Osceola Campus, this fountain is surrounded by embedded bricks engraved with warm wishes by community members. These bricks have been placed around this special water feature with proceeds from each sale supporting Osceola student scholarships.

Your small change makes a big difference! Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

This fountain is located in the courtyard of Valencia’s largest building,
the state-of-the-art building 4, which opened at Osceola Campus in 2013.

Recently, Valencia’s facilities team noticed this water feature had begun to collect change, much like a wishing well. Perhaps students and employees reliving nostalgia of childhood by tossing in spare change?

No matter who made the first toss–or how the loose change appeared–Valencia’s Osceola administration wanted to make sure the contributions really did help someone’s wish come true.

Thanks to the coins of those first optimistic tossers, a purpose has been identified for those contributions: they will be included into the “etch your name in someone’s future” Osceola Campus scholarship fund.

This May, a plaque was installed on the Osceola Campus foundation that reads:

Your small change makes a big difference!
Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at
Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

If you are interested in helping to lay the foundation for a student’s future, please consider purchasing a brick to be embedded in the courtyard around the Osceola Campus fountain.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will be used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit  valenciacollege.edu/Osceola/bricks

https://valenciafoundation.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/etch-your-name-in-someones-future-2/

Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Click here for more information on the Osceola Campus engraved bricks.

leaving a legacy: planned and deferred giving

Your deferred donation can provide support to future Valencia College students. With planning, you have the opportunity to make a gift that will have a great impact and can leave a legacy of learning for future generations.

Bequests are the simplest form of a planned gift. By naming Valencia Foundation a beneficiary through your will or amending your will with a codicil, you are affirming a commitment to education. You can pledge today to leave a lasting legacy. There are three types from which you can select when creating or amending your will.

Below are definitions of each type of bequest and sample language that you and your lawyer may find helpful.

If you have already included Valencia Foundation in your estate plan, please contact us at (407) 582-3128 to become a part of the Valencia Legacy Society.

If you have already included Valencia Foundation in your estate plan, please contact us at (407) 582-3128 to become a part of the Valencia Legacy Society.

Bequest Type

Sample Language

Specific Bequest: A specific value or dollar amount named for a charitable gift by will. I give $_______ (specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, in support of (a specific area of interest).
Residuary Bequest: A residuary bequest will provide remaining / residuary property of the estate after all the special gifts designated in the will were made. I give and bequeath the residue of my estate to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest).
Contingent Bequest: This gift in your will depends upon an event which may or may not occur. Should your beneficiary pass on or disclaim the property, this contingency would ensure your estate is distributed as you requested. In the event that ___________(beneficiary) does not survive me, I give the rest, residue and remainder of my estate (or $_______ specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest).

We welcome your feedback on our online resources, designed to help you chart your charitable intentions, which can be found at www.VALENCIAGIVING.org.

If you would prefer, our foundation team would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic objectives and to explore how you and your family can benefit. Please feel free to contact the foundation at 407-582-3150 with questions.

watch graduation live

grad

Click here on May 4 at 10 a.m. to watch Valencia College graduation live!

Valencia College’s Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours. Limited technical support will be available at 407-582-1872.

Watch live on May 4 at 10 a.m. – click here!

2012-2013 Valencia Commencement Program

Please note: The broadcast will only be viewable until the ceremony’s conclusion. No other video recordings of the ceremony will be made available.

gograd

a closer look – valencia students

Any day spent with our students is a great one, and April 16 and 17 were great ones indeed. For the first time, the foundation hosted a scholarship recipient photo shoot on East and West campuses. We reached out to our recent scholarship recipients via email and social media, working with a professional photographer to get shots of interested students. We booked appointments ahead of time, and also filled some time slots with candids of students on campus.

While there is no “typical” Valencia student, they all seem to share a common bond. First, they are amazingly photogenic! But more than that, each student we photographed had a wonderful spark, a brightness about them that was easy to capture on film. And each was gracious, so glad to be able to help the foundation that provides opportunity for so many.

Our day on East started with Kevin, a Universal Orlando Foundation scholar who plans to continue his education at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. We met Yashira, who hopes to teach English in Korea one day, and her friend Victoria who is studying music. We also met two single mothers, Nancy and Angela. Nancy is a single mother of three who is enrolled in two associate degree programs, accounting technology and business administration. Angela is a single parent of two. She is the first in her family to attend college and it brings her great joy to be a positive role model for her children.

The day at West kicked off with Samantha, a nursing student who brought a special thank-you letter to her donors. Then we met Juan, who is studying biomedical engineering and one day hopes to make artificial organs. There was Gerald, who we mistook for a college administrator – he had a great smile hiding under that professional look!

Sophie and Chelsey showed up, only Sophie had an appointment but we quickly talked Chelsey into taking part too. Both are a part of the diagnostic medical sonography program at Valencia. Chelsey credits her continued support from University Club of Orlando with allowing her to focus on studies and maintain an “A” average. Sophie was born and raised in Guyana and came to the United States five years ago, a first generation scholar.

Frances-Ann came and wow-ed us all with her great Wonder Woman sneakers! She sees Valencia as being only the beginning of her educational career and plans to get her doctorate and become a nurse practitioner.

We ended the day on West with Angel. For those of you who were at our recent scholarship donor breakfast, you know Angel’s story. He has fought against incarceration and homelessness to secure his education. Still living in a shelter, he is a student at Valencia’s Seneff Honors College, pursuing an AA in leadership and an AS in paralegal studies. (Here is more on Angel’s story and here is a video documenting his story.)

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

So these are our students. Each come to Valencia with their own background, their own story, their own future to write. They will go on to do wonderful things and realistically, will change the world as we know it. While they are here, we have a chance to lift their burdens by awarding scholarships. So remember these names when you make a donation and know that you make a difference in the lives of Valencia students.

PS – The pictures from these photo shoots will be unveiled in our 2012-2013 annual report, which will go out this summer.

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

Professor Ed Frame

Professor Ed Frame

This month, we get a Valencia faculty perspective on philanthropy and scholarships. Professor Ed Frame has been a professor at Valencia for 16 years. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Wisconsin and at a university in Malaysia.

He is a professor of humanities on the West Campus and also teaches Asian humanities. And he even teaches in avatar form, conducting honors mythology for Valencia’s virtual campus, Second Life. He also leads an honors trip overseas during spring break. Recently, 18 students traveled to Paris with him and Professor Gustavo Morales and next year’s international trip will be to London.

Professor Frame's classroom in Second Life

Professor Frame’s classroom in Second Life

Professor Frame is a member of the honor’s council, the SAGE committee and he serves on several ILP review groups. SAGE stands for Study Abroad and Global Experiences. Valencia offers international study abroad opportunities for students, as well as a number of international professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. Photos from these trips and experiences can be found on Flickr. An ILP is an Individualized Learning Plan, a tenure candidate’s professional development plan.

He has served his local community through the Rotary Club of Pine Hills and the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs of Clermont, and his good works have even been felt across continents. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Professor Frame served as a member of the United States Peace Corps involved in community development on the island of Borneo. The experience helped shape his ideas concerning the need to provide equal opportunities to all members of society. It is an idea that has lived on in his family – his daughter taught in Tanzania as a member of the Peace Corps.

“Philanthropy to me is anything we give – time, money, etc. – to help individuals improve their own self-esteem. Most important of all is the giving to help further education.”

In addition to his generous support of Valencia Foundation, he also works with African students, something he started doing with his wife when his daughter taught in Tanzania. When visiting, he was able to set up a continuing education program, similar to our DirectConnect program. He enlisted the support of local churches in Clermont and Hope College in Michigan, where his sister is a professor, and the program continues today. Seven students have been sponsored, with the entire cost of their education or technical training subsidized, and one student is now working on a doctorate degree. They also have purchased books for classes and provided funds to build a physics lab, including equipment, in the village where his daughter taught.

“These are students from villages that would never have had the opportunity to continue their education. I believe that often an individual can do more than an organization in terms of making a difference in the world.”

When asked about the importance of supporting scholarships, Professor Frame again refers to the opportunity an individual has to make a difference. “Valencia scholarships are extremely important in our community because a relatively small amount of money can make a major impact on the educational opportunities available. We are not a $55,000 per year school where major scholarships are needed. It is an opportunity for an individual donor to give funds that go directly to the community and make a difference. It is important to me that 100 percent of the monies donated go for scholarships.”

Thank you Professor Frame for reminding us that each individual and each gift counts so very much.

donor spotlight: Universal Orlando and Diane O’Dell

Tourism drives Orlando’s economy, and partnerships with our community’s hospitality titans are a natural extension of Valencia’s role in Central Florida. Our relationships build scholarships, endowed chairs, internships and a cadre of well-trained employees to hire.

UO

Universal Orlando Resort began their Valencia College giving in the ’80s, and their philanthropy has grown to include an endowed faculty chair and a $1-million-dollar scholarship endowment.

Universal Orlando Resort is a perfect example. Valencia’s nationally recognized film production technology program, with selective admission and limited enrollment, trains students for entry-level positions in six major cinema creation areas.Part of the hospitality and culinary division, Valencia’s bakery and pastry management program draws on Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort chefs to instruct students and provide a broad view of career opportunities and the real-world skills required to succeed.

Universal is a business partner in the restaurant management program, and involved with the Hospitality and Tourism Institute. Universal employees serve on Valencia’s advisory councils for electronics engineering technology and restaurant management.

In 1996, Universal Orlando Resort committed $30,000 to support Valencia’s Hospitality and Tourism Institute and to enhance Valencia’s educational offerings in arts and entertainment.

The Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment serves fine and performing arts, graphic arts and graphic design technology, theater and entertainment technology, and film production technology. It also supports educational outreach activities of the Hospitality and Tourism Institute, and expanded Universal’s work with the college in the development of a technical apprenticeship program.

In the ’90s, Universal Orlando Foundation established a $1 million dollar scholarship endowment through the leadership of Jan Stratton. The Universal Orlando Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors from Dr. Phillips, Olympia, West Orange, Jones and Evans high schools. Universal Orlando scholars who are accepted to the UCF Rosen School of Hospitality are eligible for up to an additional two years of scholarship awards. In 2011-2012, $39,000 was awarded to students from the Universal Orlando Scholarship.

This year’s Universal Orlando Scholarship recipients share their gratitude:

Thank you so much for awarding me the Universal Orlando Foundation Scholarship. It is truly an honor to be chosen. Your organization’s generous scholarship award means so much to me and my family. I’ve heard a lot about how much college textbooks cost and this scholarship will go a long way toward keeping that burden off my mind. Were it not for these funds, I would not be able to go to school this semester.

— Martin Cherenfant

I promise I’ll make the most of this scholarship. Thank you again, Universal Orlando Foundation, because this scholarship will indeed change my future and help me succeed in life.

— Carlos Powery

While I attend Valencia College full time, I also have a part-time job at a real estate investment brokerage office as an administrative assistant. It is sometimes difficult to juggle between work and school, as working too much may cause my grades to suffer. But not working enough hours over the course of a semester might make my financial situation that much more difficult the next semester. That’s why I so greatly appreciate this scholarship, as it allows me to focus on what’s really important, and that is college.

— Angel Monroy

DODell

“If I were to give Valencia’s commencement speech, my advice would be: Be open to where life takes you. Proactively seek opportunities. Make a point to be happy, and enjoy the journey.” – Universal Orlando Foundation executive director, Diane O’Dell

Today the Universal Orlando Foundation is led by executive director Diane O’Dell, who has served on the Valencia Foundation board since 2008. Diane was responsible for committing Universal Orlando Resort’s A Taste for Learning support.

Diane is moved by a Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did.”

She lives this philosophy through her community service to the boards of Harbor House, City Year Orlando and the Orlando Health Foundation.

She believes in Valencia because education is so critical in the lives of youth. “For many, education is truly a life changing experience.”

Her favorite Valencia experience was awarding scholarships in support of foster children. “It was a wonderful experience to see the impact the scholarship program makes overall,” she explains.

Diane takes her foundation board responsibilities seriously, believing that she should be a champion for Valencia. Her plan in this upcoming year is to “continue to share the great news about Valencia being the No.1 community college in the nation.”

scholarship recipient photo shoot

Are you a Valencia Foundation scholarship recipient? If so, your help is needed!

Valencia Foundation is working on a photo gallery of scholarship recipients. These photos will be used in our annual report and other printed and online materials.

Photo shoots have been scheduled for East and West campuses and models are needed. If you are interested in being a model, please contact Jill Wileden at 407-582-3158. I will schedule a photo time and give you the exact location of the shoot.
East Campus: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
West Campus: Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Only 16 students will be booked per location so be sure and call as soon as possible. I am in the office Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please bring a copy of your thank-you letter to the photo shoot. Or, write 2 to 3 paragraphs on what you would say if you met your scholarship donor and bring that with you. You will be asked to sign a photo release so that the foundation can use the images.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jill Wileden
Resource Development Manager
Valencia Foundation

spotlight story – city of life

Our board members’ stories are so interestingly woven into Valencia’s tapestry. They interact with and impact Valencia in many different ways.

Pat Buffa is a long-time foundation board member and has two sons that graduated from the college, but his Valencia story goes deeper than that. A few years ago, we polled board members to see what their first acts of philanthropy and volunteering were. Pat recalled when he was 23 and offered service and charity to an orphanage in Saigon. The reason: “These kids deserved a better fate.” It is a sentiment that has stuck with him through the years and shapes his philanthropy even today.

It was a little over ten years ago, and the college had a new president, Dr. Sandy Shugart. Pat approached Dr. Shugart with an idea of putting together a grass-roots community-action group to assist the child welfare system with the preparation of foster care youth when they turn 18 and have to go out in the world and make it on their own. From that meeting, Valencia became an early partner for City of Life, a 501(c)3 organization focused on the needs of foster youth who “age out” of the system at 18. Says Pat, “Valencia, and in particular Dr. Ruth Prather were instrumental in getting us started and helped us build credibility in the community.”

Dr. Ruth Prather served as campus president at East and Winter Park campuses and she recalls, “In the early days of City of Life, I attended many of Pat’s meetings and had numerous conversations about how Valencia could support the college education of foster children. Education is so important for all young adults in this competitive work world, and most foster children were on their own after high school and had little knowledge of higher education. They needed direction and opportunity. Valencia was a perfect fit to support the education of these youth. We looked at models from other cities and looked at possible grant opportunities. The mission of Valencia and the needs of these young adults were a perfect match. Valencia has always cared greatly about the community we serve, and many of Valencia’s programs and services were already in place to provide support. I invited other Valencia employees to learn about City of Life and the relationships grew. It was important to connect these students and those in the community who work with foster children to learn about Valencia and for Valencia to learn about the needs of foster children.”

So what exactly happens when a youth in foster care turns 18? Bethanie Barber, Esq., Guardian ad Litem program litigation coordinator at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County Bar Association, provides us with some background: “Most youth who ‘age out’ of foster care are generally eligible for financial assistance, but the assistance is tied to their educational and career goals. Youth who ‘age out’ of foster care are eligible for exemption from paying tuition and fees at a Florida public state university, public Florida College System institution or public postsecondary career and technical program. This exemption remains valid until the young person reaches the age of 28. It allows youth to receive an undergraduate degree.”

