Steven Cunningham, professor of English as a second language: language as art

The idea for Steven Cunningham’s endowed chair project to bring Brazilian artist Clovis Junior to work with students inimg_4494 an elementary school was inspired by Cunningham’s campus president, Dr. Kathleen Plinske. Dr. Plinske forged a partnership between the Osceola Campus and Central Avenue Elementary School about two years ago when she was asked if Valencia could send some students to volunteer as tutors. “We were told that the biggest need of the elementary school students was just to have someone who cares about them. As a professor of English as a Second Language, I was aware that Central Avenue had many students from many different cultures who did not speak English as their native language. I thought, what better way to boost self-esteem than to connect them to a successful artist from another country? At the same time, we could stimulate creativity and provide affirmation of the wonderful diversity in their classrooms.”

When he contacted the school to see if they would be interested in the project, they were very interested and informed him that this particular elementary school just had its art program reinstated that year! Cunningham sent the art teacher some information on the artist and his art.

When they aimg_4482rrived on the appointed day, one of the students couldn’t hold in his excitement and shouted, “It’s the famous artist from Brazil!” Clovis worked with five different art classes throughout the day. First, he talked about his art and taught the kids a few phrases in Portuguese. Then the students created their own paintings as he did a demonstration painting that he left with the school as a keepsake of his visit.

They had each student sign their painting. Clovis signed them too animg_4445d had a picture taken with each student who had a signed photo release. One pupil asked me where she should sign her painting. “I told her, “You are the artist. You can sign it wherever you want.” She responded, “I’m an ARTIST?!?””

It was a very successful project and a fulfilling and rewarding day. “I felt like we had really captured the true intention of the Tupperware Corporation Endowed Chair in Community Quality by investing in the students at Central Avenue Elementary School and making them feel proud of themselves”.”

Join us for A Night of Celebration

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
 “A Night of Celebration” event.

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Please join us as we celebrate this year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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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.

 

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Join Us!

 

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Come Join Us!

Valencia Alumni, Students, Employees and Friends

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Valencia College Veterans will be meeting up near the Wall Street area

(corner of Orange Ave and Central Blvd) for the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Spectator Parking Information
Library Garage | Central Garage

Street Closure Information

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DON’T BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD!

Daylight Savings Time ENDS Sunday, November 1st.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

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It’s not too late!

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Alumni Spotlight

2015 Veterans of Influence: Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones

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Valencia alum Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones ’09, program manager, ZelTech Training Solutions LLC, is one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2015 Veterans of Influence who was recognized at a this years awards luncheon.

Here, she tells a bit about how serving in the military
made her into the woman she is today.

Check out this amazing video of Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones!  

Know A Deserving Valencia Graduate?

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“A Night of Celebration” is Valencia College’s annual signature event hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association. It provides an opportunity to celebrate noteworthy achievements of selected Valencia alumni. Ten Distinguished Alumni awards will be conferred this year to those individuals who meet the following criteria. Submit your nomination today! Nominees will then be notified and asked to complete a more detailed application to be considered for the award.

Nomination Criteria:

Graduate of Valencia College (formerly Valencia Community College).

Demonstrated significant accomplishments in their field.

Must be able to attend the awards presentation on Friday, December 18th between 7-9 pm in Orlando, Florida at Valencia’s West Campus Special Events Center.

Only online nominations will be accepted.

Nomination deadline – 11:59 pm on November 8, 2015. No exceptions.

Check out last year’s amazing award recipients.

Photos from last year’s event!

Start FIT at Lake Nona

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Florida Tech is now offering a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management for students with an AA or AS! Classes accommodate working professionals by meeting once a week from 5:30-8:30pm at Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus. For more information, visit FIT.edu/LakeNona or contact Lauren Remenick at lremenick@fit.edu.

Valencia Alumni Volunteer Spotlight

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Become a mentor and give back!

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Amazing Discounts for You!

Two Free Discount Programs for Valencia Alumni & Friends
Courtesy of the Valencia Alumni Association

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Both discount programs are available to Valencia alumni, retirees and students.
And the best part……they’re absolutely FREE!


Join the Valencia Alumni Rewards Member Perks Program!

Valencia Alumni Rewards provides members with exclusive perks and over $4,500 in savings on everything from pizza and the zoo, to movie tickets, oil changes, hotels, and car rentals!

Popular Features Include:

  • Nearby Offers: Use our show & save mobile coupons to quickly access savings on the go.
  • eTickets On Demand: Save up to 40% with no hidden fees.
  • Show times: Find movies, watch trailers, and save up to 40% at a theater near you.
  • Monthly Giveaways: Win cash, movie tickets, electronics and more with our monthly contests.

And, with over 289,000 available discounts across 10,000 cities in the United States and Canada, you’ll never be far from savings!

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Enjoy some great deals through Working Advantage!

Popular Features Include:

  • Amusement park tickets
  • Family events
  • Merchant gift certificates
  • Online shopping and service discounts with select partners

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1) REGISTER & LOGIN
2) Click “Login” or “Register” at top of page
3) Click “Employees Click Here”(this includes alumni and friends)
4) Enter Valencia’s Member ID #278897230 to create your FREE account.

Working Advantage Customer Service:
customerservice@workingadvantage.com or call (800) 565- 3712

Support the September 11th Walk/Run for Heroes

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Online Registration or Mail In Registration

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Featured Alumnus — Melvin Scott ’11

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By Joy S. Jones

“I am a legacy at Valencia. There’s been a Melvin Scott in a custodial supervisor position for the past 40 years,” said Melvin Scott, Jr. His father and namesake, Melvin Scott, Sr., held a custodial supervisor position prior to him.

Before assuming the role in 2011, Melvin had worked a stint at Valencia years ago but left after custodial management offers in corporate settings proved to be more lucrative. All along, he wanted to complete his college degree, but the demands of work and responsibilities of life got in the way. Finally in 2003, the lack of career fulfillment he was experiencing ran its course, and he left the job, not working for three full years. It was in that space of time that he hatched a plan to return to Valencia.

“I knew I could get my education funded, plus I’m a veteran, so I returned to Valencia and completed my B.S.B.A. (Bachelor of Science in business administration) in 2011,” he said.

Melvin gives credit to John Letterman, managing director, plant operations for supporting his growth and career opportunities.

“Melvin Scott is a supervisor who cares about his people. He takes the time to ensure that all personnel are up to date on the many changes that occur within their field of expertise. Plus, he is the type of supervisor who mentors. He makes it part of his commitment to visit and check with his personnel no matter which shift they work. He’s a supervisor that helps light the path in one’s career!”- Derrick Hilton, security field supervisor

“Once I got my degree, I told John what I was hoping to do career wise, and he said, we have something for you right here.”

John’s support left an indelible mark on Melvin in terms of his management style, and he tries to pay it forward. Melvin encourages his team members, whom he refers to as “ambassadors,” to avail themselves of the numerous professional development benefits that Valencia provides.

“I am an example for my staff. We frequently have how-high-can-you-go conversations,” he said. “Plus, many of them are using the benefits to educate their children and families. I sign quite a few papers (tuition waivers) for my team’s kids who are attending school here.”

Still he shared that peoples’ perceptions of custodial work are often unenthusiastic at best.

“It’s often a thankless job; however, this has been a very fulfilling position for me. People just think of cleaning rooms and floors when they think of janitorial work,” he said before citing the numerous contributions made by his ambassadors with pride:

“We received the Energy Heroes Award for practices that saved West Campus a whopping $71,000. When it comes to the sustainability program, we do things to minimize our footprint through the use of Earth-friendly products and water minimization.” Melvin pointed out that through better technology, the department no longer uses water to strip floors, for example. With 850,000 square feet of floor space under management, it’s easy to see how those sound practices easily add up to ‘good’ all around.

“We also partner with Patti Riva and the Energy Education Program and have done demonstrations for the Association of Florida Colleges Association, showing how we are reducing our footprint. We are way ahead of the curve in terms of how we do our jobs.”

Noting that the custodial department is the largest department in plant operations, Melvin said, “We have 46 people — 92 sets of eyes — so we also see a lot before other people do. We also partner with security. Our team is a group of ambassadors, and that’s what we try to instill.”

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He also credits upgrades in technology for enabling much greater departmental efficiencies.

“We do online training for custodians now and use state-of-the-art equipment. We also do event and classroom setups. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that involves collaborating with departments collegewide,” he said.

Perhaps one of the greatest examples of that collaboration is the logistics setup of President Barack Obama’s visit.

“I was on the detail when President Obama came and worked a lot with the Secret Service and security. That was a great experience.”

Melvin is happy to now be serving on a committee that is looking to replace the maintenance computer management system and will supersede Master Link. The more robust system that they are eyeing will put work orders at each employee’s fingertips.

“I love technology. It’s all about efficiency as a plant operations department, and increasing the quality of the environment for the students to do their best is what it’s all about. We’ve been involved with a lot of positive change that all contributes to students having the best experience possible!”

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Melvin completed an Associate in Arts degree in business administration at Valencia and is still recuperating from the bad knees he got, so often on them praying to complete his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Columbia College in human resources management.

It’s Class Notes Time!

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 We are currently accepting Valencia Alumni Class Notes for the upcoming edition of Vitae magazineGet yours in no later than Friday, August 21st.
Submit your Class Note here!

valencia grad doing big things!

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Carmidaris Rivera-Vega ’13 graduated from Valencia College with an Associates in Arts in General Studies. She was accepted at the University of Central Florida in summer 2013 as a business major.

On May 9th, Carmidaris graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration (B.A.B.A.) a Minor in Health Services Administration and a 4.0 GPA. Carmidaris earned Cum Laude distinction and was the only B.A.B.A. student graduating with honors!

While studying at Valencia College, Carmidaris was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and while at UCF she was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

In March 2013, Carmidaris joined the Valencia College family working as an Accounting Tutor and Front Desk Assistant at the Osceola Campus. Currently, she holds a full-time position as an Accounting Clerk at the Valencia College Foundation.

“What you learn becomes a part of who you are! For this reason, I thank God, my family, Valencia College and the University of Central Florida for being a part of the platform that supports who I am today. In my opinion, there is a single path to success and we build our own. Keep building yours by looking up and following the sky. And yes! That’s right! Our path is endless because there is nothing more rewarding than to keep achieving an entire life.” – Carmidaris Rivera-Vega

Free Discount Program Membership!

The Valencia Alumni Association has teamed up with Abenity to offer our alumni and friends a free membership to the Valencia Alumni Rewards and Discounts Program.

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Spring break is almost here. Find great savings through OrlandoVacation.com and save up to 35% on your vacation rentals through your Abenity Discount Program!
http://discounts.abenity.com/perks/vendor/orlandovacation

Log in or create your courtesy account here: https://valenciaalumrewards.abenity.com/perks/support/login

TEDxOrlando 2015

September LIVE Ted Talk

We’re very pleased to announce that TEDxOrlando will return Saturday September 12 to the beautiful, historic Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

At TEDxOrlando, an exceptional group of thinkers and doers from across Central Florida come together to experience an exciting, interdisciplinary program of short talks given in the celebrated TED format.

Tickets will go on sale to you beginning June 1 — because you are among our most valued supporters. Tickets will be announced to the general public on June 12.

We’re especially excited about this year’s event and hope very much that you’ll join us.

In the meantime, we welcome you to let friends and family know about TEDxOrlando, share your “idea worth spreading,” check out our volunteer opportunities, or participate in a TEDxOrlandoSalon event.

Need money for college?

 

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oh what a night!

Thank you for joining us at the Valencia Alumni Association’s first inaugural
“A Night of Celebration” event to network and celebrate our

Distinguished Alumni Award 2014 recipients:

(pictured L to R): R. McGill, K. Adams, W. Colwell, J. Kimberly, K. Walker, F. Beltrán
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Check out the photos from this year’s amazing event!

congratulations valencia alumnus mikhail elliott ’10!

Congratulations Valencia alumnus Mikhail Elliott ’10! As the Valencia College 2010 recipient of the prestigious Jack Cook Kent Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, Mikhail went on to graduate from the University of Tampa and now …has earned a master of science degree in development economics and policy from the University of Manchester in the U.K. Mikhail currently resides in London and is seeking employment there in economic policy/consultancy or economic research. Mikhail is also a proud member of Valencia’s Association of Honors Alumni, a.k.a. AHA! You can join him by indicating your interest when you complete your new or updated online membership form: http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/membership_form.cfm.

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a night of celebration!

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
inaugural “A Night of Celebration” event.

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Please join us as we celebrate this first year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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get your scholarship now!

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2014 -15 Valencia Alumni Association General Scholarship Application is NOW OPEN! We have many scholarships for students to choose from. You don’t want to miss out!