Allan Chernoff, executive director at City of Life, explains that these young people face a roadblock when they “age out.” The best case scenario is if the young person is in school and has a job, but all too many of these children are turning 18 with no high school degree, no job, and no plans for higher education. This is a group without a support system, lacking not only the plan to get a college degree, but also needing guidance on even reaching out and exploring opportunities. These young people come out of the system with no birth certificate, nowhere to live. When faced with these daily struggles, getting an education can seem like an insurmountable task.

And so City of Life is hard at work today, leveraging community resources to make a difference in the lives of these young people. City of Life currently leads a community coalition of partners that includes case management organizations and many other organizations. In addition to Valencia, Westside Tech is an educational resource and offers tours to prospective students. The Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Guardian ad Litem program, Workforce Central Florida, all work together to provide these young people with a hand up and a good start. When 11 young people did not have the appropriate identification, City of Life partnered with IDignity and got seven of them the paperwork needed.

In support of City of Life, Valencia recently held a tour on West Campus to highlight the nursing program. Pat Buffa reports that “Valencia got special compliments not only for this visit but also for the positive attitude Valencia staff has demonstrated to the DCF folks who have interfaced with Valencia over the past number of years.”

Deb Spaulding, senior instructional assistant for Valencia's nursing program, leads the City of Life tour.

Deb Spaulding, senior instructional assistant for Valencia’s nursing program, leads the City of Life tour.

Foundation staff were present and encouraged the young people to apply for scholarships. Even if they receive a subsidy for tuition expenses, scholarships can help to pay for the cost of textbooks and supplies.

Foundation board members and Dr. Louise Pitts, retired Valencia dean of health sciences, were also at the tour. We share some of Dr. Pitts’ insights in the nursing article below. Deb Spaulding and Nicole Witek served as great ambassadors for the nursing program, and a very special thank you to Angie Riquelme who coordinated the effort!

And because of that tour, something amazing happened – a connection was made, an interest in higher education was sparked. One of the students followed up with the foundation to get more information on financial aid and scholarships. We hope to keep you posted on this young lady’s journey. And remember, when you donate to the foundation, you are helping make those connections, helping to ignite a spark that can truly make a difference in someone’s future.

For more information on City of Life, visit http://cityoflifeorlando.org/

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

For this month’s conversation, we will check in with Betty Palmer and Michael McLaughlin and get their thoughts on philanthropy and giving.

Betty Palmer is a Valencia retiree, alumni and scholarship donor. In words, her definition of philanthropy is a combination of financial contributions and time. Her actions support that and more, so let’s take a look at some of her good work.
Her first encounter with Valencia was attending lectures and workshops at the Center for Continuing Education for Women at the downtown Orlando location. She began working for the college and retired in 2002 after “26 wonderful years.”

A graduate in 1980, she has been active on the board of the alumni association. While she was a student, she served as president of the Winter Park chapter of Professional Secretaries International. Her chapter, with the help of Dr. Michael Hooks, then a dean at the college, presented a proposal to the college trustees that would allow the college to grant college credits in certain curriculum areas for a student pursuing an AA or AS degree after successfully passing the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) Examination. Betty herself was the first student at Valencia to utilize the CPS rating toward her AS and AA degrees.

Betty strongly believes in the community college system providing education to a diverse population of students. In that spirit, she endowed two scholarships: the Betty House Palmer Scholarship and the Gera Lee Wilson Scholarship for a Valencia student attending Rollins College. Of her scholarships, she shares, “I feel staying connected is an important part of life because I can continue interacting with students who can use some financial help.”

Betty is pictured with the Rev. Eric Turner and Bishop Gregory O. Brewer.

Betty is pictured with the Rev. Eric Turner and Bishop Gregory O. Brewer.

Her commitment to help those around her extends beyond Valencia. She serves as parliamentarian for the Palm Bay Garden Club and Friends of the Library Association. She currently serves as the Episcopal Church Women Southeast deanery director and also participates in the Family Promises Group, pastoral care, Missions Resource Team and is a facilitator for Stephen Ministry. She served two terms as vice president on the Episcopal Church Women Board, Central Florida Diocese and was selected to be their Distinguished Woman of the Year, honored at the triennial convention in Indianapolis last year.

Thank you Betty for continuing to give back to Valencia and our community!

For Michael McLaughlin, his first connection to Valencia was as a student. “The Valencia experience for me was extraordinary and gave me the opportunity to really learn. I appreciated the intimate class size with professors who knew who I was and cared that I was grasping the content.”

Today, Michael serves as president of the leadership board for Valencia’s alumni association, as well as serving on the foundation’s board of directors.

Michael McLaughlin

Michael McLaughlin

Philanthropy and service are a part of his daily life, serving as the senior manager of corporate relations at Heart of Florida United Way. He works with United Way’s partners to provide support to address Central Florida’s pressing issues such as poverty, homelessness, low graduation rates and other serious problems.

When asked about his definition of philanthropy, Michael reflects on a quote that embodies what he hopes to achieve in his giving, work and volunteerism: I shall pass through this way but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. For Michael, “It is about doing what you can, when you can, to make a difference.”

Michael offers more wonderful insight on why it is important to support Valencia scholarships: “The most rewarding parts of my current connections to Valencia are hearing stories of students who are looking to learn more and do more. It is inspiring to see how motivated many of our students are to tackle the challenges that life throws their way. They come to Valencia committed to getting a great education. I’m continually impressed with the goals they are setting for themselves and the achievements that they are making. Providing students with better opportunities through Valencia scholarships is an honor and a true investment in the future.”

Well said, Michael! We will check in with a few more of our friends in the next issue.

a closer look at valencia’s nursing program

7725816912_f1ed8c870f_bDuring the tour for City of Life, there was one word used repeatedly in describing Valencia’s nursing program: intense. However, there was one word used more often: passion.

The nursing, generic track at Valencia is a limited-access program. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become registered nurses. Students can also continue on as a junior at any Florida public university to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The courses in this track are progressive in nature, with one course building on the preceding course.

Here is a look at the areas of study:

  • Nursing I – fundamentals
  • Nursing II – applying what is learned in a hospital setting
  • Nursing III – women’s health, ob/gyn and pediatrics
  • Nursing IV – advanced health, intensive care unit (ICU), preventative care unit (PCU)
  • Nursing V – a hybrid of online and face-to-face interaction, management, leadership and pharmacology

In Nursing VI, students demonstrate their abilities to independently perform Valencia’s nursing program educational outcomes in a variety of patient care settings. This is a practicum course, done in the hospital working directly with a registered nurse. In Nursing II through V, students get to choose their clinical sites each semester, working in varied specialties – cardiac, gastrointestinal, neurology, surgery, etc. Through these semesters, a student can hone in on what their interest is and by the time they reach Nursing VI, they usually are in the facility and area they hope to be hired in. This experience can be compared to the more traditional internships done in teaching, business and other fields.

Students also must take a pharmacology and clinical decision making course which addresses the use of critical thinking in making clinical decisions related to pharmacology.

There is much more learning going on beyond those fundamentals. Dr. Louise Pitts, retired Valencia dean of health sciences, explains that in addition to the science of nursing, the ‘what to do when,’ the art of nursing, communication and caring, is also being taught. She shares that students are learning how to be a nurse holistically in life, not just in a clinical setting.

Dr. Pitts admits that it is a hard program, probably one of the more difficult ones you can enter into in college. But there is a plethora of opportunity for these students once they graduate. Not just in the area they choose to work – pediatrics, cardiology, women’s health, etc. – but also in the setting – doctor’s office, hospital, etc. And nurses can continue their education and go on to administration, and even back to the field of education to teach.

Deb Spaulding, senior instructional assistant for Valencia’s nursing program, agrees. “I would have never guessed thirty years ago that there would be so many opportunities. Nursing opens this door and then there are these little trails that you can take to go on and do all kinds of things. And you will know if you really love it because it will come naturally to you.”

It is also a field that has an excellent placement rate. With a nursing degree, you will find a job. Dr. Pitts has never known of a nursing graduate who wanted a job and could not get one within three to four months after graduation.

Students learn in rooms like these, with simulators and set up just like a hospital setting.

Students learn in rooms like these, with simulators and set up just like a hospital.

Another thing that sets the nursing program apart from other areas is the real-life experience early in the program. When you choose the healthcare field, by the second semester you are getting actual experience in a hospital setting. Up to ten students per faculty member work directly on-site, seeing and laying hands on patients. Students can also work with a registered nurse who is an employee at the facility.

Simulation is an important tool in teaching nurses. This ranges from simple mannequins to simulators that can breathe and make cardiac and bowel sounds. Valencia’s nursing program is currently in the process of upgrading these, offering an experience that is identical to a human experiencing a medical condition. Valencia nursing students practice with babies who can burp, adults whose stomachs come apart and have pads exactly at the anatomical places to give injections. Everything at the bed side is just like it would be in a real hospital so there is not a culture shock when students leave the lab and are at the facilities. Feedback from students and faculty help to keep these techniques and learning methods up to date and new things are incorporated frequently to make the experiences as realistic as possible.

Valencia’s nursing program also relies on tutors. They are an invaluable tool to student success and instructors find that students are more likely to open up and work through a problem with a tutor because they are peers. Nicole Witek is currently a nursing tutor and hopes to work in women’s health. She shares that the nursing program is not easy, but feels that nursing faculty provide so many things that will lead to success. “They give us the foundation and the resources, you come with the motivation and the passion and they will teach you.”

Echoes Deb, “As long as you have the desire to learn, we can teach you.”

And Valencia’s nursing students have a consistently high pass rate for the NCLEX-RN. It was something that Deb noticed even 30 years ago, that Valencia graduates seemed better prepared to sit for the exam. And it still holds true today, Valencia’s 4th quarter NCLEX-RN pass rate was 100 percent.

According to the 2012-13 program guide, the current estimated total cost for the nursing, generic track program is $10,000. This includes tuition, special course fees and associated expenses such as background check, immunizations, uniforms and certifications. This total does not include textbooks, which can be costly for this program. For Nursing I alone, books can run between $721 and $1600, depending on the costs for brand new books.

Realizing these costs can be a hindrance, Valencia Foundation is happy to be able to offer a number of scholarship opportunities for nursing students, such as the Dr. Sara Page Scholarship. Dr. Sara Kerr Page was a career nurse who was a nursing instructor at Valencia for several years before her death in 1985 after a valiant battle with scleroderma. She inspired many to continue the tradition of compassionate nursing and the scholarship was established in 1986 through the generosity of her many friends and relatives.

Other scholarships include the Adelina O. Parker Scholarship in Nursing, Central Florida Kidney Centers Inc. Scholarship, Connie Kay Gwizdala Memorial Nursing Scholarship, Florida Hospital Kissimmee Auxiliary Scholarship, Health Education Technologies Scholarship, John S. and Carolyn T. Lord Scholarship and more. Students need only to fill out one application to be screened for these and hundreds of other scholarship opportunities. Students can submit a scholarship application online here.

The foundation also subsidizes the cost for the NCLEX-RN exam for Valencia nursing students, saving them a total cost of $404.

Nursing is truly a calling, and nurses are invaluable to our community. We are so proud of the nursing program at Valencia and are honored to be able to help fund the education of these special men and women.

2013 rafman scholarship banquet

This past Saturday was the 18th annual RAFMAN Club Foundation and Valencia College Foundation’s Scholarship Banquet. (RAFMAN stands for Retired Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy.) The theme was “Continuing our Commitment to Education” and the guest speaker was Dr. Barbara Jenkins, superintendent of Orange County Public Schools. Leslie “Ms. B” Brockington once again dazzled the crowd as mistress of ceremonies – it was a great event!

scholarship recipient Marcellus Hagler

scholarship recipient Marcellus Hagler

Congratulations to our student scholars: 2013 RAFMAN Club Scholarship recipients Alton Mercer and Marcellus Hagler. And kudos to the incentive award recipients, Chavion Collins and Rose Pierre.

scholarship recipient Alton Mercer

scholarship recipient Alton Mercer

We are proud to offer the RAFMAN Club Scholarship to Valencia students. Through this scholarship, we are positively impacting the lives of the future leaders of our community. We are honored to have RAFMAN Club as a partner in philanthropy.

mentor program provides 49 high school students with full college scholarships

Take-Stock-Seniors-Feature-Photo-2013

A college education can be life-changing – “a golden ticket to a better future” – and it’s a dream that’s about to come true for 49 graduating Orange County high school seniors.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, Take Stock in Children of Orange County awarded $30,000 college scholarships to 49 students who have participated in the organization’s unique mentorship program for five years.

At a ceremony held at Full Sail University, community leaders, volunteers, corporate sponsors and mentors — as well as the Orlando Magic dancers and the Magic mascot Stuff — cheered for this year’s high school seniors – the first group of students to graduate from the program.

Each graduating senior will receive a 2+2 Florida Prepaid $30,000 scholarship from the Orange County Take Stock in Children program, paid for by corporate sponsors. The scholarship pays for two years at any Florida community college and two years at one of Florida’s state universities. Altogether, the 49 students will receive $1.47 million in college scholarships.

“This opportunity from Take Stock in Children and our community partners is your ‘golden ticket,’ students, and your new door,” Elisha Gonzalez, executive director of Take Stock in Children of Orange County, told the graduating seniors. “Open it, and run. Run and enjoy the journey.”

In addition to the graduating seniors, 25 new middle-school students were inducted into the program, bringing the number of participating students to 150.

Take Stock In Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed. The mentorship program starts when the children are in seventh grade. All are academically promising students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds: Some have parents who’ve been in jail; others have parents who have struggled with addiction, while many have been raised by single moms who are struggling to keep their families afloat financially.

Take Stock In Children provides volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. If the children meet with their mentors weekly, keep their grades up and stay away from drugs and alcohol, they will earn a four-year college scholarship.

For scholarship recipient Cristian Rivera, the program has been “a powerful experience.” Cristian’s mentor, Orlando Magic executive Lucas Boyce, helped Cristian get his driver’s permit by letting Cristian practice driving his Jeep Cherokee. Boyce bought Cristian’s first suit, his own business card and taught him the art of making small talk.

Cristian’s goal is to work at Disney in a management position. He plans to start his college education at Valencia College and then study business management at the University of Central Florida.

Take Stock in Children was started in 1995 and has been successful in other parts of Florida. Valencia College brought the program to Orange County in 2008, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and another $1 million donation from Mears Transportation. Full Sail University was also one of the first sponsors to sign on.

Other sponsors include: Orlando Magic, the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, the Haddock Foundation and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

Speakers at this year’s event included: Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports; Garry Jones, president of Full Sail University; Dr. Barbara Jenkins, superintendent of Orange County Public Schools; Bill Sublette, school board chairman, Orange County Public Schools; Bob Kodzis, Flight of Ideas Inc.; and Dr. Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College.

Guests at the event included: Bo Outlaw, Orlando Magic Community Ambassador; Nancy Robbinson, Orange County Public Schools board member; Susan Fernandez of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office; Jill Mickle of Florida Citrus Sports Foundation; Deb Mears of Mears Transportation; Linda Landman Gonzalez, vice president of community relations for the Orlando Magic and former president of the Valencia College Foundation; Stephanie Allen, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; T. Picton Warlow, vice president of the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation; Alberto Fierro Garza, Mexican consul; Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson; and Daisy Lynum, city commissioner, City of Orlando.

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

a closer look – valencia’s culinary management program

Ken Bourgoin's Culinary classMany dream of donning a white chef’s coat and for those in Central Florida, Valencia offers the only two-year degree-granting culinary program in Orlando. Valencia’s unique program is housed in the Walt Disney World Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Opened in 2002, this 61,000 square-foot facility contains dual-purpose classrooms/banquet rooms, a high-tech demonstration kitchen with 20 fully equipped student workstations and a state-of-the-art production kitchen.