Log in or create your account to get started:
https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

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Dr. Homer Samuels Dental Hygiene Scholarship 2014 Scholar,
Linsey Amir (center) at this years 2014 Alumni Achievers Reception 

 

kudos to desiree quinto! desiree graduated from valencia in 2011 and from ucf in 2012. and on she goes!

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By: Adam Rhodes, Central Florida Future

Imagine finally getting that job offer that has seemed so far away for so long. Now imagine getting it on national television.

For Desiree Quinto, a 2012 UCF graduate, that was her reality on Oct. 13, when, after two long years of job hunting, she was offered a job as a discovery specialist for her dream company, Birchbox, on Good Morning America during a segment about college graduates struggling to find work.

“I love the transparency there and the culture of the office,” Quinto said of the company. “CEOs are walking around, sitting side-by-side with their employees and getting to know [them]. There’s so much inspiration and room for growth. Ever since I walked in, I knew it was where I wanted to work.”

While Quinto was sure of her desire to work for Birchbox, she had no idea about the outcome of that Good Morning America segment.

“I had no idea,” Quinto said. “Even [that] morning I had no idea that was happening. I got in there at 5 a.m. and couldn’t be near TVs or have my phone.”

Even before she graduated UCF with an interdisciplinary studies degree, Quinto said she had been applying to places in New York City in hopes of moving there after graduation.

During her time at Valencia College, and then UCF, Quinto immersed herself in volunteer and non-profit work.

At Valencia, she became a member of the Model United Nations. Then at UCF, she made the dean’s list a handful of times and became a member of the Nonprofit Management Student Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Through those organizations, Quinto was able to become a certified nonprofit professional.

It’s that nonprofit experience that Quinto said made her competitive in the job market.

Even with that competitive edge, Quinto said, she still had trouble landing a job, despite getting relatively far with several interviews. Since graduation in December 2012, Quinto had been in South Florida working at a Mexican restaurant, Baja Cafe Dos.

But that’s all about to change as she makes her journey to her dream city.

As a Birchbox discovery specialist, Quinto will work directly with customers either over the phone or online through social media and email.

“She really showed us that she cared about the customer experience and what it really means to work with a customer and give them a great experience,” said Melissa Enbar, director of recruiting and talent development for Birchbox. “She showed us she was curious and asked a lot of questions. She was interested about the job in the company.”

Aside from Quinto’s curiosity and people skills, Enbar also said she stood out thanks to the research she did about the company.

“She was really knowledgeable about Birchbox,” Enbar said. “She did her research on what we do and how we do it.”

This coming weekend, Quinto is able to finally live her dream of living in New York City as she moves to Queens to start her position as a discovery specialist at her dream company.

orlando history vote!

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The Orange County Regional History Center is holding a contest, asking the public to vote on “100 Historic Icons of Orlando” for an upcoming exhibit.

Please consider voting for the founding of Valencia College in 1967 – and please cast a vote for the founding father of Valencia, Raymer F. Maguire, Jr. (West Campus students may recognize his name; the campus library is named for him.)

What you may not know is this: Maguire fought Orlando’s good-old-boy network, which wanted a segregated junior college. Instead, he led the fight to create a public college open to everyone.

Voting ends this week, so please go online at the link and cast your vote for the founding of Valencia and for Raymer Maguire Jr. To vote, you can go to either one of the following places:

History Center Website: http://www.historiciconsoforlando.com/

History Center Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Historic-Icons-of-Orlando/293074144177867?sk=app_140144849426314

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/

valencia alum louis gray ’98 making a difference

From “the Projects” to Gray’s Project: A Profile of Louis Gray
By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

Louis Gray is the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships “go-to” person in USF Registrar’s Office, helping OCEP fulfill its mission to support the service-learning curriculum on campus. Gray, the Registrar’s Office’s Academic Services Administrator, has been working behind the scenes, under the leadership of his supervisor Tony Embry and USF Registrar Angela Debose, coding each service-learning class offered on campus in Banner, the university’s administrative information system.

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Once the courses are coded, students are able to easily find service-learning offerings in OASIS; and OCEP can calculate the number of service-learning course sections and students enrolled. During the last academic school year, there were 188 sections of service-learning courses coded in the system, and over 4,000 students enrolled in these courses, which is a significant increase thanks to outreach efforts by OCEP and the Registrar’s Office.

And, it is no surprise that OCEP can count on Gray to help with these efforts, because he “gets it,” and he lives it. A natural connector, Gray said, “I’m the type to bring the community together.”

To that end, Gray started a Tampa-based nonprofit called G.R.A.Y.S. Project Inc. (Granting At-Risk Adolescents and Youth Sustainability), to provide the kind of support system for young people that he wished he had growing up in the Lake Mann Housing Project in Orlando.
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Through his eponymous nonprofit, Gray devotes evenings and weekends to tutoring young people of all ages with their schoolwork and to helping high school students with their college entrance exam preparation. Gray’s Project also partners with Second Chance Center for Boys & G3 Life Applications to provide tutoring, life coaching, and ACT Test prep to the local high school students.

Soon, he plans to expand the reach of Gray’s Project to Orlando to strengthen his partnership with Orlando’s Parramore Kidz Zone, one of eleven sites to receive a Promise Neighborhood Grant through the National League of Cities, in conjunction with the White House’s black male achievement initiative. Parramore Kidz Zone is a model program in an historically black neighborhood that has been making a difference. Additionally, the local Housing Authority has requested that he return to his roots in Lake Mann to tutor and mentor the youngest residents at its onsite Kids Café.

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(USF student volunteers with Gray’s Project)

He mused, “the projects…think about that word,” while remembering his childhood in Lake Mann.  His first eighteen years living in government-subsidized housing, often referred to as “the projects,” was challenging. There was a police presence there, but he called it a “mirage.” He said, it was more about “getting to know you to arrest you,” than to protect and serve the residents.

Gray’s work is completely self-funded, but he also relies on the help of others to keep his programs going. “When you give, give, give, people go above and beyond.”

Gray has enlisted a corps of volunteers, including twelve USF students and ten working professionals, to tutor and mentor young people.

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(Gray’s parents)

He credits his parents with giving him the support and structure that kept him on the forward trajectory that eventually led him to earning his MBA and working in academia. He said, “Family is key. Studies show family support and structure in the house [determine whether] you succeed or fail in life.”

He said that his father, who worked as a sharecropper as a child and drove a truck throughout his adult life, was home every night with his ten children. Gray’s dad told his son stories of working hard in the fields, only to get “scraps” from the owners of the farm. This made him wary of the predatory lending schemes often marketed to minority communities and informed his decision to raise his family in government-subsidized housing.

Gray is the youngest and his family refers to him as “baby boy.” He said, “We had to be in the house by the time the street lights came on or we would get in trouble.” He said that his father was both stern and playful with the large and loving family.

His mother, who worked as a housekeeper, and his father valued family dinners, getting eight hours of sleep, and a nutritious breakfast every morning before school. He said that wasn’t the case for many of his contemporaries who were often allowed to stay out late and/or would go to school hungry, which made it difficult for them to concentrate in school.

As part of his school district’s efforts to integrate the local school system, Gray attended middle school eight miles away and high school ten miles away from his home. He said, “I really think it was successful. It broke down a lot of barriers, [e.g.,] how you relate to different races as you get older.”

He was an enterprising young person, starting a small candy store and a cookie and juice stand marketed to other children. He believes he had an “internal drive to overcome his situation.”

Even with his family’s support, however, he realizes that in many ways the deck was stacked against him. He said that his lens was always “that’s just the way it is.”

After graduating from high school, he said he “stumbled across a job at Valencia Community College delivering mail from campus to campus.” He got free tuition, so he started taking one or two classes at a time over a fourteen-year period and obtained an Associate of Arts degree. Then, he completed his Bachelor of Arts at Columbia College, Orlando branch, and went on to earn an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management, while working in different administrative roles at Valencia Community College. In 2012, shortly before finishing his MBA, he began working at USF.

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Gray said he has seen “so many struggles in our country and how people just gave up and settled.” Gray’s Project, he said, is designed “to uplift, give promise and hope to all individuals.”

“I look like them,” he said; and he tells them, “I’m from where you are.” He hopes to inspire young people, “not to say, look at me, I’ve got so much, but [to show] what you can be if you stay focused.”

Gray takes time away from his own family to work with local children, which can be difficult. But as soon as he reaches them, and connects with them, it makes it worthwhile. When they ask, “Mr. Louis, are you coming back next Saturday?” he knows he is making a difference in their lives.

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In addition to his work mentoring and tutoring, Gray educates young people about the “school-to-prison pipeline.” When children are expelled, the rate of those going to prison increases tremendously. He said that he wants young people to be aware that they need to be very careful; because discipline can be meted out in a biased way impacting minority communities.

Gray is also very active on campus, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Student and Presidential Advisory Committee on Black Affairs (COBA), which advises the President on matters affecting Black faculty, staff, and students of the University.

In the fall, Gray plans to begin a Post Master’s Leadership in Higher Education graduate certificate with a goal of working toward a PhD.

He will also begin teaching Academic Foundations; and he plans to add a service-learning component into the course. Students will be able to volunteer with Gray’s Project or with the Moffitt Center.

He will incorporate his strong will to persevere into the course. “That will be a story that I can share with incoming students.”

To learn more about how you can get involved, go to Gray’s Project.  For more about the Parramore Kidz Zone, click here.  For more on the school-to-prison pipeline, click here for “Demanding Zero Tolerance for Florida’s School- to-Prison Pipeline.”

 

tedxorlandosalon at valencia!

tedAnnouncing TEDxOrlandoSalon’s next meeting on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Hope you can come!

When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Where: Valencia College Osceola Campus, Bldg 4, Rm 105
1800 Denn John Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Register: http://www.tedxorlando.com/salon/
Email us: info@tedxorlando.com
FB icon   twitter-icon-1-original_240_240_s

New! Book exchange! Bring a book, take a new one home. (Please remember to take unclaimed books home with you.)

Two TED Talk videos will be shown, each followed by a discussion break; the event program is determined by vote.

What we have planned for our next meeting:

  • Sarah Jones: What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers
  • Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)
  • Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?
  • Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating
  • Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

TEDxOrlandoSalon
TEDxOrlandoSalon meets every other month at Valencia College locations. A typical meeting draws approximately 50 smart, interesting, engaged people. Some will be regulars and some will be newcomers. Some choose to eat during the event, others choose not to. Two TEDTalk videos are shown, each followed by a discussion break. The event program is determined by vote, and discussions are open-ended.

TEDxOrlando
TEDxOrlando is a one-day conference featuring live speakers. Please stay tuned for details.

Code of Conduct
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon are about the exchange of meaningful ideas and deep discussion, not selling. Opportunities do sometimes result from contacts made at our meetings and we encourage that. However, we ask that you refrain from using TEDxOrlando or TEDxOrlandoSalon primarily as a platform for promoting yourself, your personal political or religious views, your business, or your organization.

TEDx
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon operate under license from TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share ideas worth spreading. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=771295dc95&e=dda8202fc9

TED
TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=30542d058c&e=dda8202fc9

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Faculty and staff giving at Valencia

why-i-give-banner-270x60The Faculty and Staff Giving Committee is excited to announce three students were awarded the Student Opportunity Scholarship for 2014/2015. This is only scholarship to be solely funded by faculty and staff contributions in support of the students they serve.  Christina Funk received the primary scholarship with Valencia students Michaela Decker and Gerald Jones also receiving modest scholarships.

Thanks to “Why I Give Where I Work”  new pledges, renewal gifts and annual donations, our Valencia faculty and staff are part of nearly $100,000 in annual contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Valencia Employees are asked to consider donating in support of Valencia and the students we serve through payroll deduction or to make a one-time gift, you may use the secure online “Why I Give Where I Work” donation location at https://donate.valencia.org/faculty-staff-giving.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special recognition to co-chairs Josh Murdock and Diana Ciesko for their leadership during the campaign and to the 2014 ambassadors (pictured below): Andrew Becker, Chris Borglum, Ken Carpenter, Wendi Dew, Isabel Hagan, Jonathan Hernandez, Erich Heintzelman, Pat Lee, Donna Marino, James May, Rob McCaffrey, Mia Pierre, April Raneri, and past chair Katie Shephard.

2014 Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Members

Volunteer ambassadors of the faculty and staff giving committee encourage colleagues to consider committing support of Valencia College and the students they serve by making a contribution to the Valencia Foundation.

making a difference

Pic 2 i really like this one

(L to R; Melissa Pedone, Barbara Shell and Katherine Pedone at
the Valencia College 9th Annual 5K Run, Walk & Roll)

BY JOY S. JONES

Barbara Shell teams with valued community partners and a host of volunteers in her role as the director of community and alumni relations. It’s a position where the sky’s the limit. After all, her goal of providing lifelong personal educational and professional growth for alumni and students of Valencia College can take many forms when dealing with a group as far reaching and diverse.