The program cultivates winners. Trina shared her love of competing in the story above, and she is part of a talented, award-winning team. The student culinary team won the gold medal representing Valencia and the state of Florida at the Culinary Regional Competition in 2011.

Program chair Chef Pierre Pilloud started his career at Valencia in 1996 as a curriculum writer for the then newly formed hospitality institute. In his time at Valencia, he has been acknowledged locally, recognized as a Top Chef in 2006 by the Central Florida Restaurant Forum magazine, and nationally, nominated for the American Culinary Federation National Culinary Educator of the Year in 2004.

Chef instructor Kenneth Bourgoin, 2010 Southeast Regional Chef Educator of the Year, took a few moments to share with us just what makes Valencia’s culinary management program so special. “We are not training these students how to be cooks, we are training them on how to be chefs that are great cooks. We teach what the industry demands, and believe it or not, the industry demands for you to be passionate about what you are doing and to have a positive attitude in everything you do in the kitchen. When you have that, you are apt to do better and promotions happen quicker. We will teach you how to learn for life!”

The culinary management track at Valencia will cost a student between $8,000 and $9,000. While this is a bargain, especially when compared to other local programs that can run in upwards of $40,000, cost is still a prohibitive factor for some of our current and would-be students.

The good news is that there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available through Valencia Foundation. Students need only fill out one application and they are reviewed for hundreds of potential scholarships. Scholarships like the Michael Jon Dreams and Passions Scholarship, started by Sandy Bove in honor of her brother, a graduate of Valencia’s culinary program. Other scholarships for culinary students include the Clara A. Walsh Scholarship. Ariana Costas is a recent recipient of the Clara A. Walsh Scholarship. She graduates in May 2013 and credits Valencia with helping her to master the necessary skills needed for the workforce. She chose culinary management because she loves to cook and believes cooking is one of her callings. If she could meet the person responsible for her scholarship, she would explain how important education and “my craft” are to her. “I am beyond grateful. I would even cook for them!”

Perhaps the best advertisement for a program at Valencia is its graduates. Through our wonderful alumni connections, we were thrilled to speak with Dawn Viola. Dawn received her certificate in culinary management in Spring 2011 and also has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from UMass, Dartmouth. She is currently working on her master’s in holistic nutrition.

Dawn’s work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications such as FoodNetwork.com, BlogHer.com, Babble.com, SheKnows.com, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Dessert Professional magazine, The Orlando Sentinel and Edible Orlando magazine, and been published in several cook books. She has appeared on Food Network, Cooking with Emeril, Martha Stewart Radio and is a frequent guest chef on Fox News and The Daily Buzz.

Dawn is currently the executive chef and kitchen director at Second Harvest Food Bank. In order to better meet the needs of the community, Second Harvest built a 100,000 square-foot facility and within that building is the 2,000 square-foot commercial kitchen, the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen. Dawn oversees the prepared meal services program, in-house catering program and the culinary training program. The training program serves 20 students with rolling admission every eight weeks.

Dawn chose Valencia’s culinary program for cost and convenience. The program worked well with her schedule and allowed her to be a part-time student while working part-time. It was also the most affordable program in the area accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

“Valencia’s culinary program provided me with an outstanding foundation and support system that has allowed me to excel in my career.”

Be sure to follow Dawn on social media and enjoy her recipe for lavash crackers below.

On her blog: http://dawnviola.com/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dawnviola
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawnviola

Dawn Viola’s lavash crackersDawn Viola - lavash2
(This recipe is adapted from Valencia’s Baking II Class with instructor Jason Stricker.)
Lavash is a Middle Eastern-style flatbread that is rolled thin and baked in clay ovens. The softness of the bread depends on how thin it’s rolled. In stores, you’ll see a thicker, softer version often used for sandwich wraps. My favorite way is rolling paper thin and baking until nutty and crisp. And with the simple ingredients, it’s an easy and quick dough to make and bake.

Yields: approximately 24 crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes + 32 minute rest
Cook time: 7 minutes
Allergy information: soy-free; contains wheat, gluten
Fancy equipment: standing mixer with dough hook, mister

Ingredients:
1 lb. all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces olive oil
7 ounces warm water
coarse salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper (optional)

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook attachment add water and oil. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix three minutes on medium speed until smooth; if mixture is dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of additional water at a time until a smooth ball forms. Remove dough from mixing bowl. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Remove dough from refrigerator; divide in half. Stretch each piece of dough over the back of a sheet pan; edges should be hanging off the sides. Let stand two minutes; trim edges flush with pan. Using a mister, lightly spray dough with water or oil; sprinkle desired toppings (coarse salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper).

Place pan in oven. Bake seven minutes or until lavash is light golden brown and crisp. Remove pan from oven; let stand five minutes. Break lavash into small pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store lavash in an air-tight container up to three days.

spotlight story

To know Gloria Hines and her daughter Trina Gregory is to feel like family. You can immediately tell that Gloria is fantastic at her job, as a counselor on West Campus. And with her chef coat on and poised attitude, Trina is ready to take the culinary world by storm. Indeed, she has already made quite a mark on the local food scene.

Gloria Hines and Trina Gergory

Gloria Hines and Trina Gergory

They have many things in common – they were both returning later-in-life students and juggled the demands of school as a single mom. Both have a special place in their heart for Valencia and for both, giving back is a way of life.

Gloria started her Valencia experience as a student, beginning in 1981 as a returning student. She finished her degree in 1985 and then moved on to Rollins, where she received her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She was hired at Valencia in 1991, when she was in her master’s program, starting her career as an advisor.

Her days are anything but typical, but each day is full of interaction with our students.

She hopes to retire in December or January and the first thing she wants to do is take a drawing/painting class at East Campus from Nancy Jay. She also wants to keep her counselor roots and go into private practice part time.

Gloria also plans to once again be involved with Valencia’s alumni association. She was a former president of the association and an active board member for years. In addition to our alumni chapter, she plans to be active in the Hamilton Holt School alumni chapter for Rollins.

It wasn’t just Gloria’s relationship with Valencia that drew her daughter Trina here, although that was certainly part of the equation. Right out of high school, Trina went to Rollins to study music.

She ended up in the spa business for 17 years. From there, she went into the real estate business, but it wasn’t her passion. She tossed around many ideas and thought, “Oh, you know, someone might pay me to cook for them.” And so began her culinary career.

She investigated other culinary programs but was soon sold on Valencia. She was impressed by the amazing lineage of expertise that Chef Pierre had, as well as Chef Ken, calling them the “best mentors for this program” anyone could ask for. She jumped in as a student and soon began competing. She got very involved with the Culinary Arts Student Association, serving as the community service officer in 2010-11 and president in 2011-12.

She competed for two years, earning three silver medals and one gold. Her team was the state champions for 2012 and represented Florida at the regionals for the American Culinary Federation.

Her love of competing and the close bonds she formed with her team members were part of the reason she continued her culinary education at Valencia and in May she will walk at graduation and be awarded three degrees – culinary management, baking and pastry management and restaurant management.

Trina has unique perspective on being a later-in-life student. She saw herself among students that were where she wished she would have been, “because now they’ve got 20 years to be where I have to be right now.”

Her ‘all in or nothing’ attitude worked and she is already making a name for herself in the local culinary scene. She is the exclusive provider of pies for PomPom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria in downtown Orlando and does private and community events, offering drinks to dessert for groups of 25 or less. She also does private, in-home instruction, offering an education on things to keep in your pantry, spices and seven basic things that you can prepare just about any meal with.

In conversation, Gloria will proudly ask Trina to share the meaning behind her business name, Se7en Bites. Five years ago, Trina had gastric bypass surgery. She lost 187 pounds and has kept it off for five years and so that seven bites, it represents what she eats at an average meal. “It’s significant because those seven bites have to be the most magnificent bites of food that I put in my mouth. One of my philosophies when I’m presenting food isn’t about the quantity, but the quality. If you are fulfilling all of your body’s needs and that taste sensation where you’re getting your salty, your sweet, your sour, your bitter…you are fulfilling all of the desires your body is looking for and you’ll be satisfied and won’t need to eat as much.”

She credits her ‘Grammy’ with teaching her how to cook and instilling that passion and love for cooking, and it is a passion that she has passed down to her six-year-old son. “Oh yes, he tells me all the time he’s going to be a chef too!”

Service and scholarships are also an important current in this family. As a student, Trina received the Michael Jon Dreams and Passions Scholarship and the McCall/Wieckowski Families Scholarship. She remembers crying with happiness and excitement at the news, having been living off of student loans and anxious to have some relief and help make ends meet. Trina also gives back to the community and has been involved with the Orlando Gay Chorus and volunteers with Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign.

And then there is Gloria, who believed so strongly in scholarships and opportunity that she established the Frank and Carlene Hines Legacy Scholarship. “One of the things that was really close to my heart was making sure that other returning students, single parents especially, have the opportunity to have scholarships.” She freely admits that without her parents’ help, she wouldn’t have made it to where she is today and she established the scholarship as a way to remember them and to repay them for all the hard work they did all their lives.

With both Gloria and Trina, there is a truly caring nature and a call to give back and share with the community. Gloria offers this insight: “My dad always said, ‘I don’t care what you do in life as long as you do it with a good name.’ If you dig a ditch, make sure it is the best ditch you can dig and it is the same thing for giving back to the community. I don’t care what you do as long as you do it with a good name. So we’ve always just stuck with that. And it feeds your soul, when you can give back to other people. I think that’s real important. And to see people that need help and maybe they would never get it if you didn’t do something.”

In the near future, Trina hopes to open a place of her own, with the premise of a supper club and incorporating her love of music. She envisions an “eclectic spin on grandma’s cooking, but elevated and a little more formal.” In the meantime, be sure to stay connected with her through social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/se7enbitesChefT
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Se7enbites

valencia veteran students benefit from wells fargo grant

Valencia College Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support veteran students8431246514_4d0dc878e6_k. This contribution will provide Valencia veteran students the chance to acclimate their academic and leadership skills by providing scholarships for veteran-only speech classes, online preparatory classes and veteran-specific leadership opportunities.

Valencia students who have served will benefit from this partnership with Wells Fargo, enhancing our veteran student’s access to education and easing transition from military to college life.

The latest donation of $10,000 will add to Wells Fargo’s total contributions of $60,000 within the last year.

The May contribution of $50,000 encompassed a two-fold Wells Fargo partnership: providing access to education for students in need while creating a vital source of permanent scholarship funding. Wells Fargo support provided scholarships for first-generation students now, and created a Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship for future students.

the rafman (retired air force, marine, army, navy) club scholarship

RAFMAN Club Scholarship (F547)

The RAFMAN (Retired Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy) Club Scholarship is currently seeking a High School Graduate and resident of Orange and Seminole Counties.  Applicants must also meet these additional requirements:

  • Submit a complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Must be enrolled Full-Time or Part-Time
  • Active in African American Student Association and Community Service
  • Completed High School with 2.5 or higher GPA
  • Demonstrate Financial Need
  • Graduates of Jones, Evans or Edgewater high school.

In order to apply for this scholarship, please visit https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 and complete the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application today!

 

the herb society of central florida scholarship opportunity for valencia culinary students

The Herb Society of Central Florida was founded in 1992 by a small group of Central Florida residents who met regularly to exchange information and share their passion for herbs. In addition to expanding their personal knowledge of herbs, they are dedicated to educating the public concerning the many aspects of growing and enjoying herbs.

The Herb Society of Central Florida Scholarship is for Valencia College culinary majors. Eligible candidates are required to have the following:

  • Program of Study: Culinary Arts
  • FAFSA Established Date > Saturday, January 01, 2011
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Complete the 2012-13 Fall/Spring Valencia College Foundation Scholarship Application

In order to apply for this scholarship, please visit https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 and complete the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application today!

scholarship thank you

It is a wonderful part of my job, reading scholarship recipient letters. They are full of thanks and gratitude. Often, it is not just the money, students are grateful that someone cared enough to support their journey. The letters are filled with personal stories, some hardships, but always with a hopeful look to the future. These students know that their Valencia education will lead to a better life.

Valencia student and scholarship recipient, Michelle Morales-Pineda, writes a personal note of thanks upon receiving the Josephine and William Chen Family Scholarship.

I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient for the Josephine and William Chen Family Scholarship. Your generosity has further inspired me to continue on my current path toward acquiring a degree in elementary education.

Your decision to go back to school after being married and raising your children is very dear to my heart, because I too decided to go back to school and get a college education after being married and raising my children. Among my five other siblings, I am the very first to attend college. Not only do I strive to be a mentor and positive role model for the children I am given the opportunity to work with, but also for my two sons. My husband was recently unemployed for almost three months, which makes your scholarship truly a blessing.

What I have experienced here as a student has instilled the encouragement and skills needed to fulfill my goal of becoming an outstanding citizen and leader in the community through working with children. During this time, I have been on the President’s List every semester, with the exception of the fall 2011 semester when I was on the Dean’s List. Currently, I am part of the inaugural class of the James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College and am also a member of Phi Theta Kappa. My future plans include continuing to work toward a master’s degree in education, serving on the board of education and eventually acquiring my PhD.

My family and I sincerely thank you with all our hearts and your generosity is appreciated beyond words.

valencia sga leaders send appreciation

Valencia College student government association presidents recently sent thankful words to community members who donated in support of Valencia College students through a contribution to Valencia Foundation.

Valencia SGA thanks to donors_Page_1

“Please accept our appreciation for your generous support and thank you for opening access to college in our community!”

 

“Our peers are bright, motivated and often balancing work, family and community commitments. All Valencia students greatly benefit from the support they receive, no matter how large or modest the scholarship.”

The note was signed by student leaders from Valencia College area campus locations:
Jose Abastido, Osceola Campus; Mike Acevedo, East Campus; Andrew Johnson, Winter Park Campus; Evan King, West Campus; and Paula Santos, Lake Nona Campus.

Valencia SGA thanks to donors

mentors, scholarships and hope

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Gives
Orange County Take Stock in Children $100,000 Check Take Stock 2

There were lots of cheers at the Amway Center Thursday night as the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation presented 17 Central Florida non-profit organizations with checks totaling $1.05 million. But there may have been few people happier than Elisha Gonzalez Bonnewitz, who leads Valencia College’s Take Stock In Children program — which was one of four organizations to receive a $100,000 check.

“It is an exciting day at Valencia! The Orlando Magic has committed to being legendary on and off the court, and their commitment to our community  is unprecedented. Their financial support allows us to continue to provide mentors, scholarships and hope to so many underserved students,” said Bonnewitz, who will use the grant money to offer more scholarships to more at-risk children.

Valencia’s Take Stock In Children program pairs community leader mentors with students starting in the 8th grade. The program rewards students with a 2+2 Florida Prepaid scholarship opportunity to students who successfully graduate from high school. Students can attend a two-year community college and state university of their choice.

Over the past 22 years, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation has distributed more than $17 million to nonprofits in Central Florida.

“To raise so much money for the children of Central Florida and for organizations, many of which are working with disadvantaged youth in our area, is amazing,’’ Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “For a third consecutive year we’ve been able to give away $1 million, which we’re incredibly proud of and we’re proud of the work these organizations are doing. For us to be able to give back to the community and help the lives of kids who need our help, it’s so gratifying.’’