Just this week, two Valencia alums, Dick Batchelor, business and political consultant, and State Senator Andy Gardiner were listed in “Orlando Magazine’s” 2014 “50 Most Powerful List.” And new alumnus Angel Sanchez, Valencia’s 2014 “Distinguished Graduate,” is speaking at Blackboard World’s 2014 conference today.

It’s a huge responsibility and a welcome career for anyone who relishes no two days at work being the same, which is how she describes what she does.

“A true advocate of Valencia and our wonderful alumni, I’ve worked closely with Barbara the last few years and am always impressed with how well she works with so many different types of people and personalities,” says Michelle Matis, foundation vice president and chief operating officer. “She is very patient and compassionate and truly believes in developing authentic relationships with everyone she meets.”

Any wonder that Barbara’s work in alumni and community relations keeps her extremely busy with numerous meetings and events. “Many of these happen after hours and on weekends and she tirelessly keeps up with managing all of them and always with a smile on her face,” Michelle continued.

“The challenge is to find opportunities that will appeal to everyone — all different ages and interests, but fun. And any success that I might have is thanks to the many community volunteers with whom I work,” Barbara says. Those volunteers include current students and alumni.

One such opportunity is the TEDxOrlando partnership, with TEDxOrlandoSalons.

“TEDxOrlando has been very successful for over four years and held the organization’s TEDxOrlandoSalons monthly at a restaurant in College Park that closed down in December 2013,” says Barbara. “Many of our alumni, retirees, employees and students were involved and loved the TEDxOrlandoSalon experience, including me, and I was able to develop a partnership to bring the Salons to Valencia campuses. Now instead of offering them at only one location, it expands the opportunity for others to more conveniently participate,” she says.

One important factor that drives the success of her office is the database of alumni, now 25,000 members strong, including the 600-member Retiree Connection group. All receive “Vitae” magazine, a part of the glue that keeps alumni connected to the College and each other. They’re an industrious bunch, spread throughout the country and abroad. Barbara struggles to keep up with what’s new with them and their current contact information, to keep the relationships alive, which is something she invites faculty and staff to help her do.

“Whenever anyone is in touch with alums, if you just prompt them to be sure that the alumni office has their current contact information, it will help us a great deal,” she says.

Barbara readily confesses that the work itself isn’t difficult, given Valencia’s outstanding reputation in the community, and nationwide, as a result of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. What’s more, she frequently encounters those who contribute in some way who say they simply want to “pay it forward.”

“Seems that everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who has been impacted by Valencia in a positive way. Most everyone wants to be part of a good investment, which Valencia is,” Barbara says.

In turn, they make investments in the gifts of their time, talent and treasure.

“When a person provides an internship opportunity that will help a student succeed later in life, volunteers with our office or programs, or contributes to student scholarships, they’re making important and valuable investments,” she says. “And our impact as an institution is felt, not just in Central Florida, but in the world community. It’s just very exciting to be a part of it all.”

Among the most prized aspects of her job is coordination of the annual Alumni Achievers Reception held each June where Alumni Association scholarship awards are celebrated.
14396511362_28a686a1a1_o“What’s always fascinating to me is how surprised the recipients are to see themselves as ‘special’,” Barbara says. “With their families looking on, many with children and many more, first generation college students, it is just tremendous to see their level of gratitude that someone believes in them and their abilities. Their example of working to get an education and placing an importance on the value of an education goes a long way for everyone.”

While she shares that it’s a challenge to keep up with it all, she finds it all very rewarding.

“We have the entire spectrum of people who can tell you a compelling story about how Valencia was a significant factor in helping them achieve their educational goals — and the stories just keep growing.”

Barbara has been employed at Valencia since 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and a master’s degree in community health from Plymouth State University.

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 give back

why-i-give-logoValencia’s faculty and staff giving campaign is underway and in full swing. Last week, the Foundation sent information regarding this year’s “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign with Valencia colleagues who expressed the reasons why they choose to give.

Scholarships change lives.

Our goal is that each student who comes through our doors will be able to fulfill his or her dream of earning a college degree. As the data shows, those who complete a college degree and work full time, earn an average of $17,500 more than those with a high school diploma only, according to a recent Pew Research Study.

Additionally, Valencia’s associate in science graduates boast 95 percent job placement, even in this economy, and starting salaries average $43,385.

So it’s no wonder that Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education, says that she gives because “investing in Valencia will bring a brighter future for all.”

Reasons Valencia College employees give where they work:

fsg-quotes-0617-grove

Employees can be a part of this movement simply by completing the Payroll Deduction form — it’s that easy.

Sharing the Reasons

Valencia invites other employees to share why they choose to give by leaving a comment below.

If you have questions or would like more information on the campaign or how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, feel free to you may contact Valencia Foundation donors stewardship manager Donna Marino at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or any of the faculty and staff giving ambassadors located at www.VALENCIA.org/FSG.

 

alumni magazine available online

vitae-cover-news-siteValencia alumni…read all about them! The most recent issue of our alumni magazine, Vitae, is available online. Read it here.

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.”

why-i-give-banner-270x60

Gustavo Morales, professor, geology, West Campus:

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

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 why-i-give-logo

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.

why-i-give-logo
 why-i-give-logo

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.

a closer look: 2+2+2 architecture program model

Student project
guest author: John P. Ehrig, FAIA, LEED AP, vice president, CASE project manager, HHCP/Architects Inc.

As a New Jersey transplant to the Sunshine State, I began my career in architecture at the University of Florida, graduating with a bachelor of architecture degree. I have been involved with American Institute of Architects for over four decades, first as a student and later serving in various positions throughout the Institute. In 1993, I became the youngest Florida architect to be elected to the AIA College of Fellows. After I moved to Orlando in 2000, I served as president of AIA Orlando in 2001 and that’s where the story about the 2+2+2 architecture program begins.

As background to AIA Orlando’s relationship with Valencia, in 2002, one of our members, CT Hsu, FAIA who was also a member of the Valencia Foundation board of directors, approached the chapter with the idea of joining forces in fundraising efforts to benefit both the chapter and Valencia Foundation’s scholarship program. As discussions unfolded, Valencia’s Geraldine Gallagher made a presentation to the AIA Orlando board of directors about joining forces and as they say, “The rest is history.” Over the past 12 years, AIA Orlando has been a part of generating over $240,000 for the foundation creating a strong connection between the chapter and the college.

Central Florida architects had been talking about having an architecture school in Orlando for decades and the last big push was way back in the 1970s. At that time, creating a new school or program required legislative approval as well as approval of the Florida Board of Regents.

In the fall of 2007, the AIA Orlando chapter, created an Educational Task Force (ETF) to spearhead this effort. During this time frame we discovered that Dr. Shugart was an “architect at heart.” I heard him say once “had he not gotten into education he would’ve wanted to be an architect.” CT Hsu and Alan Helman, FAIA, told Sandy about the work of the ETF in trying to get a professional degree program here in Orlando and he said he would try to assemble the right people to discuss the possibilities.

Around that time Valencia had worked out an “articulation agreement” with the University of Florida – School of Architecture where students would graduate with an associate of arts in architecture and would go right into upper division as juniors without skipping a beat. This was important to me because when I transferred to UF, I transferred in as a junior but I had to start over in all my design coursework. Ultimately it took me six years to get a five-year degree because of that “transfer gap,” something I did not want to see happen to students today.

The articulation agreement was working and students that were graduating from Valencia were heading off to Gainesville and elsewhere. Everything was going along fine except the openings in the upper division for transfer students were dwindling year after year. Competition was exceptionally tough because of the program’s notoriety. So, the task force believed it was time for a creative solution. We knew the university wanted to increase their focus on urban design in their undergrad and graduate programs. The ETF also knew that UCF had indicated an interest in creating an architectural program in the past.

So as things were starting to evolve the ETF developed a list of things that we wanted in a program and generated a formal White Paper. This paper included what the profession would do to help move this effort forward; like providing adjunct professors, employing students as interns in local offices and securing additional funding to support the program.

We called Dr. Shugart and said, “Here’s what we’d like to do.” And he said, “I’ll set up a meeting in a couple weeks to see where this may go.” Then one day I got a phone call inviting me to a meeting consisting of people from UCF, UF and Valencia. On meeting day, Dr. Shugart made some opening remarks and immediately looked at me and said, “Okay John, you asked for this meeting, what do you want to discuss?” This was the opportunity and audience I needed to present the white paper and openly discuss the need for an architectural program in Orlando.
Student project2

The current scenario was a student would go to Valencia and get a two-year degree then they’d apply to UF or other colleges. They were accepted at major universities across the country and once they received their degree, they would very seldom return to Orlando. So our goal was very selfish – keep the talent here in Orlando. We wanted the ability for students to get an education here, complete their internship here and stay here to design their professional life in Orlando where they started.

We knew that there was a really good working relationship between Valencia and UCF in several programs involving the DirectConnect to UCF program, so that was our roadmap. And if something could be worked out with UF to obtain a two-year graduate program that was all we needed for the professional degree. UCF became the critical link to what would be a unique architectural program with three separate institutions, hence the 2+2+2.

There are always up and downs in anything new but, the bottom line for the most part is we have the consistently strong Valencia portion with the first two years, we now have the third class of graduates from UCF, and this year we graduated our first class of UF students. Sixteen walked the stage in Gainesville on May 3 and of the 16 graduates, nine went through the 2+2+2 right here in Orlando.

Read the Valencia News article on the first 2+2+2 architecture grads

I know Sandy is a Christian leader and I appreciate his direction and passion in this entire effort. There are some things that we humans try to manage and manipulate to get what we want but, there are so many things that have occurred that I know are not “coincidences”. Too many things “fell into place” at just the right time for us mortals to take the credit for it. For instance the funding for the studio space in Building 9, the building of the UCF Joint Use Facility, UF’s support of the Orlando program, and the talented students that had the faith in signing up for a program with no previous track record, just to name a few.

The Orlando architectural program is now a proven, new educational model.

This year you have the special opportunity to support the 2+2+2 program through AIA Orlando’s 25th annual golf tournament June 20, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Non-members can play for $175 and sponsorships start at $250. Here is a link to more information.

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

freshman
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.

association of honors alumni transfer scholarship

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Student volunteers from the Honors Program will be working hard selling roses at Valencia’s Commencement this Saturday to raise funds to support the Association of  Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship.  Donations to support their work and the scholarship can be made online .

 

valencia graduate doing it big!

grad picHeather Marinello ’11,Valencia College Honors graduate–
“To fulfill my dreams of becoming a doctor, I started off by taking heavy science classes at Valencia and without them I would never have had the foundation necessary for me to get to where I am today.”

Heather graduated on December 16th, 2013 from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Bio-medical Science, Health Science, and a minor in Medical Sociology. She participated in two outreach trips to Haiti in 2012 and 2013, and became the treasurer for the club International Medical Outreach. Heather was then awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and also worked in the Florida Hospital Waterman emergency department in Tavares for a year. “Throughout my last year, I found a great balance of medical sciences and patient interaction in Clinical Audiology.”  Heather has now been accepted into Nova Southeastern University’s Doctor of Audiology program for fall of 2014. Once she has completed this program, Heather hopes to publish using her medical illustration skills and education.  She also hopes to own her own practice.

Go Heather! Doing BIG things and making all of Valencia proud.

Student art exhibition and award ceremony: April 18

Digital MediaThis week the Anita S. Wooten Gallery will be hosting their annual Student Art Exhibition. This show will include a variety of works from Valencia East Campus students who are studying Digital Media, Graphic Design, and Studio Fine Art. To celebrate the students success there will be a reception and award ceremony on Friday April 18, 2014.

This is event is open to the public. We encourage students, faculty, staff, family and friends to come see what some of the talented students here at Valencia has to offer!  The show will run from April 18 –  May 22, 2014.

The reception will begin at 6:30pm and run until 8:30pm. The award ceremony will begin at 7:30pm. Food and beverages will provided.

For more information and to see some of the work that will be at the show please visit the galleries Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AnitaS.WootenGallery

Location: Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825
(407)582-2268

a closer look: commercial real estate women

crewlogoValencia Foundation’s successes are the direct result of successful partnerships with organizations and individuals who do their part to contribute, advocate and invite others to learn about Valencia. Partnerships with organizations such as Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando take the important step in setting the philanthropic curve in today’s world – finding new and unique ways to bring funds to those who need it most and over an extended period of time.