Four organizations received $100,000 in grant money. They were: Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida ($100,000), The Early Learning Coalition ($100,000), Hope CommUnity Center ($100,000) and the Valencia College Foundation’s Orange County Take Stock in Children Program ($100,000).

The other 2013 grant recipients were: Adult Literacy League ($30,000), Beta Center ($76,000), Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida ($50,000), Elevate Orlando ($50,000), Florida Senior Programs ($50,000), Foundation for Foster Children ($25,000), Foundation for Orange County Public Schools ($60,000), Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida ($50,000), Hebni Nutrition Consultants ($49,000), Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando ($50,000), Orange County Library System ($60,000), The Gift of Swimming ($25,000) and the University of Central Florida Foundation ($75,000).

The recipients were chosen after a five-stage process that began in July of 2012. The beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF  “VIP” Committee and approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors. The McCormick Foundation, which operates the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, matches all donations to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund at 50 cents on the dollar. With the Orlando Magic and the McCormick Foundation paying all campaign and administrative expenses, 100 percent of all donations, plus the matching funds, is given to qualified nonprofit organizations

The grant money is raised through donations by the Magic’s corporate partners, the Black Tie and Tennies Gala, the OMYF Open golf tournament, 50/50 raffles during games and online and in-game memorabilia auctions.

“There has always been a focus with the Magic on the youth and how we can assist them. There are a lot of challenges out there and we’ve always thought it is important for the youth to be well taken care of because they are the ones who are going to become productive members of our society,’’ said Dan DeVos, chairman of the Orlando Magic. “There is a lot of joy of seeing this event. The organizations here are proven successes and they will take the funds that they receive to expand or offer new or different services that will definitely have an impact on Central Florida. So it’s great to see the good that they are doing, the results they are getting and seeing the excitement in their eyes when they see the checks they are receiving.’’

Take Stock in Children of Orange County began in 2008 with 50 student participants from the three Orange County middle schools considered to be the most in need (Lockhart, Lee and Howard middle schools). Today, there are 155 children in the program. This spring, 49 of the students — the first ones in the program — will graduate from high school this year and begin their journey to college.

To be awarded college scholarships, students must stay in school, maintain good grades, exhibit good behavior, remain crime and drug free, and meet with their mentors. Students are held accountable; if they do not fulfill our program standards, they risk losing their valuable college scholarship.

http://news.valenciacollege.edu/

the best we have to offer

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One of the very favorite parts of my job is reading student scholarship applications and their thank-you letters. Nothing brings the mission closer, and at the end of the day, nothing makes me more grateful to work for the foundation.

The applications and letters do not always tell happy stories. In my time here, I have read about homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, illness and too many other tragedies to count. But even in the saddest of stories, there is hope. These students hope for the day when they walk across the stage and receive a diploma or certificate. Their journeys to commencement are different, but one thing is the same – they believed in themselves enough to make this journey, overcoming obstacles and never losing hope.

The scholarship donor becomes a member of an elite community who help a student along their path. Countless thank-you letters from students share appreciation for more than the monetary scholarship, they are thankful that someone believed in them enough to invest in their journey. This belief spurs them to remain committed and gives them the belief-in-self needed to be a success.

As you consider your year-end giving, please consider Valencia Foundation and scholarships.

On commencement day, amidst the cheers and smiles, is the gratitude for all the scholarship benefactors who made these journeys possible. And each donor should be proud, knowing that these students are the very best we have to offer. Truly, they are the leaders of tomorrow.

To become a part of our elite community and support scholarships, please visit https://donate.valencia.org/

valencia foundation faq’s

Valencia Foundation Logo


“This work is not accomplished without the leadership of our Valencia Foundation board members, college partners and community advocates.”

Valencia College receives support from the Foundation in various forms including scholarships for students, endowed teaching chairs, academic programs and equipment. This work is not accomplished without the leadership of our Foundation board members, college partners and community advocates.

I’d like to share answers to questions frequently asked about this good work. Please take a look at the FAQ’s below and feel free to email us at foundation@valenciacollege.edu with any specific questions.

scholarship spotlight: fleck cadeau – 2012-13 ella b. sadler scholarship recipient

The Ella B. Sadler scholarship is a longtime and dedicated supporter of Valencia College and our students. For the 2012-13 academic year, this scholarship fund has generously gifted 15 students scholarship funding for the fall and spring terms.

Fleck Cadeau, presently a sophomore student with Valencia College, was one of the 2012-13 Ella B. Sadler scholarship recipients. Currently, Fleck holds a 3.81 GPA and has participated in the Valencia Student Government Association, Valencia Volunteers, and was an Orlando Regional Teen Volunteer where he helped prepare meals for patients of the hospital. In addition, Fleck participated in several community service events offered by the National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society. In his free time, Fleck enjoys volunteering at local blood drives as well as Caps for Chemo, a program that teaches volunteers to knit caps for patients who have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.

With a love for science and helping others, Fleck plans to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and continue on to apply to medical school with the University of Central Florida.

I began discovering new aspects about myself at Valencia. My tremendous passion for science and medicine led me to major in the expanding filed of biology. I received a very generous gift from the Ella B. Sadler scholarship fund that allowed me to pay for my books and purchase a new laptop for school. The Ella B. Sadler fund made it possible for me to do things I would not have been able to otherwise do. In 10 years, I see myself beginning a promising career as a surgeon for one of Orlando’s amazing hospitals. I will never forget how my education began at Valencia and how the generous donation of the Valencia Foundation and Ella B. Sadler Scholarship helped enhance and motivate my journey to success.” – Fleck Cadeau

The Valencia Foundation partners with many generous donors who are excited to contribute to the education of the leaders of tomorrow. If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply by visiting: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm and applying for the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

there’s still time to vote for nicholas dijkoffz for grainger!

One of our very own Valencia students, Nicholas Dijkoffz, is a nominee for the upcoming Grainger Industry Innovator Contest. With your help, Nicholas may be a resilient finalist and earn the opportunity to attend the 2013 show.

“I have always been interested in studying engineering. In particular the word engineer describes a problem solver, which I consider myself to be. I feel a drive to search for solutions to today’s problems. That is what motivates me to work harder every day. Of course along the road there are bumps and setbacks, but as long as you have the will to move forward I believe everything will end well. With the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship I was able to fund my studies during my second year in college, helping with my tuition and book expenses. All I am thankful for having the opportunity of to educate myself, and be a part of the future of this country.” – Nicholas Dijkhoffz

All Facebook users are eligible to cast one vote per day, per person through November 30, 2012. The five Finalists receiving the most votes will win the Grand Prize, a trip to the 2013 Grainger Customer Show in Orlando.

Vote now by visiting: https://apps.facebook.com/offerpop/Contest.psp?c=242624&u=182491&a=177914495580579&p=298279166888825&rest=0&v=View and clicking Nicholas Dijkhoffz – Valencia Community College.

Your vote matters and with your help, Nicholas can potentially win the opportunity to attend the 2012-13 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Industry Innovator Contest. Please vote today!

2012-13 valencia foundation spring scholarships available now!

Have you applied for spring 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarships? Applications are now being accepted!

One application is needed per academic year. If you have not already applied for the 2012-13 academic year, apply today by visiting: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466.

If you have completed a 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application, you may login to your scholarship manager to update, add or edit your application and resubmit for spring scholarship reviews and selections.

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!

valencia college alumni association scholarships are going electronic

The first of several electronic Valencia College Alumni Association scholarships for students, the Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship, was launched just last week and 13 students have already begun their online applications. The deadline to submit applications is midnight on Monday, December 3rd.

The Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship is awarded each year to a student who exhibits leadership skills and an overwhelming desire to become a future civic leader in memory of Bill Castellano. Professor Castellano’s ability to encourage students to share their true talents for the common good of their community is his legacy. He was a guiding force for students and the Valencia College family for over 40 years. In remembrance of his outstanding contributions to our community, this scholarship allows those who will never have the opportunity to meet him the ability to carry on his passion and love of government and true civic leadership.

As one of the first students to attend Valencia College, Bill always took an active interest in government and his community. From serving in the Student Government Association and as a founder of the Valencia Alumni Association after graduating, to retiring as one of the most admired and respected government professors, he always challenged the next generation he met to rise and meet the challenges of the man who inspired him to be a true civic leader.

Tax deductible donations to the Bill Castellano Scholarship can be made online at Castellano Scholarship Donation. Please select the scholarship from the drop-down box in the “Designation” field.

Veteran Gabriel Nickle (pictured below) from the West Campus was the 2010 recipient. Amy Walker from Valencia’s East Campus was the 2011 recipient.

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Left to right: Dr. Ruth Prather, former Provost of East and Winter Park campuses; Gabriel Nickle, Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarshi​p 2010 recipient; Michael J. G. McLaughlin​, Valencia Alumni Association President; Barbara Shell, Community/​Alumni Relations

2012-13 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship and customer show!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the 2012-13 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship and apply for the chance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show!

Apply TODAY by completing the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application found here!

Industry Innovators Facebook Contest

This year Grainger is conducting their first annual “Industry Innovators” contest for all past and present Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship winners. Five scholarship recipients will win admittance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show!  After the last show, five community college foundations received a special technical education grant in support of their student’s or alumni’s participation at the 2012 Grainger Customer Show.  

“Industry Innovators” Facebook Contest Entry

The contest is open to all past and present Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship winners. Five scholarship recipients will win admittance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show! Winners may:

  • meet and greet more than 5,000 Grainger customers, including Fortune 500 companies
  • attend the Grainger Show tradeshow
  • represent the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program at the technical education booth
  • participate in professional seminars and networking sessions provided for personal career development and
  • and attend social events!

Industry Innovators Facebook Contest

To submit entries: “Industry Innovators” Facebook Contest Entry

  • Submit entries now thru November 9, 2012
  • Winners announced on December 7, 2012

View official rules and regulations for participation.

And don’t forget to LIKE Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® Scholarship Program, on Facebook!

valencia foundation student feature opportunity!

The Valencia Foundation, in partnership with our generous donors, offer and award scholarship funding throughout the academic year. If you are a 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship recipient, we would love to hear from you! Please email Jen Bhagirath at jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu for a chance to be featured on our blog, Facebook and Twitter sites!

Please feel free to share the following in your email submission:

  • Your story
  • Educational goals
  • Career goals
  • Academic progress
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Scholarship information
  • Donor recognition / gratitude
  • Photographs

If you haven’t already, that’s ok! There is still time to APPLY by visiting: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm and completing the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

We look forward to sharing your inspiring stories!

valencia students benefit from a taste for learning

More than 800 people came together on Sept. 15 to support education in our local community. A Taste for Learning, an international wine sampling and auction, was held at Rosen Shingle Creek to benefit Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation.

Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts are given directly to student health care scholarships at Valencia and medical education at Orlando Health. The Valencia portion of the funds will be matched by a challenge grant.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits invited vintners from around the world to donate hundreds of bottles of their finest wines, as well as providing exceptional auction items. Nearly 100 come to Orlando from throughout the country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Proceeds for this year’s event total $290,000 (including match). In all, six Taste events have raised $2.26 million for student support and education.

The numbers reflect the successful partnership between the two organizations, Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation, but also reflect the lives transformed for those receiving a scholarship at Valencia.

Every dollar raised makes a difference in a student’s life. It offers opportunity to students like Edinson. Edinson was raised in a country where education was a luxury. Those who could afford the expensive tuition were able to increase their knowledge, while low income families like his were denied access.

Edinson was a student speaker at a recent foundation event.

He came to America and quickly overcame the language barrier, knowing this knowledge would provide new opportunities. Once he was able to communicate, he felt he was a part of his new country. But alone in this country, with no friends or family to guide him, Edinson still struggled and spent months with no place to sleep. Often he would escape to the safety of the public library, and he soon met people at a local homeless shelter who encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Edinson found a mentor, and eventually secured a job washing dishes. He is still grateful to the employees of the small diner in Philadelphia for instilling a strong American work ethic.

Next on his list was an education. He enrolled but soon found himself overwhelmed juggling his work and school schedules. Additionally, he was supporting his mother, back in her native Peru. Edinson faced a heartbreaking decision: should he stay in college continuing his dream while his mother suffers? After three months of trying to do it all, the economic responsibility overcame Edinson and he gave up his dream of an education – temporarily, because he knew he would always go back to college one day.

Summer 2010, Edinson came to Valencia and resurrected his dream of a higher education. Since arriving at Valencia, he has been in the honors program and has maintained a 3.5 GPA. Almost finished with his associate degree at Valencia, he plans to continue on at UCF with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Of his dream and his journey, Edinson shares, “I hope that our present and future generations realize that education is the only way to be successful. I plan to teach not only basic education to my elementary students, but also that diligence to your dream will make it come true.”

This year’s generous sponsors for A Taste for Learning were ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek, McCree General Contractors and Architects, Freeman Co., Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort, Bright House Networks, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Orlando Health, Valencia College, Betsy and Jess Bailes, Baker Hostetler, Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Company, Dr. Jay and Mrs. Randye Falk, Jack Holloway Foundation, Old Florida National Bank, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Signature Systems of Florida, Skanska USA Building, Terra Firma Construction Management Inc., UCF – Regional Campuses, Universal Orlando Resort and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

wec scholarship recipients

As mentioned last week, our CFO/COO was recognized during the Women’s Executive Council’s 40th Annual Women’s Achievement Awards Luncheon. Also at this event, the foundation awarded two endowed scholarships.

Janice Knapp has overcome countless obstacles and become a champion of violent-crime victims. She realized that a college education was necessary for her to achieve her dream of a career as a psychologist, but each time she got started a more compelling issue arose. She cared for her ill mother and grandmother, and her and her husband were victims of a violent home invasion. Her husband endured numerous surgeries and Janice was his primary caregiver. When they relocated to Florida, Janice worked while her husband earned a degree, paying for his college and paying off most of their medical debts.

In fall 2011, Janice took those long-awaited steps and enrolled at Valencia to start her education in psychology. Her goal is to complete her master’s degree and become a counselor.

Ashley Shealey attended Evans High School and was very active in school and her community. She was a member of the National Honor Society, a JV cheerleader, captain of her soccer team in her junior year and captain of her tennis team her senior year. She graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program with a 4.3 GPA and attended Valencia this summer on a Bridges to Success scholarship. Her volunteer projects include Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Pine Hills Community Cleanup, the Breast Cancer Walk at Lake Eola, Disney Special Olympics, the Maitland Art Festival, clean-up on St. Johns River and helping at Matthew’s Hope.

Ashley is the very first one in her family to attend college and she is dedicated to making them proud. She leaves at daybreak every morning to take three buses to Valencia’s campus. She is studying to be a nurse, impacted by the difference she saw these healing professionals make in her mother’s life.

Ashley Shealey and her mom at the 40th Annual Women’s Achievement Awards Luncheon

scholarship recipient thank you letter

I would like to take a moment to personally thank you for providing me with a scholarship to continue my education at Valencia College. This scholarship really means a lot to me because it allows me to pay for my education without putting a financial burden on my family. I feel like I have always been a financial burden to them because I have always had one medical problem right after another. At age three I was diagnosed with asthma, and at age 11 I was diagnosed with leukemia. I battled cancer for two and a half years and chemotherapy isn’t cheap. My father passed away from a heart attack when I was 14 and ever since then it has been really hard on my mom to pay the bills. I got a job at 15 and have been working ever since to help her with the bills. It feels like one thing after another with us because in 2004 when Charlie hit, we had to get a new home. This was and still is a financial burden.