CREW Orlando was formed in 1987 to attract the most powerful and influential professionals in the commercial real estate industry. Each chapter has its own unique structure and framework but every chapter follows the purpose of “advancing women in commercial real estate.”

Former foundation board chair, Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq., and former board member, Sarah Kelly, led the charge for Valencia’s partnership with CREW. The organization endowed a scholarship through Valencia Foundation and also partnered on an interactive program designed to introduce female high school students to career opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.

Every year since 2002, CREW Orlando has used dollars raised at their golf tournament to fund The CREW Orlando Scholarship at Valencia. In all, CREW’s golf tournaments have gathered $119,500 to benefit students in need.

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW's annual golf tournament

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW’s annual golf tournament

This year the CREW golf tournament is Friday, May 16 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Sponsorships start at $250 and individual golfers can play for $175 per person. For more information, here is the brochure.

The CREW Scholarship was created to support students who seek a future in commercial real estate or a related industry, students such as Arzu.

Becoming a mechanical engineer was a childhood dream for Arzu, but that is all it was, just a dream. She came from a family of six with parents who tried to make ends meet with a very low income. When she came to the United States, she feels she was given a second chance to pursue her education.

Three years ago, she started attending Valencia and although it was a start, the road was still very rough. She felt alone and faced the problem of not knowing the language. Naysayers told her graduation would be very difficult, but she did not give up. She took English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and her hard work paid off. Today she is proud to tell of her 3.7 GPA.

In addition to being a student, Arzu is a wife and mother and she says that her marriage and birth of her daughter are the most satisfying and inspiring events in her life. Though it has been a struggle to manage all of these roles, she knows that education is important and feels it will make her a wonderful role model for her daughter.

Arzu is currently enrolled as a full-time sophomore in the articulated pre-major program for engineering. This course of study is based on an agreement with UCF and is designed for students who plan to transfer to UCF as a junior to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

At UCF, she plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. She is passionate about her degree choice and enjoys building and construction and fabricating projects from scratch. She also plans to get a Professional Engineering license to increase her knowledge in her career and boost her position in the workforce.

When she found out she received the CREW Scholarship, she got very emotional. She was using Valencia computers and library services to learn, but now she could get her own books, a calculator and a laptop. These tools allow her to study anywhere and give her more time to help her daughter with her schoolwork.

She says she will always be appreciative to CREW because even though they didn’t know her, they helped make her dream come true.

For more information about CREW, please visit http://creworlando.org/.

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia College

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia CollegeIntroducing CFFI at Valencia College

Valencia College is pleased to announce the formation of the Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI), in partnership with member agencies of the former Central Florida Fire Academy (CFFA).

Valencia’s Central Florida Fire Institute provides career pathways for the fire service community in Central Florida, nationally, and globally.

CFFI Programs Include:CFFI

Fire Science Degree

The Fire Science Technology A.S. degree program is approved by the Florida Division of the State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, and provides an enhanced opportunity for current fire fighters and staff to pursue various professional opportunities in Public Safety with multiple educational pathways for promotion and career advancement.
Valencia’s Advanced Specialized Training Program for Fire Professionals offers a wide variety of training and learning opportunities for our community’s public and private sector fire service professionals. Our programs focus on the most recent updates, topics and equipment and are taught by experienced professionals from the field. In addition, Valencia can customize programs to meet the specific needs of any agency.

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

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

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

Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs – May 17 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a special date – feb.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

wine corks

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

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

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

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

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

ABC_3D_LOGO_HI RES2

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

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

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

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

7th Brazilian Film Festival at Valencia College Osceola

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

valencia graduate- michael maguire

 

 mm

By Joy S. Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

The student becomes the master.

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

valencia-productions-collage-grove-568x256

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

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

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

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

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

 

alumni events!

Blue Martini Flyer

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

Solar Flyer II

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

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

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

bachelor’s degree in logistics management from Florida Tech at Valencia’s Lake Nona campus, fall 2014

Florida Tech, Valencia College Partner to Offer B.S. in Logistics Management at Lake Nona Campus.

MELBOURNE, FLA.—A recently signed memorandum of agreement initiates the offering of a bachelor’s degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology at Valencia College’s Lake Nona campus in Orlando, beginning in the fall semester of 2014.

“Partnering with Valencia College Lake Nona Campus is a great opportunity for Florida Tech to reach potential students and returning veterans interested in logistics management,” said Ted Richardson, senior associate dean of extended studies, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Florida Tech. “We currently offer a bachelor’s degree in logistics management at remote campuses near Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle and at our Hampton Roads, Va., site.”

The degree is a 2+2 program, designed for students who earn an associate’s degree at Valencia with a pre-major in logistics management.

Valencia College has agreed to provide classroom space to students who enroll in the program. The Florida Tech Extended Studies Orlando Site will be the main point of contact for this program.

The logistics management program requires 60 additional credits to complete, which includes courses such as corporate finance, marketing principles and business ethics.

The bachelor’s degree in logistics management is popular with veterans and current military, but Florida business leaders also look to the logistics field for future job growth.

“Valencia College Lake Nona Campus is proud to partner with Florida Tech on this degree in logistics management,” said Mike Bosley, executive dean of Valencia’s Lake Nona campus. “This program will create additional 2+2 options for our students and will help meet the growing needs of our returning veteran population.”

Prospective students may contact the Florida Tech Extended Studies Orlando site at (407) 629-7132. For more information about the program, visit http://www.fit.edu/programs/7880/bs-logistics-management.

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.

valencia graduate mehdi khoumassi

Mehdi-Khoumassi-fc-grove

 

Mehdi Khoumassi, information technology manager of Campus Technology Services at West Campus, was challenged by his father, who was on the verge of retirement at the time, to complete his bachelor’s degree so that he could retire without worrying about his son. Mehdi not only completed his bachelor’s degree, but around that same time he became a U.S. citizen and his son was born.

In early 2000, he enrolled at Valencia as an international student from Morocco — he is fluent in French and Arabic, but at the time did not speak much English. While completing his associate degree at Valencia, he worked as a student assistant in the Audio Visual Department.

“Since coming to Valencia I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a variety of people. In fact, beginning my full-time tenure at Valencia was considerably easy because I had met so many of the faculty and staff of the West Campus in my roles of student and student assistant.”

In 2004, he became a permanent resident of the United States and was hired as a classroom technology support specialist at West Campus, a role that he thrived in for seven years.

“Mehdi has a ‘can-do’ type of attitude that perfectly balances out his technical abilities,”  says Carmine La Pietra, director of Campus Technology Services on West Campus, and Mehdi’s manager.

In 2011, Mehdi was promoted to IT manager of Campus Technology Services for the West Campus. As manager, he oversees the daily operations for the campus technology office that provides technology support for all classrooms and special events for the West Campus.

“I met Mehdi Khoumassi when he arrived at Valencia as an international student in 2000. I have followed his academic and professional progress since that time. Mehdi is an exceptional young man who is genuinely happy, caring and compassionate. To say that I am proud of Mehdi is an understatement, I believe he is a living example of Valencia’s “start right” philosophy,” shares Bliss Thompson, senior coordinator of international student services on West Campus.

Mehdi shares that he has “always been fortunate to work for and with good people.” He mentions mentors and friends, Karen Blondeau, Carmine LaPietra and John Watson as people who have helped him to achieve success at Valencia, but also notes that the culture here has promoted a collaborative environment and great teamwork among his whole department and beyond.

“All the part- and full-time staff of the department — these, and others I may not even be aware of — have always helped me to realize the potential in me and have continued to support all of my personal, academic and professional goals.”

Mehdi explains that he has the opportunity to see community, partnership and collaboration in action regularly while supporting technology components for community events sponsored by Valencia. “While the word community is no longer in the name of the College, the spirit of community lives [on],” he notes.

Mehdi has an associate degree from Valencia and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Central Florida. He feels he has enjoyed great success, but says his most significant accomplishments are “as a husband and father.”

 By Laura Knight

idignity

Michael DippyGlenda Lenihan and Michael Dippy of IDignity at
Association of Florida Colleges Gala

Michael Dippy graduated from high school with aspirations to major in architecture at the University of Florida (UF).  His application was not accepted.  Not one to give up, this led him to enroll at Valencia College.

Although Michael took numerous math and drawing classes at Valencia to prepare himself for a career in architecture, he attributes the encouragement he received from professors and several humanities classes he took for planting the seeds for his future. It was the study of the human condition that resonated with his inherent sense of empathy and compassion.

After Michael graduated from UF, he spent several years working for architecture firms. In his spare time, he would volunteer with social service organizations that served the local homeless population. Through the knowledge he gained about services available, he began to assist homeless people he met on the streets or at his church. Much of Michael’s assistance was directing individuals where they could go for food, shelter or healthcare. When a homeless man asked him where to get help to replace his photo-ID card so that he could accept a job he had been offered, Michael discovered a gap.  There was nowhere to refer the man for help.

Michael began work to create IDignity, an Orlando nonprofit organization dedicated to helping poor and homeless citizens obtain the identification they need to participate fully in society. The first IDignity event was held in May 2008 as a collaborative outreach program of five downtown Orlando churches with Michael in its leadership role.  The plan called for a monthly event that incorporated all multiple government agencies along with attorneys and numerous other volunteers to provide needed services in one visit.

IDignity has hosted monthly events at downtown’s Orlando Rescue Mission since that time.   Each day-long collaboration serves about 250 clients. Since it began, IDignity has provided life-changing identification to more than 10,000 clients in Orlando and thousands of additional clients though its three self-sustaining satellite sites in Deland, Merritt Island and Sanford. IDignity is also currently working with national consultants to expedite the launching of IDignity programs throughout Florida and other states that have requested assistance.

Michael’s work has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, the Orlando Sentinel recognized his leadership strengths and designated him the 2010 Central Floridian of the Year.  He also was designated a “Local Hero” by Bank of America and awarded the 2012 Community Service Award from the RAFMAN Club (Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy).  In November 2012, Idignity received national recognition by winning the Manhattan Institute’s 2012 Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship.  He was a recent finalist in the Association of Florida Colleges Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumni Awards 2013.

Michael sums up his journey from Valencia to IDignity this way:  “Even though I am no longer working in architecture, I am still using those problem solving skills, only now focusing on societal problems. Much like my nurturing experience at Valencia College, I am now meeting individuals where they are in life and offering the guidance and support necessary for them to reach their full potential.”

Learn more on a short video, “Identity Crisis” at http://www.idignity.org/video-gallery.

mears family named among top donors by national community college fundraising group

Mears PictureThe Council for Resource Development (CRD), a national association of community college fundraising professionals, has selected Paul Jr. and Deb Mears to receive its 2013 Benefactors of the Year award. The annual award recognizes the outstanding contributions and service of donors who have made a difference to a community college. Mr. and Mrs. Mears were honored in Washington, D.C., as the top philanthropists for an urban, public college.

Paul Jr. and Deb Mears received the award in recognition of their long history of philanthropic support to Valencia College. The family has been involved with Valencia Foundation, the college’s fundraising arm, for more than a decade and their contributions include an endowed scholarship to benefit students in Valencia’s hospitality management program. Deb has served on the foundation’s board of directors since 2008.

In 2010, the Mears family pledged $1 million to create the Paul Mears Sr. Take Stock in Children Fund. Established in memory of Paul Mears Sr., the fund supports educational opportunities through the Orange County Take Stock in Children program, an initiative that helps promising at-risk children succeed through mentoring and a guaranteed college scholarship. In recognition of the gift, the college renamed its West Campus Student Services Building the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.

“We are most grateful for the partnership and support of Paul and Deb Mears and especially for the lives their investment is changing,” said Valencia President Sanford C. Shugart. “This honor recognizes not only their commitment to Take Stock and the college, but also to their numerous other charitable endeavors.”

Paul Mears Sr. founded Mears Transportation Group in 1939 with three taxicabs. Today it is one of Central Florida’s most recognized premier guest services and destination management companies. The company also provides charitable support to the Red Cross and is a founding contributor to the Give Kids the World Village. Deb Mears has served on the committee for the local Festival of Trees and Mears Transportation Group has sponsored the event, presented by the Council of 101 to benefit the Orlando Museum of Art. In partnership with their sister company Hello Florida!, Mears has served as a corporate sponsor for the March of Dimes “March for Babies” charity walkathon.

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

bringing the community college mission abroad

Instructors from Valencia College's Criminal Justice Institute help train instructors at Puerto Rico's Ana G. Mendez University.

Instructors from Valencia College’s Criminal Justice Institute help train instructors at Puerto Rico’s Ana G. Mendez University.