After everything, we still keep a really positive view on life. I volunteer at Florida Hospital in the children’s unit and I play with kids that have a terminal illness. We also participate in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life raising money for cancer research. Ever since I was diagnosed with leukemia I decided that I wanted to be a nurse. I want to be the nurse that is compassionate to a child newly diagnosed with a disease, I want to be the nurse that can save someone’s father from a heart attack, and I want to be a nurse that can just do it all! I decided to enroll in the nursing program at Valencia and after being accepted into the program, I realized I cannot work a full-time job anymore. My full-time job has to be my education.

My mom understands and supports my education choice but I know the amount of money I make now isn’t helping as much as it used to. She became unemployed during my time completing the prerequisites for nursing and I was starting to get concerned with the fact that I may not be able to afford all the nursing supplies I will need for the program. My mom always tells me, “We will make it work.” And though I am in the nursing program and doing well, I can’t help but feel like you never know what is going to happen to us this year. I got a student credit card and that is how “we have been making it work” so far, but I hate having debt and I just want to know that every time class registration comes up I don’t have to worry about how I will pay for tuition and this year’s set of $80+ books.

With this scholarship I am very grateful and I know it will help a lot. I feel truly blessed to be chosen and accepted in receiving the scholarship and I just want you to know that it is going to a good cause. Thank you again, I wish I could put into words how much this really means to me. I just hope that this letter at least half-way expresses it. I can’t wait to be a nurse and go out into the field and save lives, maybe even save yours.

donor spotlight: george and viola mcloughlin

George and Viola McLoughlin with their daughter, Priscilla, at the unveiling of a sculpture in memory of their son, Michael.

Concept, Control and Communication.

A musician, George calls these principles “The Three C’s of Conducting” and they apply to just about any endeavor beyond the symphony. He says, “If you have a concept of where you want to arrive and what needs to be done to reach that goal, then it’s just a matter of communication. Otherwise, you are wasting people’s time.”

And just about the worst thing you can do to George is waste his time. Having celebrated nine decades, he notes with a smile, “The less of it you have left, the more serious it becomes.” His wife adds, “Seize the day. Carpe diem!”

An accomplished pianist and trombone player, George also conducts and arranges music. He has led choirs and still plays trombone with the Maitland Symphony. Receiving his bachelor of music degree from Boston University, he received a doctor of education degree with a minor in music education from the University of Kentucky. Viola earned a secretarial degree and was an executive assistant in New York. When George was teaching at Asbury College, his bride made the decision to return to school. Viola admits it was a struggle, especially with two little children, but she obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Asbury and her master’s degree in education from Rollins College. She taught elementary school in Seminole County, working her way up to becoming assistant principal at Red Bug Lake Elementary

Married since 1953, George and Viola met when they were working at a Massachusetts camp. George served in the Navy’s Amphibious Forces in the Pacific and occupied Japan. While teaching at Asbury, George earned his doctorate from the University of Kentucky, with a dissertation focusing on community college teaching and success

Valencia brought them to Florida during the height of the community college movement, which was transforming the academic paradigm to one of open access. His wife notes today, “George, you’ve always said that the community college is the best idea going.”

He agrees. “The community college is for teaching. It is student oriented rather than research or even sports oriented. It is teaching oriented.” George taught humanities at Valencia from 1969 until 1985, offering the opportunity to touch the lives of many students. Viola recounts a story of two international students he had assisted, who one night, knocked at the door. “Here were these two students, husband and wife, no car. I don’t know how they walked. And they’re holding a complete dinner of Vietnamese food to say thank you. It was a beautiful gesture. They thought of everything, a little dish of this kind of food, even around to the dessert and appetizer. It was very moving to me.” George had the kind of impact in the classroom that merited this sort of gratitude from his students

The McLoughlin’s owned an apartment complex in downtown Orlando. Upon George’s retirement, they donated the property to establish a gift annuity. Through this annuity, they created an endowed Valencia scholarship for non-traditional, disadvantaged students who might not qualify for any other aid

George has described his endowment as a last chance for individuals who might have a spotty academic record, abuse victims, recovering substance abusers, the homeless, those undergoing career change, single parents, victims of tragic circumstances, juvenile offenders and those seeking re-entry to the community after incarceration. The reason for targeting these populations was simple: to fill in the gap, and to offer hope and a hand up for students in whom few others are willing to invest

It is a spirit that they have instilled in their daughter, Priscilla, a professional who assists people in recovery at the Center for Drug Free Living. The couple spent the last 20 years enjoying the serendipity of retirement and celebrating many milestones, like George’s 90th birthday. Their adventures included a spontaneous, free-spirited trip to England for which they purchased only rail and plane tickets, “bumming around with no reservations,” and enjoying plays and local inns. Viola jokes about being on the “Today” show to celebrate her 100th birthday. She says she will share her wisdom for a long, fulfilling existence. “Live a thankful life. Take your religion seriously. And don’t say everything that enters your head! I think that covers a lot.”

And for this delightful pair, there is still a lot to cover, more family celebrations, new journeys, and additional students who just need one person to believe in – and invest in them. In addition to their personal and professional accomplishments and their beautiful daughter, George and Viola have left a legacy at Valencia that will endure forever, in perpetuity.

scholarship recipient thank you letter

It is with extreme gratitude that I write this letter of thanks to you. My name is Elizabeth Labbe and I am the proud recipient of the Mildred Overstreet Scholarship. Scholarships such as this one will substantially lessen the financial burden on my family and will also allow me to devote a greater amount of time to my studies. The Mildred Overstreet Scholarship is one of the rewards that make a quality education possible for a hardworking and ambitious student such as me. I am grateful for your kindness and your involvement in the promotion of success in the lives of college students.

I am a political science major with an emphasis in pre-law. I am currently a sophomore and plan to graduate from Valencia in the summer of 2012. After graduation, I will attend University of South Florida – Honors College to earn my bachelor’s degree in political science; then continue on to law school. I have my heart set on Columbia Law School. I plan to pursue a career in government upon graduating law school with hopes of becoming a secretary of state. Eventually, I’d like to do humanitarian work in the U.S. and abroad to help those who need it most. Thanks to you and your donation, I am one step closer to that goal. The financial assistance that you’ve provided will be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses. I have been fortunate enough to see the reality that so many people around the world never have a chance to – to become educated. Because of this, I am grateful and do not take for granted my own opportunity for education. Coming from a small town in Haiti, it was instilled in me by my parents, both of whom are struggling lower middle class workers, to reach for the stars. As you can see, my career goals are not far from what they asked.

Thanks to your confidence in me, you reaffirmed that my dreams are possible. Your generosity is appreciated and accepted with extreme honor. I once again thank you sincerely for believing in me. By awarding me the Mildred Overstreet Scholarship, you have lifted my financial burden by a significant amount. This will allow me to focus more on my studies and projects, and the most important aspect of school, learning. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.

a taste for learning: international wine sampling and auction

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines- thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits-hundreds of wines will be available.

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 our website online.

scholarship recipient thank you

To start the week on a gracious note, here is a thank you from scholarship recipient and Valencia student, Yolande McKay.

Thank you for selecting me as the recipient of the Ella B. Sadler Scholarship. I am truly appreciative of the opportunity that this will give me.

I am currently a sophomore in the honors program at Valencia College and am working toward my associate degree in general studies. I hope to graduate in Fall of 2012 and transfer into the political science program at the University of Central Florida. My goal after that is to attend and graduate law school.

As a single parent of four, I am currently working full-time, while attending Valencia as a full-time student. At 38, I am the first in my family to attend college and so it brings me great joy to be a positive role model for my children. I am truly grateful of the financial assistance you have provided, as it is not always easy to manage family, school and work. This scholarship will help pay for my educational expenses, and give me some financial freedom that will enable me to concentrate more on my studies.

Thank you again for your generosity and support. This gift was a wonderful present to me, and I promise that I will continue to work hard to achieve my goals in the future.

aia golf tournament – june 15

Each year, AIA Orlando, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, helps support foundation scholarships through proceeds from their golf tournament. This year’s 23rd annual event will be on Friday, June 15, at Reunion Golf Resort. AIA members can play for $150 each and non-members for $175 per player. Sponsorships start at $300. Click here for more information.

valencia magic scholarship

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Davon Sherman

There was something truly amazing that I was able to be a part of yesterday. The Orlando Magic Youth Fund and McCormick Foundation have created a new scholarship for Valencia College students.

Three deserving high school seniors were selected to begin their educational journey at Valencia beginning the 2012-13 academic year. Each student received a two year scholarship in the amount of $6,000.

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Joan Marcelin

As we surprised each student in their classrooms, hallways and at lunch each moment was a great experience. To see the joy and excitement on their faces, is a memory that I will take with me for year’s to come. What a fabulous way to start the week!

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Shaiquan Williams

Edgewater H.S. student Davon Sherman will attend Valencia College and plans to study creative writing or journalism; Joan Marcelin (Evans H.S.) will attend Valencia College and plans to study business or hospitality; Boone H.S. student Shaiquan Williams will attend Valencia College in the area of gaming.

a note of thanks

This letter is to express my sincere gratitude for your generous offer for academic funding. I was overwhelmed with delight and appreciation when I learned that you selected me from countless other students to receive this scholarship. I have never been considered for such an award and your charity affirms my hard work and determination. Philanthropy such as yours is very humbling and commendable.

I currently hold a 4.0 grade point average, and am about to start my fourth semester at Valencia College. I take my studies very seriously – ambitiously pursuing knowledge and success. Once I complete my associate of arts: general studies degree, I intend to continue my education at the University of Central Florida. Thanks to your support, I can maintain my grades worry-free.

By awarding me the Marie Blount Scholarship, you have eased my financial encumbrance and allowed me to continue to focus solely on my studies. You have inspired me to not only continue striving for success, but also to help others as much as possible. I hope one day to use the knowledge and success I gain from my academic endeavors to help students and the community. Once again, I earnestly thank you for your generosity.

Dustin Hope

faculty and staff give-up-a-cup in support of the students they serve

Valencia College faculty and staff have launched an internal campaign to raise scholarships and college program funds. This year they are asking colleagues to “give up a cup” for Valencia students.

Valencia Foundation provides vital support to students and to the college through scholarships, endowed teaching chairs, and program support. Last year, faculty and staff donations grew by 39 percent. This year the campaign ambassadors would like to involve more faculty and staff in payroll contributions.

Primary focus of the committee is to share the good work of Valencia Foundation and encourage faculty and staff participation based

The campaign principles, taglines, and clever graphics were designed by college staff and faculty to provide support for the Valencia students they serve.

on individual interest and willingness to contribute. This is a grassroots effort lead by the hearts and volunteer time of the campaign committees. A faculty or staff member should not, at any time, feel pressured or compelled to give to the foundation.

The clever ‘give up a cup’ slogan and ‘have you left your mark’ logo were created by staff. These taglines really highlight how little drops of support, from multiple contributors, can collect into huge assistance for a Valencia student.

Feel free to visit the “Give Up a Cup” donation site online at: www.valencia.org/fsg/

Under the leadership of the campaign chairs Katie Shephard and Patti Riva the campus committee members have contributed their resources, relations and fond regard in support of the Valencia students they serve. Many thanks to the Valencia College staff and faculty campaign ambassadors: Chris Borglum, Clarence Canada, Diana Ciesko, Kimberly Finley, Brian Macon, Donna Marino, Josh Murdock, Mia Pierre, Denny Rogers, and Jorge Soto.

starting the week on a thankful note

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for giving me the opportunity to make my career goals more accessible and for granting me the financial aid needed to continue with my education. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.

I am a nursing major with hopes of becoming a registered nurse. I plan to pursue my doctoral degree in nursing upon graduating from Valencia College. I am currently starting the first semester of nursing and plan to graduate in the fall of 2013. After graduation, I will attend University of Central Florida to earn my graduate degree and become a nurse practitioner. Thanks to you, I am one step closer to that goal.

By awarding me the foundation scholarship you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I appreciate the great job that all scholarship donors like you do every day, which is making an individual’s dreams come true.

– Laura Cordoba

class of 2012 giving back as they move forward

Fellow Valencia soon-to-be grads and alumni members have challenged the class of 2012 to leave a legacy for future Valencia students.

This year Student Development, in partnership with the Valencia Alumni Association, has created a student-centered giving campaign – the 2012 Legacy Class Gift to support student scholarships.

The student Legacy Class Gift encourages donations of $20.12 in honor of the graduating class of 2012 to support future Valencia College students.

The Challenge: Provide $5,000 for scholarships from graduation class to future students.

The Bonus: If the graduation class meets its goal, the Alumni Association will give a gift of $1000 which bring the total to $6,000.

The Incentive: All donors to the 2012 Class Gift will receive an Alumni Association lapel pin. For those donating $20.12 in honor of their graduating year will receive a limited edition legacy t-shirt.

Want to Help? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1) Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/classgift/
2) Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.
3) Enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling in knowing you have helped raise money for scholarships.

rafman club scholarship banquet

This past Saturday, a few of us at the foundation had the welcome pleasure of attending the 17th Annual RAFMAN Club Foundation and Valencia College Foundation Scholarship Banquet. The event was at the First Baptist Church of Orlando with Rev. Palmer Powell serving as mistress of ceremonies. The silent auction and raffle began at 6 p.m. and the program got underway at 7 p.m.

After dinner was served, guests were treated to an amazing poetry reading, “Polls,” written and performed by Shelby Birch, Mt. Pleasant M.B. Church and senior at Dr. Phillips High School. Her poem so moved guest speaker, Mayor Buddy Dyer, that he invited her to perform it at an election celebration later in the week. RAFMAN president, Mr. George Jordan, introduced the honorable Buddy Dyer. He shared the good news of our community, and gave special recognition to Valencia for being named the best community college in the nation!

Michael Dippy, executive director of IDignity received the RAFMAN Club’s 2012 Community Service Award. Dr. Martha Williams of Valencia’s Black Advisory Committee spoke about the Valencia experience.

And then it was on to the scholarship awards! Two scholarships were awarded, to Maxsill Gracia and Martravia Reed. Maxsill is pursuing her associate degree at Valencia and plans to continue her education in the field of fashion. Martravia is pursuing her A.S. in criminal justice and will go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in that field. It was a pleasure to share a table with these students and their families. Getting to know them a little better, it was easy to see why they were chosen as recipients. They both spoke eloquently of their goals and seemed ready to take on all the wonderful opportunities that the future holds.

The Retired Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy Club Inc., better known as the RAFMAN Club, began in 1974 as a social organization for retired servicemen. Though its membership is not limited to retired military men, the 19 members of the RAFMAN Club include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Members of the RAFMAN Club seek to provide faith, love and charity to the community; represent themselves as participants in an elite group; and share their military experiences with others. The RAFMAN motto makes their mission clear: Men striving together to make a better community for all concerned.

The RAFMAN Club is now a non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 that will help them better serve the Orlando area.

A special thank you to club president Mr. George Jordan and scholarship chairman Mr. Arthur Jarvis, and to all the members of RAFMAN Club. We appreciate your partnership in awarding scholarships to Valencia students!

scholarship recipient thank you letter

Thank you for selecting me as the recipient of the Ella B. Sadler Scholarship. I am truly appreciative of the opportunity that this will give me.

I am currently a sophomore in the honors program at Valencia College and am working toward my associate degree in general studies. I hope to graduate in the Fall of 2012 and transfer into the political science program at the University of Central Florida. My goal after that is to attend and graduate law school.

As a single parent of four, I am currently working full-time, while attending Valencia as a full-time student. At 38, I am the first in my family to attend college and it brings me great joy to be a positive role model for my children. I am truly grateful for the financial assistance you have provided, as it is not always easy to manage family, school and work. This scholarship will help pay for educational expenses, and give me some financial freedom that will enable me to concentrate more on my studies.

Thank you again for your generosity and support. This gift was a wonderful present to me, and I promise that I will continue to work hard to achieve my goals in the future.

Sincerely,

Yolande McKay

students support from brazilian film festival

Brazilian Film Festival Student Volunteers

This past February Valencia College was taken on a brief adventure to Brazil during the 5th Annual Brazilian Film Festival. Over the course of eight days students, faculty, and members of the community enjoyed 5 films picked by Professor Richard Sansone along with renowned Brazilian filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino. In addition to these films attendees also partook in Brazilian sweets, listened to traditional Brazilian music, and even purchased commemorative t-shirts to help raise funds for a student trip to Brazil. This event was made possible through the support of Valencia’s Student Development Office and through a partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.

In 2008 Sansone was inspired by his students to help spread Brazilian heritage and traditions to the Valencia community. When asked why he thinks this festival is a valuable experience for students and employees, Sansone stated, “It is my hope that the viewers will take away a broader and richer understanding of the Brazilian reality, and that it may inspire them to return to see more films, to study Portuguese, and to better understand marvelous Brazil.”

Professor Sansone believes that learning about a people’s culture goes hand-in-hand with learning their language. To help students gain a better understanding of both, he leads study abroad trips to Brazil and also organizes the annual Valencia Brazilian Film Festival. Currently, Sansone is working on creating a more immersive study abroad experience for Valencia students, where they’ll be able to attend a Brazilian university and live with local families during their stay.

Through the efforts of Sansone and student volunteers, they were able to raise $270 towards a scholarship for student travel to Brazil which will give students the opportunity to truly learn more about the Brazilian language and culture and experience all that Brazil has to offer.

trustees move forward on campus, scholarships, and innovation funding

The work we do is truly rewarding.

Know what to do with a $600,000 prize?  Valencia College invested the recent award right back into the students they serve!

At the Feb. 21 Valencia College Board of Trustees meeting the funds were approved for student scholarships and project innovations for improving student learning.

Last December Valencia College was awarded the $600,000 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  From the total prize, $250,000 will be used as matching funds for the Johnson Family Foundation to partially underwrite 2+2 scholarships for students in the Direct Connect to UCF program.

Every dollar given by Valencia to this fund will be matched by both UCF and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Recipients of the scholarship will be deemed “Johnson Scholars.” Throughout their college careers they will have special program requirements that emphasize leadership development.

The remaining $350,000 from the Aspen Prize will be matched with $750,000 from other sources to create a $1.1 million fund to support team-led projects to improve student learning, completion, placement in jobs and success in transfer.

For more information please visit the recent press release online.

 

Trustees Vote to Move Forward with Apopka Campus, Create New Scholarship, Innovation Funds

By Linda Shrieves Beaty, Valencia College

At its Feb. 21 meeting, Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees took preliminary steps toward creating a new campus in Apopka, and voted on how to spend the $600,000 award the college received for winning the 2011 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which is given to the top community college in the nation.

The college was named the winner of the inaugural Aspen Prize in December, and the trustees voted to divide the prize money into two efforts – one that will provide scholarships and another fund that will encourage faculty members to come up with innovative programs that help students complete college, get placed in jobs or transfer to other institutions to complete their four-year degrees.

Of the $600,000 prize, $250,000 will be used as matching funds for the Johnson Family Foundation to partially underwrite 2+2 scholarships for students in the Direct Connect to UCF program.

Every dollar given by Valencia to this fund will be matched by both UCF and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Recipients of the scholarship will be deemed “Johnson Scholars.” Throughout their college careers they will have special program requirements that emphasize leadership development.

The remaining $350,000 from the Aspen Prize will be matched with $750,000 from other sources to create a $1.1 million fund to support team-led projects to improve student learning, completion, placement in jobs and success in transfer.

In other action, Valencia’s board of trustees approved a nonbinding letter-of-intent to accept a donation of land for its proposed Apopka campus. The letter of intent is the first step in the process of accepting a land donation. The proposed donor, Rochelle Holdings, is developing Kelly Park Crossings, a 624-acre development that is set to include shops, offices and homes.

Also at the board meeting, Valencia College President Sandy Shugart announced to the trustees that that Florida Institute of Technology, a private technological university in Melbourne, Fla., will provide $150,000 annually in scholarships to be awarded to 10 Valencia students who plan to attend FIT.

The college’s board of trustees also made history at this meeting when they elected Bertica Cabrera Morris as their chairwoman, making her the first Hispanic woman to lead the board of trustees in the college’s 44-year history.

Cabrera Morris owns and operates a public relations and governmental affairs consulting firm based in Orlando that represents Fortune 500 companies.

At the same meeting, the board elected Maria Grulich Toumazos as its vice chair. Grulich Toumazos serves as administrator of the Osceola County Economic Development Department.

The eight-member governing board welcomed two new members at its February meeting: Guillermo Hansen and Fernando Perez. They, along with members Lewis Oliver, III, Jerry Buchanan, Lori Kifer Johnson and Jo Quittschreiber, are appointed by the governor to direct the college’s policies

alumni association 5k run, walk and roll

The Mayo Clinic cites many benefits of walking, including:

  • Lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Raise HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage weight
  • Improve mood
  • Stay strong and fit

Additionally, research shows that regular walking can be as beneficial to your heart as more strenuous exercise.

On March 31, Valencia’s alumni association offers a great way to get some exercise and support scholarships, with their Alumni Association 5K Run, Walk and Roll. This year’s event is in memory of Justin Harvey and will support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS scholarships at Valencia.

The 5K (3.1 mile) course will take participants through Valencia’s West campus, located at 1800 South Kirman Road, Orlando. Participants and guests can also enjoy refreshments, children’s arts and crafts and much more.

More information can be found at http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/event_5K.cfm. And whatever your reason for participating, there’s a great benefit – helping someone go to college!

student shares her gratitude

I would like to say THANK YOU so much for sponsoring this trip as a scholarship donor. I can’t express enough how much I am truly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of something so amazing here at Valencia such as the study abroad program. This will be an experience that I will be happy to share with not only my family but to my friends, current and future classmates.

Coming from a single parent household and being the oldest of 5 kids I have never had the opportunity that I have now to travel, I’ve always had to work to help my mother provide for my other siblings so there was never any time or room for me to explore or to enjoy going on vacations.

Again, I am truly thankful for this opportunity, this is the confidence that I needed to push me to continue to work hard. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A. Austin
2011/12 Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient

valencia veteran students benefit from wells fargo grant

Valencia College Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support veteran students8431246514_4d0dc878e6_k. This contribution will provide Valencia veteran students the chance to acclimate their academic and leadership skills by providing scholarships for veteran-only speech classes, online preparatory classes and veteran-specific leadership opportunities.

Valencia students who have served will benefit from this partnership with Wells Fargo, enhancing our veteran student’s access to education and easing transition from military to college life.

The latest donation of $10,000 will add to Wells Fargo’s total contributions of $60,000 within the last year.

The May contribution of $50,000 encompassed a two-fold Wells Fargo partnership: providing access to education for students in need while creating a vital source of permanent scholarship funding. Wells Fargo support provided scholarships for first-generation students now, and created a Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship for future students.

student showcase recital tomorrow

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, there is a student showcase recital at the Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus. The recital starts at 7:30 pm and is free of charge and open to the public. This recital will feature some of Valencia’s most outstanding student performers on piano, sax, trumpet and voice.

About Valencia’s music program
Since 1975, Valencia’s music program has been dedicated to the idea of inspiring future performers by providing students with musically trained faculty and an expanding array of resources and experiences to enrich, stimulate and develop gifts in and outside the classroom.

Valencia’s music program leads to an associate in arts degree.

Students in the program master the fundamentals of performance and build on career opportunities by weekly participation in one of a dozen ensembles.

Students at Valencia get more opportunities for solo work and conducting than at many four-year schools where upperclassmen often get primary roles.

Valencia Foundation offers music-specific scholarships including the Instrumental Music Scholarship, Valerius-Vance Scholarship and Ferrigno Family Scholarship.

Music program students enjoy the resources of Valencia’s East Campus fine arts center, including instrumental and choir rehearsal halls, a library/listening, a MIDI/electronic piano lab and a 550-seat performance hall.

Valencia graduates can be found in many outstanding American music schools including Berkeley, New World School of the Arts, Stetson, FSU, UF and USF. Others now perform with leading symphony orchestras. 

Still others went on to have major recording careers. 

Three famous pop groups have members who received their training in Valencia’s music department:

  • Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys
  • Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync
  • David Perez, Brody Martinez and Raul Molina of C Note

22 reasons to celebrate

Take Stock in Children of Orange County, one of Valencia’s signature programs, in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, pairs community leader mentors with students.

This year, 22 seventh-grade students from local middle schools will be inducted into the program, bringing the total number of participating students to 130.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Take Stock in Children of Orange County will hold a ceremony to recognize and celebrate its new and returning student participants, as well as their parents, mentors, community leaders and corporate sponsors.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the Special Events Center (Bldg. 8 ) on Valencia College’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

Take Stock in Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed, starting at age 12, by providing college scholarships, volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to the program’s success.

“The generous support of Take Stock in Children by founding partner Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and Mears Transportation has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “This is making a substantial impact on our community.”

Last year, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Valencia Foundation in support of Orange County’s Take Stock in Children.

Attending Thursday’s ceremony will be:  Commissioner Daisy Lynum, City of Orlando; Bill Sublette and Nancy Robbinson, Orange County School Board; Ron Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools; Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports; Linda Landman Gonzalez, vice president, Orlando Magic, and president of the Valencia Foundation Board of Directors; Betsey Bell, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; and T. Picton Warlow IV, Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation.

Guest speakers at the ceremony will be: Yvonne Chang of Disney Vacation Development, Inc.; Nick Anderson, former Magic player and community ambassador for the Orlando Magic; Ramon Ojeda, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando;  Lucas Boyce, director, Orlando Magic;  Maritza Martinez, assistant vice president, University of Central Florida; Ed Bustos, director, Rollins College; Shanna Bender, mentor, Design Studio 15; and Russ Fritz, mentor, Highwinds.

This year’s inductees include students from Howard Middle School (Natalie Menendez, Tonya Harris-Torres, Joann Mauricette, Dashicka Streeter, Briana Lawrence, Keith Blanding, Sarashly Fonseca-Gonzalez and Cassidy Harding); Lee Middle School (Samantha Perez, Destiny Campbell and Isaiah Hill); and Lockhart Middle School (Alice Brown, Ashley Demosthene, Lorenzo King, Benjamin Roldan, Tony Livert, Dionna Blackman, Coby Cook, Shelby Putnal, Eileen Urbieta, James Churchill and Raphael Powell).

Valencia College introduced Take Stock in Children to Orange County in 2008. The first class of student participants is now in the eleventh grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

Since 1995, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving students in the state of Florida, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships.

To volunteer as a mentor, provide a tax-deductible contribution or to obtain more information about Take Stock in Children of Orange County, please contact 407-582-3336, takestockinchildren@valenciacollege.edu or visit our website at http://valenciacollege.edu/tsic.

nonprofit partners conference

The 11th Annual Central Florida Community Partners Nonprofit Management Conference is being held on February 2, 2012, and the title is “The Groundhog Day Effect… breaking the cycle.”  It has been said that if you do what you  always did, you get what you always got. Join us for strategies on creative change as we explore ways to avoid the Groundhog Day effect.  

For details, additional information and registration visit: www.ce.ucf.edu/community. Student scholarships are available to Valencia College students.

what is the aspen award?

Valencia College was recently awarded the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  This award is based on student performance and graduation data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.

Colleges recognized by the Aspen Prize serve as models and laboratories for identifying practices that can elevate community college education. This is extremely meaningful to the 6 million students who rely on the nearly 1,200 community colleges nationwide, particularly students who are under-represented in higher education.

Walter Isaacson serves as the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute.  The Aspen Institute board of trustees is made up of high-level individuals from the public and private sectors and include Madeleine K. Albright, Michael D. Eisner, Henry Louis Gates Jr., David Koch and Condoleezza Rice just to name a few. 

In selecting Valencia as the best community college in America, Aspen officials noted that over half of the college’s full-time students graduate or transfer within three years of entering the school, a rate significantly higher than the national average (51 percent versus 39 percent).

At a time when data show an increasing number of students nationwide are not ready for college-level work – and that the U.S. has slipped to 12th globally in the percentage of young adults who hold at least an associate degree – Valencia is experiencing rising graduation rates among all students, including minorities.

  • Valencia has experienced dramatic increases in graduation rates among college-ready African American students, nearly tripling in the last decade from 15.4 percent to 44.3 percent today.
  • Graduation rates for college-ready Hispanic students have similarly impressive gains, jumping from 38.7 to 45.5 percent in the last decade.

Because community colleges also train students for the workforce, Aspen judges focused on the college’s workforce training programs and the likelihood of graduates landing jobs. They noted that Valencia graduates “are employed at rates higher than graduates from any of the other 10 Aspen Prize finalists. This is especially impressive given the region’s unusually high unemployment rate and low job growth rate.”

This is not the first time that Valencia has made national news. In November, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Valencia ESL professor James May the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year. May was one of only 27 state professors selected to represent the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country.

In 2009, Valencia won the inaugural Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award for helping minority students succeed. In 2007, the New York Times named Valencia as one of the nation’s leading community colleges, and in 2001, Valencia was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the nation’s best schools at helping first-year students excel.

valencia named top in nation

Valencia Named Top Community College in Nation.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced Monday that Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., is the nation's top community college and honored four

Valencia Named Top Community College in Nation

Monday, December 12, 2011 – By Carol Traynor

Valencia Wins 2011 Aspen Prize for Focus on College Completion, Job Preparation

Valencia College learned today that it won the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Announced in a ceremony held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the award comes with $600,000 in prize money.

“It is such a privilege to represent my colleagues and the hundreds of community colleges across the country that have done amazing work for years and years,” said Dr. Sanford Shugart, president of Valencia College. “The whole country is looking to us these days, it seems. The nation has discovered that we have this unique instrument at hand. We are institutions where excellence is not defined by exclusivity.”

“This award embodies the idea that community colleges are incredibly important; important to the future of this great country, of course, important to our education system and our economy,” said Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former governor of South Carolina.  “The prize is also highlighting which community colleges best show us the way to moving beyond extraordinary access to exceptional levels of student success. That’s something we need all community colleges to do nationally.”

In a competitive year-long process, the Aspen Institute, along with a panel of some of the biggest names in higher education, selected Valencia and four runners-up from a preliminary list of 120 “top” community colleges in the nation, based on student performance and graduation data collected by the U.S. Department of Education. The runners-up include community colleges from around the country, including Miami-Dade College, Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.D., Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Wash.,  and Western Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Ky.

“Valencia College has proven that devotion to assessment yields results,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “The college is an engine for employment in Central Florida, and a model for the country.”

“Community colleges are America’s best kept secret,” said Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden and a community college professor. “Excellence happens every day in community college classrooms and campuses across this country…Congratulations to Valencia College and all the finalists. Your commitment to your students is an inspiration to all of us.”