Valencia received national publicity for several international partnerships, including one that is aimed at developing a women’s community college in Saudi Arabia and another that is helping to transform Puerto Rico’s criminal justice system. See the story in Community College Times:

http://www.communitycollegetimes.com/Pages/Campus-Issues/Bringing-the-community-college-mission-abroad.aspx

valencia homecoming 2013

ImageValencia board of trustees chairperson, Maria Grulich, and daughters at
Valencia Orlando Magic Night.

Homecoming 2013 wrapped up with the Magic’s opening night game on Friday night!  Valencia alumni and friends were busy during October with Osceola notable alumni and paralegal networking receptions, a Retiree Connection luncheon and the 35th Dental Hygiene Program Anniversary reunion.

Check out the photos for each event in the Alumni Association website photo gallery or Facebook page.

 

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/

going fast!

Good news!  There is still time to get your tickets,  but they won’t last.

Print

Come be a part of the action in the Amway Center on OPENING NIGHT!
Valencia Homecoming Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans
tickets by 
Monday, October 21st!

Check out full details on the event flyer by following the link below:

 http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/documents/ValenciaCollege11113.pdf

art in teaching: new exhibition showcases work by artist and professor

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Andrew Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia.

Viewers are likely to experience visual overload when first entering the gallery, but they’ll also see a vast and energetic range of demos created over time – as well as a body of work emanating from the art of teaching.

Last night opened the exhibition of artwork by artist and Valencia professor Andrew Downey.  The gallery will display his work free and open to the public through Oct. 18 at Valencia College’s East Campus, in the Anita S. Wooten Gallery.

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia. An installation of works in various stages used as class demonstrations, the pieces in this exhibition have never been seen outside of the classroom.  Some date back as far as ten years while others are only several days old.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located in Building 3, room 112, on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268.

valencia college theater kicks off season with broadway hit ‘chicago’

chicago-logoThe Valencia College Theater is proud to present the hit musical “Chicago,” from Oct.18-27, in the Performing Arts Center of Valencia College’s East Campus.

The winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations, “Chicago” roars onto the Valencia Performing Arts Center stage this fall.

See what makes this Bob Fosse musical deliciously dangerous and exhilarating – as the show says, it’s a story of “murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery – all those things we all hold near and dear to our hearts.”

Join Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn, the “Merry Murderesses” and all the iconic characters that have made this musical one of the biggest Broadway successes ever since its debut in 1975. The subsequent revival became the longest-running musical revival as well as the longest running American musical on Broadway. It is also the third longest running show in Broadway history.

Valencia’s production will be directed by program chair John DiDonna, with choreography by Eric Yow of Yow Dance, and musical direction by Tim Hanes.

On Oct. 25, the performance will be followed by a talk-back with the cast and crew.

General admission tickets cost $15. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $12. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.valenciacollege.edu/arts.

Use the code “VALENCIAWEB” for a $2 discount on each ticket. The discount is for online purchases only. Tickets and more information are also available by calling the college box office at 407-582-2900.

There will only be seven performances of this hit musical, so advance purchase is advised.

Please note: The play contains adult subject matter and is considered a PG to PG-13 rating.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail.

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

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.

orlando magic vs new orleans pelicans game discount tickets!

orl vs no

Don’t forget to purchase your discounted
Valencia Homecoming Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans
tickets by 
Monday, October 21st!

Check out full details on the event flyer by following the link below:

 http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/documents/ValenciaCollege11113.pdf

putting a human face on genocide

Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute brought Carl Wilkens to Valencia campus through a $2,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace, which was matched by a $2,000 donation from Orlando-based ShuffieldLowman Attorneys & Advisors.

One Person Can Make a Difference: Recalling Lessons from Rwanda

  • By Linda Shrieves Beaty

When the genocide in Rwanda began in 1994, Carl Wilkens found himself facing a terrible dilemma.

A Seventh-Day Adventist aid worker, Wilkens had lived in Rwanda for four years, building schools and starting his young family there. But as the violence between the majority Hutus and the minority Tutsis erupted, and the killing began to engulf the country, the U.S. embassy urged all Americans to get out of the country.

There was just one problem, Carl Wilkens told audiences at Valencia this week. The Wilkens family — Carl, his wife Teresa and their three small children –  employed two Rwandans: a housekeeper and a young man who was their night watchman. Both were members of the Tutsi tribe, whose members were being hunted down and killed by members of the majority Hutu tribe and its government.

Wilkens figured he had two choices: Leave the country and try to sneak out his two employees, which the U.S. embassy had forbidden, and which he felt might risk his family’s lives if  they were caught at the border. Or, he and his wife could leave their home in Kigali, and let their employees hide out in their home. Unfortunately, Wilkens knew that the Hutus would quickly find their employees and kill them.

In the face of such dreadful choices, Wilkens came up with a different solution.

He sent his wife and children to neighboring Burundi, and he chose to stay in Rwanda — where he could shelter his employees and other Tutsi friends.

“When Plan A is unacceptable and Plan B is equally unacceptable, I’d encourage you to stop and look for a Plan C,” Wilkens told the Valencia students and staffers at his speeches.

Wilkens, the only American who stayed during the bloody genocide that claimed more than 800,000 lives, managed to save the lives of his employees — and he’s credited with saving the lives of hundreds of others, including children in nearby orphanages.

During the 100 days of nonstop killing, Wilkens went out into the bloody streets of Kigali, faced down soldiers and civilians armed with AK-47s and machetes, and bargained with Hutu government officials to let him help the children.  Before long, he found himself dealing with men who were ordering the slaughter of thousands of people.  He was uncomfortable with the idea, but a Tutsi friend and pastor suggested it. “He said, ‘Carl, if you really want to make a difference, you have to form a relationship with the people in power,’ ” Wilkens recalled.

So Wilkens  met with Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, the governor of Kigali. Renzaho gave Wilkens a travel permit that would allow him through roadblocks to provide food and water to children in orphanages. When Wilkens asked for a truck to deliver the materials, the colonel provided one. Later, after the violence ended and the Rwandan people drove out the extremist government, that colonel was arrested and tried for his crimes.

Yet the incident taught Wilkens a lesson. “I want to focus on the power of relationships to make a difference,” said Wilkens.

Peace, he said, depends on it. “How are we going to build world peace? Through friendships.”

Wilkens stayed in Rwanda for another 18 months after the genocide, as the country began to heal. In 2011, Wilkens released his first book, “I’m Not Leaving,” which is based on tapes he made to his wife and children during the genocide. Today, he is the director of World Outside My Shoes, a nonprofit based in Spokane, Wash. Wilkens now spends much of his time traveling around the country,  telling how his experiences puts a human “face” on genocide,  showing students that  perpetrators, victims, and resistors will not soon be forgotten, and teaching participants how one person really can make a difference.

Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute brought Carl Wilkens to campus through a $2,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace, which was matched by a $2,000 donation from Orlando-based ShuffieldLowman Attorneys & Advisors.

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.

new partnership connects parramore residents to nursing careers

The first ten students to benefit from this program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech last week. At the same time, they also began pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program.

The first ten students to benefit from this program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech last week. At the same time, they also began pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Commissioner Daisy Lynum and officials from area hospitals and schools launched an ambitious plan today to bring new job opportunities in health care to low-income residents of West Orlando.

Speaking at Orlando Tech, Mayor Dyer said the city’s growing biomedical and healthcare industry offers the “opportunity for nearly 30,000 jobs and $7.6 billion of economic impact in the next 10 years.”

The Orlando Medical Careers Partnership is designed primarily to help Parramore’s residents take advantage of those high-paying job opportunities by equipping them with the skills they need to become future nurses, doctors, medical assistants and lab technicians.

Led by the city’s Blueprint Employment office, other partners in the project include Valencia, Orlando Tech, the University of Central Florida, Florida State University, Orange Country Public Schools, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health and Workforce Central Florida.

Last week, the first ten students to benefit from the program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech and at the same time, also began their pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program. After a year, they will enter an accelerated nursing program at Valencia that will allow them to earn their Associate in Science degree in nursing and take the exam to become a registered nurse.

“We offered them a pathway that allows them to reach their potential,” said Falecia Williams, president of the college’s West Campus where the program will be offered.

Students will have a dedicated advisor, faculty member and tutoring, as well as clinical training opportunities with the three hospital partners. Workforce Central Florida will cover the costs for tutoring.

“Once you get ‘RN’ behind your name, the number of opportunities will just multiply,” said Ebony Thompson, one of the students involved in the program. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

spotlight story: valencia board member takes a life-changing journey

Brad with planeSometimes the journey is not just about the destination. Valencia Foundation board member Brad Pierce found that out when he took a recent trip to Haiti. Describing some parts as “hell on earth,” he was nevertheless impacted by his journey.

Brad Pierce, Valencia alum, has been interested in flying from a young age. He saw a helicopter take off as a part of a tour near International Drive and was hooked. He worked for that tour company at the age of 16, doing sales and learning to fly. At 18 he decided to get his pilot’s license and he has been soaring the skies ever since.

Even early on, he used his talents for good, volunteering for Angel Flight. Angel Flight is a nonprofit organization of pilots, volunteers and friends that arranges free transportation to medical treatments. He still volunteers his time with Angel Flight and recently transported a baby to Miami for eye surgery.

It was this philanthropic sense of using his gifts and talent to make the world a better place that took him to Haiti. He came across a post from Dr. Richard McGlaughlin (Doc McG) on the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association website. Doc McG and fellow pilot, Luke Lyson, were looking to raise some money, buy medical supplies, and enlist a group of volunteers to fly a relief mission to Haiti. His post ended with the profound sentiment: “We will make sure you get down and back safely. You may not come back quite the same.”

Soon 32 volunteers and 15 aircrafts took to the skies with $100,000 in medical supplies, plus school supplies, clothing, musical instruments and toys. The group convened at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport and then headed for Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
haiti-relief-flight-cite-soleil-house-small

Arriving safely, the group boarded buses and traveled to the heart of Cité Soleil, one of the poorest and dangerous slums in the Western Hemisphere, and made the first stop at St. Mary’s Hospital. It was here that he was introduced to the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, led by Father Rick Frechette, who lives by the mantra: “Do the next right thing and something good will come of it. Next day, do it again.”

The foundation (http://stlukehaiti.org/) is a Haitian run organization started by Father Frechette and an inspired group of young Haitian leaders. Programs focus on providing medical care, humanitarian aid and employment opportunities to the least served Haitian communities.

The group battled rainy weather and moved on to St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, a facility that also included an orphanage. “Upon driving through the front gates, I knew this was a very special place,” shares Brad. “A place where children could feel safe, secure and comfortable while getting much needed care.”

From there they headed to St. Luc Family Hospital, the site of the gastroenterology lab that Doc McG built. Brad was impressed. “Here we are in the middle of a third world country and there’s a fully functioning hospital complete with an intensive care unit and operating rooms. It’s incredible to think of all the effort that went in to building such capable facilities where they’re able to treat conditions that previously would have been death sentences.”

The trip ended on a very somber note, the group attended a funeral for several that had passed away the day before. It was an emotionally wrenching experience, but Brad was moved by the respect and honor given to the dead.

Throughout the trip, it seemed as though this father of two young boys was most moved by the children he witnessed and encountered. There was the boy in the slums, playing alone with rocks in the rain. The two small children who interacted with the group and the larger group of children who posed for pictures and followed behind the bus when they left, waving goodbye. And there was the young boy at the orphanage. Brad engaged him by playing an improvised game of catch with a shoe.
haiti-relief-flight-st-mary-group-walking-small

The story is emotional and would be depressing were it not for something else that Brad found on his trip – hope and kindness. “I was overwhelmed with emotion, saddened by the things I’d seen, yet inspired by the acts of kindness and good work that’s been done to change the country for the better.” And he was a part of that good work. In the end, he was able to smile, “knowing there was hope for the future of these resilient people.”

When he is not flying around the world doing good, Brad serves as president of Restaurant Equipment World, a leader in the restaurant equipment sales and installation business for over 35 years. The company is known on an international scale. In fact, it was Brad’s international work that gave rise to another company, Critical Supply World, a general procurement supply company that specializes in quick and reliable delivery to the “most troubled” regions of the world.

To keep up with Brad and his travels, visit his personal blog, Brad in Motion (http://www.bradim.com/).
haiti-relief-flight-return-bahamas-small

5k honoring 9/11 heroes

DRAFT PIC

 

 

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

Come and enjoy:

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

Go here for more information and to register.

See you there!

Your Osceola 5K Planning Committee

ALL Sponsors

help make a difference!