In selecting Valencia as the best community college in America, Aspen officials noted that over half of the college’s full-time students graduate or transfer within three years of entering the school, a rate significantly higher than the national average (51 percent versus 39 percent).

At a time when data show an increasing number of students nationwide are not ready for college-level work – and that the U.S has slipped to 12th globally in the percentage of young adults who hold at least an associate degree – Valencia is experiencing rising graduation rates among all students, including minorities.

  • Valencia has experienced dramatic increases in graduation rates among college-ready African American students, nearly tripling in the last decade from 15.4 percent to 44.3 percent today.
  • Graduation rates for college-ready Hispanic students have similarly impressive gains, jumping from 38.7 to 45.5 percent in the last decade.

Because community colleges also train students for the workforce, Aspen judges focused on the college’s workforce training programs and the likelihood of graduates landing jobs. They noted that Valencia graduates “are employed at rates higher than graduates from any of the other 10 Aspen Prize finalists. This is especially impressive given the region’s unusually high unemployment rate and low job growth rate.”

This is not the first time that Valencia has made national news. In November, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Valencia ESL professor James May the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year. May was one of only 27 state professors selected to represent the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country.

In 2009, Valencia won the inaugural Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award for helping minority students succeed. In 2007, the New York Times named Valencia as one of the nation’s leading community colleges, and in 2001, Valencia was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the nation’s best schools at helping first-year students excel.

Valencia’s innovations include:

  • LifeMap, launched in 1998, empowers students to chart their own paths through college to achieve career and life goals through connections with advisors, faculty, staff and interactive tools.
  • Supplemental Learning, which bolsters traditional courses with small-group study sessions, led by a student who has already successfully taken the class. Since 2006, almost 32,000 students have taken SL courses – one of the largest scale learning experiments to ever take place in a U.S. community college.
  • Bridges to Success, which offers disadvantaged high school students free tuition if they enroll in Valencia immediately after high school graduation, keep their grades up and participate in Bridges activities.
  • DirectConnect to UCF, which has streamlined the admissions, financial aid, advising and transfer processes for Valencia students continuing their education at UCF.

Founded in 1967, Valencia College operates six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, offering credit and continuing education programs. The college has more than 70,000 students and more than 80,000 students have earned degrees at Valencia since its founding.

Click here to view the full media kit.

introducing the seneff honors college

James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College

Seneff Honors College: Launching Fall 2012

Students are being asked to aim higher!

The new Seneff Honors College at Valencia will launch Fall of 2012, offering four distinct paths to an honors degree.

This program is for students who want more from their college experience—more challenges, more opportunities and more connections with fellow students and great professors. The Seneff Honors College is for those with a deep passion for learning.

  • overseas trips
  • special scholarships
  • recognition at commencement

Valencia offers this and more, all in a setting that nurtures the whole individual.

Admission information will be available December 2011.  For more information please visit the James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College website or contact Director Valerie Burks at vburks@valenciacollege.edu

dia latino en ICE! saturday, november 19

dia latino en ICE!

Just a reminder! This year the Gaylord Palms ICE! is hosting a whole day scholarship fundraising event called Dia Latino en ICE! on Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Gaylord Plams’ is offering a 47% discount off general admission. The price for an adult is $12.00 and $8.99 for children. Half of the discounted ticketed price will be donated to the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship fund to support Valencia students!

For donations to be made to the Hispanic Business Council and to get your discounted rate, please purchase your tickets online and use the discount code SENOL

The ICE sculptures are new and the hotel has other activities to make it a fun day.  Even thought it is a Latin day promotion, all the shows are in English, same as a regular day.     

The chamber is also working on having a “meet the chamber” event from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. where they will have free hot chocolate and coffee. All groups are welcome!

Dia Latino en ICE!

nursing professor susie boatman forehand retires

Valencia Nursing Professor Susie Boatman Forehand Retires

After 35 years of hard work and dedication, we would like to announce the retirement of Valencia nursing professor Susie Forehand (she began at Valencia November 11, 1976).  Susie has been an advocate for quality nursing education all of her life. At Valencia, Susie’s dedication to students is exemplified in her contributions to nursing. She has educated and nurtured thousands of students who have gone out into the community to serve with her same dedication, preparing numerous men and women for a career in nursing.

Many will tell you that Susie is a hard professor, but she says she just expects the best from her Valencia students. Her students have been given a gift of an education that they will never forget. Many graduates return to see Susie and say, ‘thank you for teaching me how to be a great nurse.’  Susie’s commitment to excellence and service continue and will forever remain her legacy at Valencia College.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate retirement celebration, Professor Susie Boatman Foreman requested donations to support current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia. Should you wish to make a contribution please visit online at: https://donate.valencia.org/susie

Her nurturing character has extended over many years.  In the early 1960s Susie participated in the Civil Rights movement during the Dr. Martin Luther King era of peaceful protest.  In our own Orange County, Susie participated in passive marches, sit-ins and demonstrations that untimely resulted in “black & white” signs removed and local lunch counters open to serve all patrons.

She continued to explore new cultures by traveling the world and covering five continents in 11 years.  These visits to Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, Mexico and England expanded her passion for inclusion.  In addition, her travels have extended to six countries in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Senegal, and the Congo.

Susie’s good work has been recognized within our community through a number of awards including Nursing Excellence, Nursing Educator Award, Instructor of the Year and nominations as Woman of the Year.  Although Susie Forehand is retiring, her commitment to nursing students at Valencia College will continue with your support.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate celebration, Susie requested donations for current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia.

We hope you will join us in honoring Susie’s milestone with a contribution reflecting her commitment to educating future nursing professionals at Valencia College.

Should you wish to make a donation please visit us online at: https://donate.valencia.org/Susie

etch your name in someone’s future

You are invited to create a memory! Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Help lay the foundation for a student’s future!

The sale of personalized engraved bricks are available to anyone who wishes to create a lasting memory. 

These bricks will be embedded in the entry courtyard of the newest Valencia Osceola Campus building 4 once construction is complete.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit  valenciacollege.edu/Osceola/bricks

houston, we have a valencia intern

Designing a mission to Mars may have helped Dolores Petropulos land in a place that once seemed equally far out – the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Now, the Valencia computer programming student is in Houston for a 15-week paid internship at NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

There, the 55-year-old Petropulos is working on the development and testing of software that can navigate and control the next generation moon lander.  At the end of her internship, Dolores will make a final presentation to technical staff in the Johnson Space Center engineering directorate, the team responsible for providing engineering design, development, and test support for space flight programs.

“This is the next generation moon lander,” says Dolores, of the project she’s working on. “It’s pretty cool stuff. It’ll be used on a robotic mission.”

Dolores’ journey to Houston really began last summer, when she read a college-wide email encouraging Valencia students to apply for NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program.  “It sounded interesting,” she says.  “It was an online class and you had to develop a mission to Mars in it.”

Based on her work in the online class, NASA offered Dolores a trip to the Johnson Space Center in October 2010. There, teams of community college students from across the country competed to create a robotic Mars rover that could, among other tricks, pick up a rock out of a water obstacle.  “Our little rover won the competition,” Dolores said. “Everybody else’s broke down at least once.”

That trip to Houston inspired Dolores – and ignited in her a new passion for robotics. “Once I won the trip to Johnson Space Center, and I got to see the next generation of space vehicles, the next generation rover, it got me very excited and made me realize that was the way I wanted to go,” she says.

When NASA officials encouraged the community college scholars to apply for internships with the space agency, Dolores checked it out – and sent in her application. Although she wasn’t selected for a spring internship, she learned over the summer that she would be going to Houston for the fall semester. The internship also comes with a $9,000 scholarship that she can apply to her living expenses.

Now Dolores is temporarily living in a Houston apartment furnished with mail-order furniture from Wal-Mart and an inflatable mattress – but she’s continuing to pursue her dream.

 “I was looking at the business end of computers, not something like this,” she says. ”When I first started at Valencia, I never thought I’d end up being a rocket scientist.”

This isn’t the first time Dolores has been a pioneer. After graduating from Valencia in 1974, Dolores joined the Orlando Police Department – and became one of 12 women on the force of more than 500 officers.

Even that took a leap of courage. Dolores’ parents didn’t finish high school — and her father didn’t want her to attend college. But Dolores went anyway, and graduated in 1976 with an associate of science degree in criminal justice. “My dad was adamant that I not go, but it was a choice I made and I told him that I hoped he would understand,” she says. “Later on, he ended up being very proud of me and what I accomplished.”

During her years on the force, she struggled with the timed tests required for promotions.  She practiced writing reports and memorized the law, but couldn’t pass the tests.  Jealous of other officers who’d earned their four-year degrees, Dolores began talking to a Valencia counselor about returning to college in 1991.

Dolores confided in the counselor, telling her what she hadn’t told others – that she’d had problems taking promotional tests while on the force. The counselor suggested she get tested for a learning disability, and when Valencia’s Office of Student Disabilities tested her, Dolores finally discovered the root of her problems. She has dyslexia – which means her brain doesn’t properly process symbols such as letters and numbers.

Armed with knowledge about her learning disability, Dolores began taking remedial math classes, one at a time, while continuing to work on the police force. With the help of tutors and professors, she gradually worked her way through the math curriculum, up to Calculus 3.  But she was sidelined in 1997 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the lymphatic glands.

Even cancer couldn’t stop her.  Although she waited until 2009, when she’d retired from the police department, Dolores returned to Valencia, eager to study computer programming.  Determined to understand her disability and make the most of it, Dolores now regularly seeks out tutors or pops into professors’ offices to ask for help.

“All you have to do is go to the math lab and say the name Dolores,” said one of her professors, Hatim Boustique. “Everybody there knows Dolores.”

Other students tell Dolores that she’s got something they haven’t. But Dolores  and her professors say that’s not true.

“She’s a normal student – as far as performance,” says Boustique, who teaches computer programming and analysis. “She is not a quitter. If she does not understand something, she will live in your office. She used to come to my office hours, every single hour.  I gave her my full attention. If she does not understand something, she will stay and stay and stay until she understands it.”

For Dolores, who plans to attend Rollins College in fall of 2012 to finish her bachelor’s degree, Valencia will always be a special place. That’s because the college recognized her abilities when others didn’t, she says.

“It’s amazing that when I graduated from high school, I barely passed,” she says. “To see me now in Phi Theta Kappa, and being part of the honors program, is unbelievable.  The educational system in the public schools had actually failed me. Coming to Valencia was the best thing I ever did – both then and now.”

Dolores will return to Orlando in December and complete her dual degrees, an associate of science in computer science and an associate of arts degree in general studies.  Then she’ll transfer to Rollins. But she won’t forget Valencia.

“Valencia gave me my accomplishments that I have today and, for that, I’m very grateful,” she says. “I’m not saying they gave it to me on a silver platter. I had hard courses and very hard professors. But I’m finding and learning a lot of new things about myself, even at this stage in life.”

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

the results are in: tina’s turnout for scholarships

Remembering Tina Collyer. At the event Fire Chief John Miller (pictured here) spoke to friends and family and honored their commitment to keeping Tina's spirit of service alive.

Tina’s Turn Out was established by friends and community members in memory and celebration of Tina Collyer’s life.  With the proceeds from the inaugural Sept. 24th walk, the Tina Collyer scholarship has reached $9,400 and is almost half way toward becoming a perpetual scholarship. 

Tina Collyer, a Valencia graduate and an Orlando firefighter, had a passion for helping young Explorers fulfill their dreams of becoming firefighters.   Once endowed, the Tina’s Heart scholarship will be earmarked for students, especially Explorers, who wish to certify as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at Valencia College. 

The EMT-Paramedic Program is designed for students who are interested in providing pre-hospital emergency care to acutely ill or injured patients. A stumbling block for many is the expense of completing the EMT program. 

Help us with the next steps.  Please contribute in memory of Tina Collyer and to help future EMT students.  You can contribute online at www.valencia.org, just click on Give Now and make a donation. 

If you would prefer to mail a check, write ‘In Memory of Tina Collyer’ in the memo field, and send to: Valencia Foundation, 190 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.  Every gift, no matter how large or modest, will make a difference to our students.

Honoring Tina Collyer, community members create a scholarship in her honor.
Thank you to all who participated. Every gift, no matter how large or modest matters! You can still support future EMT students in memory of Tina Collyer by visiting http://www.VALENCIA.org and click on ‘Make a Donation’

More photos from this event are available on Facebook via Valencia Alumni Association or click here

valencia award winning faculty and staff

The video below highlights Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair and National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) award winners. 

Congratulations to each Valencia College Faculty and Staff for above and beyond efforts to support and enhance the student experience at Valencia! 


 

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. With these endowed chairs, our faculty are given the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

 Congratulations to the following Distinguished Professors and Scholars, who have been awarded a 2011-12 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership:

 Category I

Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences
Deidre Holmes DuBois:  Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications
Richard Gair: Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah
Claudia Genovese-Martinez: Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics Albert Groccia:  Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics
Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development
Deymond Hoyte:  Bank of America Chair in Business Management
Richard Sansone: University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities
Brenda Schumpert: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences
Patricia Smith: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science
Betty Wanielisat:  Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Allied Health Yasmeen Qadri: Wayne Densch Chair in Geriatrics  

Category II

Colin Archibald:  SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
Mary Beck:  Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair
Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
Steven Cunningham: Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality Corinne Fennessy: William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs
Debbie Hall:  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise
Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health Jim Inglis:  Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management
Ilyse Kusnetz: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged
James May: University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology
Pierre Pilloud:  Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Management
Lana Powell:  SunTrust Chair in Economic Development and Business Education
Suzanne Salapa:  Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment
Pam Sandy and Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health and Life Sciences
Michael Shugg:  Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of the English-Speaking Union/Central Florida Branch Chair in English and Humanities
Nicole Spottke: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

student video contest

Five winners will get free tuition (up to 60 credit hours, does not include books) for the remainder of their two-year associate degrees at Valencia.

Valencia College is offering students who recently attended Valencia a visual voice!

Through a video contest students are asked to share goals, challenges, struggles and motivations in answering two questions: Why College? Why Valencia?

Five student winners, no matter where they are in pursuit of a degree, will receive the remainder of their coursework at Valencia (up to 60 credit hours).

For more information please visit facebook.com/valenciacollege, see contest information below or go online at: valenciacollege.edu/contest/

Contest Instructions

Why College? Why Valencia? Submit a video sharing your answers. Tell us your story and you could be one of five students to win a free education at Valencia College. No matter where you are in pursuit of your degree, we’ll pay for the rest of your coursework at Valencia (up to 60 credit hours). We want to hear about your goals, challenges, struggles and motivations. This is your chance to share your story, inspire others and have the rest of your Valencia associate degree paid for!

Prize Details

Five winners will get free tuition (up to 60 credit hours, does not include books) for the remainder of their two-year associate degrees at Valencia.

Contest Starts: September 01, 2011 @ 12:00 pm (ET)

Contest Ends: October 21, 2011 @ 12:00 pm (ET)

Prize Eligibility: The contest is open to students who are currently enrolled at Valencia College or who have taken a course at Valencia College (or Valencia Community College) within the last five years (after January 2006). Only persons residing in the United States who are at least 18 years of age can enter. You will need your Valencia ID (VID) or a Valencia email address to enter.

Need more Details? Read the Official Rules

About the Company: For Frequently Asked Questions please visit here.