Drawing

 

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

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

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

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

We are grateful for your consideration.

www.valencia.org/FirstOne

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.

letter from the governor to valencia graduates

College Graduate

WCF partners with Valencia College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aha is hosting another exciting luau for alumni!

luau 3

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

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

ALL donations will support the Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship; Marleina Ubel was this year’s 2013 recipient. Donations can be made online at https://donate.valencia.org/honors

5K to benefit student scholarships for emergency responders

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

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

ONLINE race registration or MAIL IN registration

For sponsorship opportunities, call 407-582-3426 or email Barbara Shell at bshell@valenciacollege.edu.

Rotary

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

Map of Location

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE (processing fees do apply)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A HARD COPY REGISTRATION FORM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For additional race questions please email staff@racetimesports.com

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

valencia alumni news

Miriam

 

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

Go Miriam!

building bridges to success

The Valencia College Bridges to Success program is responsible for working with diverse populations to assist with the post-secondary transition from enrollment to graduation.

Students often balance their academic course work, family responsibilities and personal life. Bridges students are provided an educational environment that supports their success and provides academic services, programs of interest and mentoring that benefit this diverse student population.

On July 26, the Bridges to Success mentor program IMAGES (Influential Men Applying Gifts and Employing Strategies) gathered in support of Valencia students: those who are the first in their family to attend college.

These IMAGES members joined the Bridges First One online fundraising team and created their team webpage: http://firstone.kintera.org/bridges

These IMAGES members joined the Bridges online fundraising team and created their First One team webpage: http://firstone.kintera.org/bridges

Bridges to Success at Valencia works with ethnically diverse populations to:

  • assist with post-secondary transition from application to enrollment and graduation
  • assist the college in creating an educational environment that supports the success of these students

For more information on the Bridges to Success program at Valencia College, please contact:

John Stover, Bridges to Success Program Manager
Student Services Building, West Campus
jstover@valenciacollege.edu
1800 S Kirkman Rd., Orlando, FL 32811-2302

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

valencia alumni news

 

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Nursing alum Richard Gerber ’74 is currently serving as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He would love to hear from fellow classmates from the class of 1974!  Richard celebrated the birth of his first born grandson, Hudson and he and his wife, Valerie, celebrated an amazing 37 years of marriage. Now if that wasn’t enough good news, he and his son have started a courier business called AllPoints Courier Express, specializing in medical courier deliveries. Check out their website: www.allpointscourierexpress.com

Wow! Congratulations Richard

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.”

first-one-avatars-17

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

valencia east campus president joins united arts board

By Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel Arts Writer

I’ve written a lot this year about the various funding and policy changes at United Arts of Central Florida, the umbrella organization that supports more than 50 Central Florida arts and cultural groups.

At its annual meeting this summer, United Arts introduced seven new community and philanthropic leaders to its board of directors — the folks who ultimately decide and sign off on United Arts policies.

“I am thrilled with the wide ranging expertise and leadership brought to United Arts by our new board members,” said Flora Maria Garcia, United Arts president and CEO. “While the overall environment remains challenging for our artistic community, these talented individuals will be welcome additions to our arts-committed and engaged board.”

 Here are brief biographies of the new board members, provided by United Arts. The bios are followed by a list of the board of directors officers. Linda Landman Gonzalez, the Orlando Magic’s vice president of community relations and government affairs, remains as president.

The seven new board members are:

Edward Hensley, co-founder of AssistRX, Inc. Hensley has spent his career in the health-care industry working to improve people’s quality of life. His experience features leadership roles in specialty pharmaceutical corporations including the 2005 launch of Advanced Care Scripts Inc. now a unit of Omnicare, a Fortune 500 Company. His latest venture, AssistRX, Inc., provides state of the art technology to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and their prescribers. In 2009, Hensley co-founded The Assistance Fund, a nonprofit committed to ensuring that no one goes without needed medications due to an inability to pay. Since its founding, the Assistance Fund has provided more than $146 million in grants to the needy across the United States and Puerto Rico.

DrStaceyJohnsonStacey R. Johnson, Campus President, East and Winter Park Campuses, Valencia College. With more than 30 years of experience in higher education and 20 years of direct institutional administrative experience, Johnson was named Campus President for East Campus, known as the Arts & Entertainment Campus, and Winter Park Campus in 2012. Johnson is also a past member of the United States Olympic team (1980) and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee (2000-2004) as well as the first woman to hold a four-year term as President of U.S. Fencing’s National Governing Body. She has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medial of Achievement and the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award and has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s, San Jose State University, San Antonio Sports and U.S. Fencing Halls of Fame.

Jennifer McCarthy, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer for Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, a full-service medical and surgical facility of Orlando Health. With more than 20 years of healthcare experience, McCarthy currently oversees all operational aspects of the hospital. In addition, she has served on the boards of many community and professional organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Council of 100 at the Brevard Art Center and Museum, the Women’s Center Guild and the Central Florida American College of Healthcare Executives.

Christine Moore, current Chair of the Orange County School Board Communications Committee, member of the Legislative Committee and member of the Board of Directors for the Florida School Boards Association. Committed to the preservation of fine-arts education in our schools, Moore is a University of Michigan cum laude graduate in Music Education and Performance. She has performed with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Bach Festival Orchestra and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Moore is the founder of a multi-media public relations firm and serves with area civic organizations, including the Orange County Charter Review Commission, Citizen’s Review Panel and Children’s First Scholarship Organization.

Penelope B. Perez-Kelly, of Counsel, McClane Partners. Perez-Kelly’s practice centers on trademarks, copyrights, immigration, commercial litigation and international business law. Board Certified in International Law from the Florida Bar in 2012 she is an alumna of the University of Miami and University of Florida College of Law. Perez-Kelly was awarded the Orange County Bar Association’s Lawrence G. Matthews Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award in 2011 and is a member of the Florida Bar International Law Section Executive Council and the Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida, where she served as president in 2007.

Jennifer Quigley, founding principal of WBQ Design & Engineering, Inc., a civil-engineering firm located in Downtown Orlando. As the Chairwoman of See Art Orlando, Quigley is overseeing the acquisition and installation of eight outdoor sculptures in downtown Orlando this fall. A longtime member and past chair for the Downtown Development Board and the Community Redevelopment Agency, Quigley is the outgoing Chair of the Orange County Cultural Arts Advisory Council and a member of the Orange County Public Art Review Board. Quigley and her fiancé own the Gallery at Avalon Island, and are sponsors of the Kiene/Quigley Gallery at CityArts Factory.

Kate Wilson, Vice President, Community Affairs Officer – Central Florida Government and Community Relations Group, Wells Fargo. With more than 15 years of professional experience in community relations, reputation management and strategic communication, Wilson works to uphold and promote Wells Fargo’s reputation in the community and manages philanthropy – community investments and volunteerism – across 14 countries. A native of Central Florida returning to Orlando after a lengthy stint in Boston, Mass., Wilson currently mentors students in the Read2Success Program, is a member of Leadership Orlando’s Class 85 and has served as a board member of Boston’s Children’s Chorus, an overseer for Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and chairperson for the Boston Givers Group.

Now, here are the board of director’s officers for the next year:

Linda Landman Gonzalez, Chair

Bob McAdam, Vice Chair

Jean Nowry, Treasurer

Jennifer Quigley, Secretary

Christopher M. McCann, Chair, Audit & Finance

Scott E. Bowman, Chair, Development

Tony Jenkins, Chair, Nominating

Martha Hartley, Chair, Standards & Allocations

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

new vitae magazine is out!

DSC_0761

Graduate Susannah Jo Snavely ’11 is featured in the Class Notes section on page 29. Susannah is majoring in Human Resources Management at the University of Central Florida, preparing to graduate with a B.S. in August 2013. After graduation, she hopes to continue in Human Resources full-time at Regal Marine Industries, her employer of almost three years.

An avid world-traveler, she recently expanded her trip portfolio to include a week in Ireland and two visits to Washington, D.C. with her brother, Valencia alum John Snavely. She also discovered a passion for politics, and devoted her free time last fall to promote Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign with the Republican Party of Florida.

Check this and more out! 

please take a moment of silence for former valencia student and veteran

christian

PV 2 Christian Anthony Clausen V

Clausen, V, PV 2, Christian Anthony “” 24, of Orlando, Florida, passed away Thursday, June 6th, 2013 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife Samantha; parents, Chris and Terry; sisters, Kayla and Annie; grandparents, Chris and Julia Clausen, Dorothy Lee and the late Arthur Lee, and numerous family members and friends. He is a graduate of University High School then attended Valencia Community College. He went on to serve in the US Army where he received numerous awards including three Army Achievement Medals, the Global War Terrorism Award, Korean Defense Service Award, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. His hobbies included hunting, fishing and skateboarding, baseball, cross country, music, cooking, boating and wakeboarding. He was raised in a traditional Cajun household; he loved all things in the Louisiana culture, including the New Orleans Saints and especially the LSU Tigers. He was an amazing young man and will be greatly missed by many. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 15th from 9-11 AM with a service to be held at 11 AM at Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home, St. Cloud, interment to follow at Mount Peace Cemetery, Saint Cloud, with full Military Honors. Arrangements under the direction of Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 2000 13th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769; (407)-957-2511. www.OsceolaMemGds.com.

Published in the Orlando Sentinel on June 13, 2013

endowed chair sparked recent TEDx ValenciaCollegeLive

TEDxValenciaCollegeLiveStudents

Valencia’s East Campus recently hosted TEDxValenciaCollegeLive.
This photo of Valencia College students and faculty made an appearance on the TED global stage in Scotland during the TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Dr. James S. May, Professor of English as a Second Language, expresses his appreciation for the 2012-2013 Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair:

“It is with the support Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, that Valencia College was able to take part in the recent global collaboration as part of TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Valencia students, faculty and staff  had the opportunity to experience these enriching TED talks, presented in time-delayed simulcast from the TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Last February, thanks in large part to the Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, I had the honor of attending TEDActive2013. There, I experienced the true power and wonder of TED. An outcome of the endowed chair was this participation with TEDGlobal 2013. “

Valencia Foundation Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program has been established to recognize and promote academic excellence at Valencia College. The program honors outstanding members of the Valencia teaching faculty and provides resources needed for advancement of instruction at Valencia.

At Valencia College the endowed chair program recognizes and supports the Valencia faculty. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions, which aim to attract preeminent researchers, Valencia Foundation endowed chairs fund a faculty proposed learning experiences.

These proposals that supports the mission, vision, and values of Valencia College and has a connection to student learning.  Endowed chairs also provide funding for projects that enhance learning-centered activities and/or foster professional development departmentally, college wide, within a discipline, or within the central Florida community.

Additional photos of Valencia’s day-long event are posted online.

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

» Driving Directions
» Campus Map
» Save to Outlook
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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 5, Room 213

» Driving Directions
» Campus Map
» Save to Outlook
» Save to iCal

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

Building 11, Room 133

» Driving Directions
» Campus Map
» Save to Outlook
» Save to iCal

celebrating student achievement!

LOVELYNE

Meet Lovelyne Toussaint, one of this year’s recipients of the Alumni Association Student Scholarship.  Lovelyne is one of the many students that were recognized at the 2013 Alumni Achievers Reception hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Please enjoy this excerpt from this wonderful student’s thank you letter to the association:

“Thank you so much for investing in my education.  It means the world to me that you have chosen to help me succeed. I am a first generation Haitian American student and my education means everything to me. My parents did not have the chance to attend college but still managed to create a comfortable life for me and my three little sisters; I want to make them proud. My educational goals include graduating from Valencia College and attending the University of Central Florida. There I plan on majoring in Technical English Communication for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. My career goals include writing technically for a prestigious company, publishing books, doing research, and later teaching English at a College or University.

I believe that one of the greatest things in life any human being can accomplish is learning to love and help others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of some very special individuals. One day I dream of being able to give back and help others achieve their dreams, just like you are helping me with this donation. My father often says that a leader does not create followers, they create leaders; that’s the type leader that I want to be. I believe that my career path in writing and communications will graciously allow me to help and connect with others. Words cannot express how much this means to me, thank you so much for your donation and God Bless.”

discussion on philanthropy

In light of the recent tornado and devastation in Oklahoma, I want to take a detour from our usual “Philanthropy, different definitions, same message” discussion. The foundation had the wonderful opportunity to host fundraising expert Kay Sprinkel Grace for a day of networking and workshops on May 1. In her morning session, she shared a model that showed philanthropy as a large circle and it is based in values. Development is within that circle and it uncovers shared values, and fundraising is within that, giving people opportunities to act on their values.

When a natural disaster hits, I think people many miles away, even across continents, are affected because here is a community of people who have had some pretty basic values taken from them – shelter, food, even the loss of family and friends. In Oklahoma parents are without children, families are missing loved ones, homes and schools have been decimated, beloved pets are displaced from their loving homes and families. We rally at times like these perhaps because we can’t fathom what it would be like to have what we value destroyed, or if we’ve been through a similar experience, we heartbreakingly empathize, but for whatever reason we look for ways to help. Fundraising and opportunities for support are a natural extension of this global grieving process because it allows us to act, to actively take part in helping to rebuild community.

The foundation received an email from community friend Mark Brewer, president and CEO of Community Foundation of Central Florida. He shared that those wishing to support recovery work in the Oklahoma City area can contribute to a fund at their fellow community foundation, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Contributions to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund can be made online at OCCF.ORG. Oklahoma City Community Foundation will use contributions to its Tornado Recovery Fund for the greatest needs of those impacted by the storms as well as schools and charities that are damaged. Their foundation has also encouraged contributions to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army in its region for immediate shelter and emergency needs.

And a quick internet search brought up the Central Oklahoma Humane Society who is working with Oklahoma City and Moore to assist in efforts to receive, assess and shelter displaced and injured animals.

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!

playwright competition call for new plays

Valencia College Theater is seeking script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights' Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in the spring of 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Valencia College Theater is seeking script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights’ Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in the spring of 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Valencia College Theater announces a call for script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights’ Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in Spring 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Playwrights (who must reside in Florida) are invited to submit a cover letter, resume or bio, one page synopsis, and the first 15 pages of no more than two never-before-produced manuscripts. The deadline for this first phase of submission is July 30, 2013. A committee will evaluate the excerpts and selected playwrights will be invited to submit the full manuscript as part of the second phase of the submission process.

From these manuscripts, one play will be chosen for development as a workshop production with the playwright’s participation. The writer will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production. The administrator of the competition plans to announce the winning play in early September 2013, and the workshop process will begin in late fall 2013 or early spring 2014.

Scripts must be original, never produced, full-length plays. Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted. Collaborations are acceptable, but children’s plays, adaptations, and musicals are ineligible at this time.

Electronic submission of the cover letter, resume or bio, one-page synopsis and 15-page excerpt is required. Please send submissions and questions to Valencia’s Artistic Director, John DiDonna, at jdidonna@valenciacollege.edu.

Valencia educates more than 60,000 students a year at six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. It was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.

Valencia educates more than 60,000 students a year at six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. It was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.

 

alumni association celebrates students!

Sandra Murphy

Meet Sandra Murphy, this year’s recipient of the Dr. Homer Samuels Dental Hygiene Scholarship.  Sandra is one of the many students that will be recognized at the 2013 Alumni Achievers Reception hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Please enjoy this excerpt from this wonderful student’s thank you letter.

“I want to take a moment to thank you for this generous gift. This scholarship will help me continue my education and better my life. My goal is to become a registered dental hygienist and this gift is going to help accomplish that goal. I was very surprised to see the email notifying me that I had been awarded this scholarship, as I have applied to many and not received any responses.

I will be the first from my mother’s side of the family to graduate from college and as you can imagine this makes my mother very proud. Nothing will make me happier than to show her that I can do it, that I can be someone and in the meantime help people have not only better oral hygiene but also have better lives. Thank you again for this wonderful gift!”

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.

alumni association scholarship celebration

The Valencia College Alumni Association hosts its annual Alumni Achievers Reception each year to celebrate the Valencia students who are recipients of its scholarships for the academic year.  Thirty-six awardees and their guests will join Valencia alumni, students, community partners, and friends at this year’s reception on June 5th on the West Campus.   Volunteer excellence awards will also be presented to Valencia student partner groups and alumni who make it possible for the alumni association to fulfill its mission of providing opportunities for lifelong personal, educational and professional growth for alumni and students of Valencia College.

This year’s host will be Monica May who is a member Valencia’s Black Advisory Committee.  Ms. May is the host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, as well as news/community affairs director at STAR 94.5.

achivers social mediaDr. Falecia Williams, West Campus President, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Osceola Campus President  and students at the
Alumni Achievers Reception 2012

bill castellano civic leadership award recipient honored

bill castel

José Abastida and Osceola Campus President, Dr. Kathleen Plinske.  On stage with José: City of Orlando Commissioner Mr. Tony Ortiz; Consulate General of México in Orlando, Mr. Efrén Nicolás Leyva Acevedo; Executive Director of Casa de México, Mrs. Blanquita Trabold; and Valencia Trustee and President of the Board of Casa de México, Mr. Guillermo Hansen.

José Abastida, Osceola SGA president during the 2012-2013 academic year and recipient of the Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Award 2013 by the alumni association was recognized by the Casa de México.  He received el Reconocimiento Tenochtitlán at a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Orlando City Hall last week.  This award is presented to a student of Mexican or Latin American descent who has displayed outstanding leadership and character.  We agree with Dr. Plinske:  “We are so proud that José received this honor. ¡Felicitaciones José!”

a critique of societies adherence to ideals of beauty: Neil LaBute’s comedy

A modern and funny play about love between an average guy and a plus-sized woman, complicated by a world in which superficial judgments based on ones size and shape are the norm.

The Valencia College Theater is proud to present Neil LaBute’s hilariously biting comedy “Fat Pig,” on June 6, and running through June 16. The Friday, June 14th performance offers a bonus talk-back with cast and director after the production.

The play depicts the budding romance between Tom, an upwardly mobile corporate type, and Helen, a plus-sized librarian. LaBute’s comedy will critiques societies adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty, and boldly questions the ability to change what we dislike about ourselves.

All performances will be in the Valencia College Black Box Theater, located on Valencia’s East Campus in Building 3. Curtain times will be7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m.

Valencia College Theater presents this contemporary work by Neil LaBute with a production direction by John DiDonna, set design by Greg Loftus, lighting design by Kristin Abel and costume design by Kayleigh Raymondo. The cast includes Chris Markcity, Olivia Richardson, Andrew Romano and Jessica Meguiar.

General admission tickets cost $12. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts or by CLICKING here.

Read more about Valencia College Theater to Present FAT PIG, 6/6-16 by orlando.broadwayworld.com

alumni and friends reunion/reception!

dental ready

Saturday, May 18th, 2-5 pm! Register online or call 407-582-3426!

dhr

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

join the valencia alumni association!

keep calm

 

Joining the Valencia Alumni Association has never been so easy.

Why join?  To put it simply, the Valencia Alumni Association helps Valencia’s graduates stay in touch with one another, students and with the college. Getting involved is the perfect way to know what’s going on with Valencia, other alumni and the community.

Check out some of the amazing leadership, networking and volunteer opportunities currently on our always changing menu:

  • Discounted Valencia Theater tickets
    Theater – Valencia Character Company
  • Create and participate in alumni-sponsored events
    Alumni Calendar and News
  • Contribute to Valencia’s future through leadership and participation in various programs and committees
  • Receive a copy of Vitae, Valencia’s bi-annual magazine

I WANT TO BE A MEMBER!

alumni spotlight: Michael Dippy ’89

The plight of homeless individuals and families troubled Valencia graduate Michael Dippy.He recognized that their circumstances prohibited them from obtaining basic personal identification cards required to get a job or enroll in college.

But unlike most, he was willing to forgo his career to make a remarkable difference in their lives and futures.

Dignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. Visit www.iDignity.org for more information or to volunteer.

Dignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. Visit http://www.iDignity.org for more information or to volunteer.

He founded and now serves as executive director of IDignity, a non-profit charity that provides hands-on assistance to Central Florida’s poor and disadvantaged in Central Florida, allowing them to overcome the identification that is crucial to enabling their self-sufficiency. IDignity provides the documents required to apply for employment and college, access most homeless shelters, vote, seek help from many social service agencies, open a bank account, cash a check and rent housing.

After graduating from Valencia, Dippy graduated from the University of Florida with an architecture degree. He worked for eight years in this field but found himself drawn to a greater purpose.

Named by the Orlando Sentinel as the 2010 Central Floridian of the Year, Michael issued a challenge to our neighbors: “I hope that others will be encouraged to do even more to make our community a better place for all. I suggest that you find something that bothers you, maybe a societal injustice or an ongoing problem or an unmet need, and then do all you can to try and solve it. Each of us can make a positive impact on our community, in our own way. The reward will be greater than the effort.”

Michael found the treatment of the homeless unacceptable and soon took action. In 2003, he assisted in the development of the local chapter of Family Promise, which provides food, shelter and support services for homeless families. In 2006, he joined Project Homeless Connect, which symbiotically combines vital agencies working to serve the homeless during one-day events.

But he had a more extraordinary vision of partnership and service, launching IDignity in 2008.The need for such a program was recognized by members of five downtown churches which had been unable to access such a service. Exhaustive research led to this inventive new organization, which now works with the DMV’s Florida drivers license department, Orange County Health Department’s birth certificate office, Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration. IDignity also provides legal counsel and trouble-shoots the difficult task of obtaining out-of-state birth certificates.

Since May 2008, IDignity has hosted monthly triage at downtown’s Orlando Rescue Mission and has since expanded to Sanford. Each day-long collaboration serves about 225 clients. Since its inception, IDignity has provided life-changing identification to more than 7,000 Central Florida clients.

Michael’s work has not gone unnoticed. He also was designated a “Local Hero” by Bank of America and awarded the 2012 Community Service Award from the RAFMAN Club (Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy). He serves as outreach chair for the First United Methodist Church of Orlando.

In December 2011, Valencia Foundation staff volunteered for IDignity. “Spending just a day at IDignity was a moving experience that revealed how a simple identification document could make an enormous difference in the life of an individual,” says foundation president Geraldine Gallagher. “I think it was life-changing for all of us to experience the exuberance of the IDignity clients who received their hard-earned ID cards, something you and I take for granted.”

Michael and his team of staff and volunteers were committed to help every person who walks through the door, she explains. “We witnessed tears of joy, a spring to their step, a newfound self-respect, and such a look of hope from those who received their documents that day.It is the same experience I have with our student scholarship recipients. They held their heads a little higher, ready to take on the road ahead, simply because someone believes in their worth and is willing to invest in their futures.”

Follow Up: On November 14th 2012, Michael Dippy and IDignity were honored as one of four recipients of the Manhattan Institute's Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship. This esteemed national designation is awarded each year to individuals whom are leading efforts to solve significant social issues.

Follow Up: On November 14th 2012, Michael Dippy and IDignity were honored as one of four recipients of the Manhattan Institute’s Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship. This esteemed national designation is awarded each year to individuals whom are leading efforts to solve significant social issues.

let everybody know what you’ve been up to!

It’s not too late for Valencia graduates to be featured in “Class Notes” of the upcoming edition of Valencia’s Vitae magazine.  You can submit your own CLASS NOTE online.  It’s simple!   There is an option for including photos as well.  News can include personal and professional highlights that have recently happened to you.

The deadline to submit for this edition is Thursday, May 2nd.

All editions of Vitae magazine can be viewed on the Alumni Association’s website.

 

 

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.”

mayor richard t. crotty-valencia-ucf 2+2 scholarship

Matheiu

Mayor Richard Crotty (L), Mathieu Hill (C), and Dr. Sandy Shugart (R) pictured at the Alumni Achievers Reception in June, 2011. Mathieu Hill entered Valencia as a high school recipient of the Mayor Richard T. Crotty-Valencia-UCF 2+2 Scholarship from the Osceola County School for the Arts in 2011. He is graduating from Valencia this year and has once again been selected as a recipient for this scholarship as he goes on to attend UCF.

Eight recipients for the Mayor Richard T. Crotty-Valencia-UCF 2+2 Scholarship have been selected after interviews by a joint committee consisting of members from both the Valencia and UCF alumni associations.  This scholarship is awarded annually to graduating Valencia College students entering the University of Central Florida this fall along with graduating high school students from Orange and Osceola Counties entering Valencia College this fall who will attend UCF upon graduation.

Recipients of this $4,000 scholarship for this year are:

Graduating Valencia students entering UCF:

  • Mathieu Hill
  • Javier Grisales
  • Andrew Wulf

High school students entering Valencia College:

  • Michael Cerverizzo, West Orange High School
  • Christopher De Miranda, Olympia High School
  • Kaveena Jaikaran, Colonial High School
  • Daniel Romero, Osceola High School
  • Stacy Tran, Evans High School

design from valencia students fits IEEE to a T

Valencia's student chapter of IEEE won first place at IEEE Southeast Conference for their student T-shirt design.

Valencia’s student chapter of IEEE won first place at IEEE Southeast Conference for their student T-shirt design.

Valencia College students recently attended the annual IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) conference, SoutheastCon 2013.

At the conference, Valencia’s student chapter of IEEE won first place for their student T-shirt design.

IEEE’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The t-shirt designed by students reflected the advancement of education in technology for students at Valencia college.