Questions? videocontest@valenciacollege.edu

student thank you: sylvia

I would like to thank you for the scholarship that was given to me. I am a single mother who started my venture to return to college almost two years ago. This spring will be my final semester here at Valencia. I will be transferring to UCF and continue my studies there. My passion is to work with children. I want to get my degree in psychology and work in the school system or with the Department of Children and Families.

Since I came back to school I have been a full-time student and have juggled work, being a mother and school and have been able to maintain good grades. I am very proud of my achievements and thank you for the scholarship, because without scholarships like these, continuing my education would not have been possible. I have worked hard and am pleased with where I am academically. I am a very determined person and I want to be a wonderful example to my two sons and other children. I want them to know that the sky is the limit in life, and as long as you dedicate yourself to something, no matter what anyone says, your goals can and will be achieved. It is never too late! Scholarships like the one you have given me are truly a blessing. Thank you for your generosity.

student thank you’s – study abroad

Through the SAGE Office (Study Abroad Global Experience), the foundation offers scholarships for study abroad opportunities. Here are two thank-you’s from students who recently traveled to China:

“I would like to thank the SAGE program for additional financial support provided for my study abroad class to China. The trip was very educational and gave me a new perspective on how business is conducted in foreign countries. It has inspired me to start looking into employment opportunities abroad. I cannot express how thankful I am for everything.” –Erich  

“I want to thank you for awarding me a one thousand dollar scholarship. Because of your kind courtesy, I was able to travel to China by airfare and stay two weeks in two amazing cities, Beijing and Shanghai. I will definitely recommend this scholarship program to anyone who needs financial assistance in their hope to study abroad.

Over my stay in China, I got to visit some remarkable sites! The Great Wall of China, that being my favorite site, was absolutely incredible! The view of the gorgeous mountains and never-ending wall was exhilarating to see! I also visited The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Fengjing Ancient Town, Yonghe Gong (Buddist temple), Huangpu River, etc.

I learned a lot about Chinese culture and their ways of doing business thanks to the guest speakers, lectures and historical sites visited. China has taught me to be a holistic thinker and more appreciative of life. We can’t focus our attention on one thing, we have to look at the whole picture.” –Sasha

valencia graduate shares words from peru

Ana De La Rosa graduated from Valencia in the spring of 2008. While at Valencia she participated in an alternative spring break program with Habitat for Humanity, served as an active member of Amnesty International and completed the Introduction to Peace Studies course.

Ana is currently in Peru with the Peace Corps and writes about recent experience to her Professor Penny Villegas …

“It has been a little while since I have written and felt like it was time to share. This last week I had the opportunity to go on one of the most amazing and rewarding trips of my life. I live in the northern coast of Peru, where it is hot and poor and most other volunteers live in the Andes and middle of Peru where it is cold and poor. The highest reported number of new HIV and AIDS cases is not only on the coast but in my actual district.

We have five high schools we work with in the area and we train young health promoters to teach their peers about the realities of HIV, AIDS, Dengue, and Malaria. The program has been running successfully on the coast for going on 6 years so the rest of the country is trying to adapt the peer to peer education model. Another volunteer and I had the opportunity to take one health promoter from each school, two teachers and a school principal to Ancash, Peru. It is two bus rides and 22 hours away from us. Before my service two volunteers had brought a group of the kids from Ancash to Tumbes and so now it was our turn to pay them a visit. The trip was covered by PEPFAR- the U.S. President’s AIDS fund-since our youth went there with teaching modules, skits and ideas for the new up and coming peer educators in the Sierra. These kids had never left home for more than a day trip to the beach- let alone seen snow. It was wonderful sharing this 7-day experience with them. They got to go to museums and stand at the base of the biggest mountain in Peru.

They did a live television interview talking about the importance of sex education and helped train the kids from Ancash. It was a great exchange of culture and knowledge and I am so lucky to have been a part of it. I have a classroom in Minnesota I am pen-pals with and I cannot wait to send them pictures from this trip. The cultural exchange possibilities go on and on!

Ana de la Rosa Valencia 2008

About the Peace Corp in Peru:  Volunteers in this South American nation work in the areas of youth and community development, environmental and agricultural conservation, health, water sanitation and hygiene promotion, and business development. Many Volunteers working on HIV/AIDS prevention and care receive support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. Volunteers are trained and work in Quechua and Spanish.

new online scholarship application

Valencia Foundation offers a new online scholarship application that makes it even easier for our students to access essential financial support as they juggle their coursework with family and professional responsibilities.

Scholarships may be specific to a degree, program, profession or demographic. They may include community service, academic achievement or financial-need components. Each one is a little different so students will qualify. Fall-semester decisions will be made over the summer, and new funds also are available throughout the year.

Students can visit www.VALENCIA.org/scholarship and complete to complete the application and essay online.

Valencia Foundation scholarships represent the leadership, investment, and kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.  In the past three years, we’ve disbursed more than $10 million in private scholarships.

If you have any questions about online scholarship application please contact Celica Cofield.  If you would like more information on how you can establish a Valencia scholarship or have questions regarding the Valencia Foundation please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128.

distinguished grad wins prestigious $30,000 award

Steven Crist came to Valencia looking for a second chance at a college education.

He got it, and much more.

Crist, the college’s 2011 Distinguished Graduate, has been selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship for up to $30,000 a year for three years.

The highly competitive scholarship is awarded to the nation’s top community college students who have financial need. It is intended to cover a significant share of educational expenses for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.

Crist is one of 60 scholars selected this year to receive the award, out of a pool of hundreds of applicants from 17 different states.

Another Valencia graduate, Mikhail Elliott, who is studying economics at the University of Tampa, won the award last year.

Crist delivered the commencement address at Valencia’s graduation on May 7, where he received his Associate in Arts degree. He is still weighing his options about where to transfer. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and after that, law school. He wants to help the disadvantaged.

Those who know the 27-year-old Midwest native marvel at his energy, organizational skills and goal-setting prowess.

He will readily tell you he was not always in such control of his life.

Ten years ago, Crist was in high school in Ohio and feeling aimless. On his 18th birthday, he dropped out and began a nearly year-long journey of self-discovery that included stints of homelessness.

Seeing no future on the path he was on, Crist gathered up his courage, earned a GED and enrolled at Ohio State University. It turned out to be a rocky transition. He didn’t do as well as he had hoped and was again confronted with the question of what to do next.

One day, he spotted a recruitment flyer on campus. It was from Disney, which was looking for interns. Crist leapt at the opportunity and was invited to come down to Orlando.

As Crist puts it, this was a chance to hit the reset button on his life.

Over the next few years, Crist parlayed his internship into a full-time job. He worked as a concierge at exclusive attractions and later rose in the ranks in guest relations, attending to the needs of visiting VIPs.

Crist says exposure to the Disney culture was life-changing. He found a new self-confidence and learned about the importance of goal-setting.

When Crist decided it was time to go back to school, Disney was supportive. Crist chose Valencia based on its reputation for smaller class sizes and personalized attention.

He thrived.

Crist was steered toward honors-level classes by advisers who knew he wanted to pursue a career in law. He won leadership positions in some high-profile student organizations and maintained a 4.0 GPA while working in a job that demanded as many as 30 hours a week.

Mixed in with that were countless hours of informally advising other students on how to navigate the college and succeed in their studies.

Soon after arriving at Valencia, Crist told his advisers that he wanted to make a difference at the college that had nurtured and encouraged him and taught him the importance of giving back.

How does he think he did?

“I did well in the areas where I could get involved,” Crist said. “The key was becoming invested in Valencia, getting involved. I wanted to leave Valencia a better place for those who come after me.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to helping young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. The Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship for two-year and community college transfer students in the country.

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

a history-making day

Years of hard work came to a close on Saturday for the graduating class of 2011.

With 1,050 students and thousands of guests in attendance, it was the largest commencement ceremony ever in Valencia’s 44-year history.

The event was also historical for another reason: this year’s commencement marked the final one for Valencia “Community” College; come July, the college will change its name to Valencia College.

“This is bittersweet for us,” said Valencia President Sanford Shugart.

Packed into the Silver Spurs Arena, the graduates listened to commendations from the chair of Valencia’s District Board of Trustees, Raymer Maguire III, and from representatives of the college’s leadership and alumni.

Rob Stio, an Honors graduate who plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international affairs, received a $5,000 Hites Foundation Scholarship as well as a transfer scholarship to Rollins College Hamilton Holt School.

The prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 per year, was awarded to the distinguished graduate, Steven Crist.

In his commencement address, Crist saluted the support he received from friends and from the director of the Honors program, Valerie Burks, while also challenging the institution to give students more of a voice in administrative decision-making.

“Valencia has successfully positioned itself as a viable and valuable alternative to attending a four-year college for the freshman and sophomore years,” Crist said.

“As a result, you have many bright, young minds walking your halls every day, with a wealth of knowledge, and even criticisms to contribute to your institution,” he said. He went on to encourage college leaders to “give those students a voice…even if it makes you uncomfortable.”

When at last, an hour into the ceremony, the president took the podium and said, “Will the candidates for degrees please stand?”, the students sat motionless for a moment until Shugart added, “That would be you,” eliciting laughs from the crowd.

The new college grads exited the arena to sunny skies and a Lynx bus parked nearby that had been imprinted with their names as well as the names of 7,200 others who graduated from Valencia throughout the 2010-2011 academic year.

The bus which read, “The 2011 Valencia Grads are Going Places. Congrats!”, was quickly surrounded by students and their families as they searched for and pointed out their graduate’s name and posed for photos.

“We are going places, so that’s kind of cool,” said Stio.

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

student gives thanks!

As a student from a single-parent household, with an immigrant parent, paying for school is a big concern of mine. Without the aid of outside funds such as scholarships and grants, I would not be able to dedicate the majority of my time to achieving academic excellence. Instead, I would have to work a full-time job to earn money to go to school and support my other expenses that stem from adulthood. I am grateful to be a recipient of your scholarship, and your assistance has motivated me to continue to reach for my goals.  

T. Harvey
2010/11 Scholarship Recipient

remembering fallen heroes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

take stock in children of orange county

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

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

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

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

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

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

traditions! class songs and class support

2010-2011 Class Songs & Class Support

Firework
Raise Your Glass
I Made It

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

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

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

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

Your help with the student effort is needed and appreciated!

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

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

parent information sessions

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

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

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

For session dates and to register online please visit the PARENT INFORMATION website at http://valenciacc.edu/studentservices/parentSignup.cfm

you hold a student’s future in the palm of your hand

Scholarships make a tremendous difference in ability of students to attend college. This year Valencia current students along with past students from the Alumni association are working together for a class gift to help future Valencia students attend college.

Your help with the student effort is needed and appreciated!

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

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

valencia featured in community college times

Geraldine Gallagher, president and CEO of the Valencia Foundation, was interviewed for the March 3 article, “Finding New Funding Streams in Hard Times,” in Community College Times. Read the story here.

a taste for learning – april 2

In light of recent economic struggles, many local residents are turning to higher education as the key to new employment opportunities and job security. While things seem to be looking up for many families, finances can still be tight, especially when including the ever rising costs of tuition and books that can make paying for college seem impossible.

To increase access to higher education and bolster scholarship funding, Valencia Foundation and UCF Foundation are partnering once again to host A Taste for Learning on Saturday, April 2, at Rosen Shingle Creek. An international wine sampling and auction, A Taste for Learning expects to draw over 1,000 attendees to raise monies for scholarships that support students who are the first in their families to attend college. Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts are given directly to student scholarships and are eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the Florida First Generation in College matching grant program.

Tickets for A Taste for Learning are $125 per person or $200 per couple and can be purchased online at http://www.VALENCIA.org/taste.

When A Taste for Learning was first proposed in 2005 by Valencia Foundation board member Jess Bailes, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits executive vice president, the idea was to create an event that could be sustained by the support of community partners donating all the necessary items for the event. The generosity of those willing to contribute everything needed, the venue, food, wines, auction items and décor for the event, has resulted in $1.67 million dollars going straight to deserving students in need.

2011 will mark the second year that Valencia and UCF have collaborated on A Taste for Learning to raise funds for 2+2 scholarships for the DirectConnect program. DirectConnect is an initiative guaranteeing admission to UCF for all Valencia graduates, and is the most successful community college/university partnership in the nation.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits has invited wineries from around the world to donate hundreds of bottles of their finest wines, as well as providing exceptional auction items. Each year about 100 visit from throughout the country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Gourmet hors d’oeuvres and sample entrée selections from Rosen Shingle Creek, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort and Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana, among others, will be served during the event.

This year’s generous sponsors include ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek, Freeman, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Jack Holloway Foundation, LarsonAllen LLP, Orlando Event Photographers, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, FAIRWINDS Credit Union, Fifth Third Bank, Paul and Mary Ann Kinser, McCree General Contractors & Architects, PPI Construction Management Inc., SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove, Skanska USA Building Inc., Terra Firma Construction Management, Signature Systems of Florida, Universal Orlando Resort and Williams Company.

For more information or to make a donation, please call (407)582-3150 or visit www.VALENCIA.org.

taste for learning: april 2, 2011

Yes, tickets are hot for this event!  A Taste for Learning, April 2, 2011 at Rosen Shingle Creek is our second  joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida.

Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits, local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items.

 
The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

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

Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor
Become a Sponsor

Tickets are $125 each or $200 for a couple. Check out www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3128 for more details.

happy monday!

Happy thoughts this Monday from a Valencia scholarship recipient:

On this morning, Monday morning, I woke up dreading the start of a new school week. Do not get me wrong – I love school, but you know how Mondays are. The weekend is over and now you have five days of work! However, this Monday was a little bit different. Just like every morning, I check my email for any last minute information that the professors have sent out and instead I found an email from Valencia Community College. This email stated that I have received a scholarship. This has made Monday my favorite day of the week!

As you can tell, this is my thank you letter so let me start off by saying: Thank you! I cannot even begin to tell you how this scholarship money will come in handy. Currently, I’m a student enrolled at Valencia Community College going for my associate of science in nursing. As well as Valencia, I’m also enrolled in a concurrent program at University of Central Florida, going for my bachelor of science in nursing at the same time. This program is limited with only 28 students admitted this year, with two already dropped so we’re down to 26. My projected graduation date from Valencia is May 2012 – then I will go on to take my NCLEX to become a registered nurse and I hope to make the professors proud!

One day, I hope to become someone that makes differences, maybe not to the whole world but at least in someone’s life. I want to be a nurse that patients would be happy to see when my shift starts. I plan to go on to get my master’s in the future. The sky is the limit!

Thank you again for this wonderful surprise!

restaurant sponsors for A Taste for Learning

Please visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the event into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough when restaurants come with decor, fresh signature dishes, supportive staff and nothing but enthusiasm for scholarships. Thanks to our restaurant sponsors that have already commited to this year’s A Taste for Learning!

– Rosen Shingle Creek
– Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana
– P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

I know that we are greteful for their continued support of our mission, and look forward to the many goodies that they will provide this year.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a restaurant sponsor, please contact Valencia Foundation at (407) 582-3150 or foundation@valenciacollege.edu. See you there!

wine sampling to benefit valencia and ucf students

Visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the evening into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

A Taste for Learning, April 2, 2011 at Rosen Shingle Creek is our second  joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida. 

Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits, local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items.

 
The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

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

Become a Sponsor    
Become  a Service-In-Kind Sponsor   
Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor

Tickets are now on sale! Check out www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3128 for more details.