IEEE’s vision is to be essential to the global technical community and be universally recognized for the contributions of technology and of technical professionals in improving global conditions.

The SoutheastCon conferences attract approximately 500 students and 300 IEEE professionals annually.

1st Place Winners of IEEE Southeast Conference 2013 T-Shirt Design Competition

1st Place Winners of IEEE Southeast Conference 2013 T-Shirt Design Competition

Valencia College students at IEEE conference sporting the winning t-shirt design.

Valencia College students at IEEE conference sporting the winning t-shirt design.

kicking off the 6th brazilian film festival

http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

For free show times and locations, please visit: valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com

Valencia College will kick off its 6th Brazilian Film Festival on April 5. To view trailers, get directions and learn more about the films, please visit:  http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

Admission to the film series is free. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles. Each showing will be held at 7 p.m., and will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

 “Gonzaga: From Father to Son” (De Pai pra Filho): 7 p.m., Friday, April 5, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111 Audience members 12 years and up.

“Heleno”: 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, Osceola Campus, Building 1 Auditorium. Audience members ages 17 and up.

“The Clown (O Palhaco)”: 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. Audience members ages 14 and up.

“Two Rabbits (Dois Coelhos)”: 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. Audience members ages 16 and up.

 “Margaret Mee and the Moonflower”: 7 p.m., Friday, April 12, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. This film is not yet rated, but is deemed appropriate for all ages.

To view trailers, get directions and learn more about the films, please visit:  http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

valencia 5k photos are up!

2013 Alumni 5k312

Coming together and running together for a cause.   Over 225 athletes and  volunteers gathered to do just that on Saturday, March 30th on Valencia’s West Campus for  Valencia’s 8th Annual 5K Run, Walk & Roll sponsored by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Funds raised through this event will go to support Valencia students through criminal justice, firefighter, nursing and EMS scholarships.

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.

not too late

today

Here is a quick reminder that the 8th Annual Valencia 5K Walk, Run & Roll is this Saturday, March 30th at 6 pm. Funds raised will provide scholarships for Valencia students who want to have careers in nursing, law enforcement, fire-fighting and as EMTs.

Watch for:

  • Lots of awards categories and awards 
  • Refreshments
  • Free Kids Fun Run and crafts — like Easter basket creations — for kids under 10
  • Commemorative t-shirt and race bag

Go here for more information and to register.  Onsite registration will be available as well.

Can’t make it but still would like to participate? Valencia 5K donations can be made online at https://donate.valencia.org/alumni.

 

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new lake nona rotary supporting valencia students

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (C)  and  Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (C) and Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula

Special appreciation is extended to Lake Nona Rotary; this group modeled service above self with a recent contribution of $4,000 for Valencia student scholarships.

The March 2013 donation is earmarked for first responder student scholarships.

At the same meeting, Lake Nona Rotary members honored the good work of local students in the Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary.

This Civil Air Patrol unit collaborated with Valencia College and Lake Nona Rotary to implement the 9/11 memorial flag display on Osceola Campus.

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L),  Student Leaders from  Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary (C) Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (R)  and  Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula (R)

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Student Leaders from Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary (C) Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (R) and Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula (R)

valencia alumni association has new pinterest

Pinterest

 

The Alumni Associations’ Pinterest website has officially launched! Check out photos and stay up-to-date on upcoming events, like our 8th Annual 5K.

Don’t forget to follow us!

 

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.

almost time to run, walk & roll!

5k post

The Valencia Alumni Association continues to build its team as it gears up for its 8thAnnual Valencia 5K Run, Rock & Roll scholarship fundraiser on Valencia’s West Campus on Saturday, March 30th.

This year’s 5K funds will once again support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS student scholarships at Valencia in honor of former Alumni Association board member, Justin Harvey.

Over 300 Valencia supporters came out last year where they ran, walked and rolled their way to raising more than $7,000 in student scholarship funds.  The race brought together Valencia alumni and employees; students, including those from Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute, Paralegal, Respiratory Care and Bridges programs; as well as community participants, many of them from local law enforcement agencies. An energetic team of students and instructors from Boone High School’s criminal justice program also participated in the race for the first time.

Discover the many ways you, your organization or someone you know can invest in Valencia students’ pursuit of higher education as part of the Valencia 5K team.  There will also be some wonderful activities for children like a Kids Fun Run and Crafts for kids under 10; one of the activities will be creating little Easter baskets.

For more information about 5K sponsorship and other opportunities, contact the Alumni Relations office at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-340-3426.

SAVE THE DATE! See you on Saturday, March 30th!

Register Online or Mail-In registration 

spring break 2013

540781_10151527616326303_758722549_nThe Valencia College Foundation and Valencia College will be closed March 4-8 for Spring Break. Students are invited to check Atlas for answers to many of their questions during this time.

Atlas is Valencia’s online system that allows students to receive e–mail and check information in student records using a secure personal identification number.

If you wish to make a donation to student scholarships this spring , please visit our secure donation site online at www.VALENCIA.org and click on Give Now: Make a Donation or you may also send your contribution to Valencia Foundation 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801.

Best wishes for a happy, safe and relaxing spring break.

–Donna

networking reception photos are up!

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Over 150 Valencia students, alumni and business community members enjoyed getting together at the Professional Networking Reception on Valencia’s West Campus on Friday night, February 22nd.  The Heart of Florida United Way’s Emerging Leaders group partnered with Valencia’s Alumni Association, Career Services and Internship and Workforce Development offices to bring together these diverse groups for a night of networking fun.  A common question was:  “When is the next one?”   Stay tuned!

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

At the Aspen Institute dinner in early November, billionaire David Rubenstein pointed out that “Philanthropy means loving other people, not rich people giving away their money.”

In truth, it is a word with a highly personal connotation for many. We decided it would be interesting to see what members of our Valencia community think. What is your definition of philanthropy? Why is it important to support Valencia scholarships?

First, we immediately discovered that people usually don’t fit in just one group: they are faculty and retirees who are donors, donors and partners who are alumni and so on. Second, we found that people welcomed the opportunity to share on this topic and we received so many great responses. Instead of compiling them all into one story, we will feature them in a series of articles and bring you a few perspectives in each newsletter.

The foundation has enjoyed a relationship with the Women’s Executive Council (WEC) for many years. The current president of WEC, Deanna Snyder, an alumna from 1985, felt Valencia’s impact at an early age. She shares how Valencia fit so well into her life-plan and core principles. “To serve others, that has been my guiding beacon for the past several decades.  It started while I was in high school. The field of science and medicine intrigued me. As a young girl, I wanted to be nurse.  Not just any nurse, but a caring nurse that could change the lives of those who crossed my path. As I did my research, I discovered that Valencia had an outstanding nursing program, both clinically and academically. It is one thing to be ‘book smart,’ but it is another thing to have compassion. One of my favorite quotes is from John Maxwell, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ My instructors at Valencia infused both into my training and my soul.  I am grateful and thankful to be a Valencia nursing graduate.  Over the years, my career has led me down different paths, but I always stay true to my mission of serving others.”

Deanna Snyder

Deanna Snyder

Her work with WEC helps to define philanthropy in her life and giving back through their scholarship program greatly enhances the lives of recipients in our local community. “To me, philanthropy comes in many forms, but it all has a common thread of unselfish giving. It is the desire of WEC to empower and embrace and serve women in Central Florida.” And she acknowledges the wonderful circle of giving that result from scholarships. “These scholarships are key turning points in the lives of these remarkable women. Their stories of triumph and success lead them to be philanthropic members of society and thus the giving circle never ends.”

Hannah Wickham

Hannah Wickham

The foundation also shares a wonderful partnership with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando. In addition to a scholarship endowment, CREW also donates proceeds from their annual golf tournament to support their scholarship, which is targeted for female students who wish to pursue a career in commercial real estate with a degree in accounting, architecture, business administration, construction, engineering, law or real estate.

Hannah Wickham has been involved with the CREW board for the past two years as the director of the annual golf tournament She works at Brasfield and Gorrie and is also involved with NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association; Frederick Leadership Initiative; United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

So what is Hannah’s definition of philanthropy? “Philanthropy is being connected to your community and feeling the need to give back – volunteering time, donating funds and offering knowledge and perspective – and doing what you say you are going to do.”

She believes it is important to support scholarships because it helps bring females into the commercial real estate industry, here in Central Florida and even outside the state. “There is a great opportunity to develop long careers in this industry and the scholarship gives these young ladies a chance to understand the importance of education, as well as their future opportunities within our community. Valencia is an outstanding educational facility that provides so much to their students and so much back to our surrounding communities.”

The foundation relies on our board members a great deal. They are our advocates, donors and advisors. It is an honor for us to work with this league of extraordinary men and women, and while we are privy to enjoy the fruits of their labor, it is interesting to find out the motivation behind the movement.

Lori Sims has been a Valencia Foundation board member for approximately 11 years and the chair of the finance committee for 6 of those years. She attended a community college in her local town and that experience made her understand the value that a community college can provide.

She became involved with Valencia because she has a deep passion for education. She is a steadfast supporter of our college and foundation and a member of our president’s giving circle. Lori and her company, CliftonLarsenAllen LLP, can always be counted on to offer backing when we have our signature A Taste for Learning fundraiser. And Lori recently answered a call for funds for special 2+2 scholarships for Valencia and UCF students through the Johnson Foundation Scholarship, donating a sizeable personal gift.

Lori Sims

Lori Sims

Her definition of philanthropy is “a desire to improve the material, social and spiritual welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities. For me personally, philanthropy goes far beyond providing monetary contributions to charities. I strive to provide not just financial support, but also my time and talents to those organizations which need my help and for which I have a passion.”

The importance of scholarships really hit home with Lori when she had the “privilege” of reviewing scholarship applications. “Every single applicant has a compelling story and an intense desire to complete their education. For those less fortunate that can use some additional financial support, it is critical that our community do what we can to make it possible for those desiring a higher education to fulfill their dreams.”

Thank you Deanna, Hannah and Lori. We look forward to next month’s discussion!

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

nursing faculty and students perform 26 acts of kindness

Nursing Faculty and Students Perform 26 Acts of Kindness in Memory of Newtown Shooting Victims By Linda Shrieves Beaty AreYouIn

How many Valencia College nursing students and faculty members does it take to change the world?

Apparently, not many.

That was the lesson that nursing faculty delivered this January and February as they urged students, staff and faculty members of the nursing department to participate in a unique public-service event.

Every year on Learning Day — which was held on Feb. 8 this year — Valencia College staffers perform some type of community service –  work that ranges from landscaping in local parks, to walking dogs at a no-kill shelter, or volunteering in area schools. But this year,  members of the nursing faculty had a different idea. They decided to perform 26 Acts of Kindness, part of a national movement to reach out and help fellow Americans.

The idea came from NBC news correspondent Ann Curry. In the days after the shootings of 26 children and teachers in Newtown, Conn., she tweeted this idea:  “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” Her idea quickly gathered momentum and 26 Acts of Kindness was born.

At Valencia, Kim Laughman, along with a handful of other nursing faculty members, discussed different ways they could honor the victims and families. “We thought, ‘What would happen if we let everyone in the Nursing Department know that we wanted to perform 26 Acts of Kindness to show support for our own community. Would they want to join us?’ ” said Tommi Graves, another nursing professor.

The response, says Graves,  was overwhelming. For three weeks, 26 full-time nursing faculty members and adjunct faculty, along with staff members and nursing students collected hundreds of donations.  By Learning Day, their cars were full of goods to deliver.

  • Food was collected for Pooky’s Pantry, a food pantry for Valencia College students in need of a meal.
  • Salad dressing was collected for the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
  • VNSA (Valencia College Nursing Student Association) wrote letters and valentines to soldiers serving overseas.
  • Coupons were clipped and donated for military families to use in military PX stores.
  • Clothes and coats were collected and sorted for the Union Rescue Mission and the Orlando Coalition for the Homeless.
  • New and gently used socks & shoes, and clothes were bagged up for Park Place Adult Behavioral Center.
  • Board games, craft materials, & books were boxed for Park Place Children’s Behavioral Center.
  • Blankets, towels and pet supplies were gathered for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Orlando.
  • Nursing students put donation jars in nursing classrooms and collected change for Shepherd’s Hope, a Central Florida medical clinic that relies on donations and volunteers to provide health services for people without health insurance.
  • Handmade blankets, cookies and valentine baskets with “sock cupcakes” were made  for Crossroads Nursing Home in Davenport.
  • A valentine-card distribution chain was coordinated to deliver Valentine’s Day cheers to nursing home residents at another center.
  • Toys, books and children’s clothing were collected and sorted for the Methodist Children’s Home in Sanford.
  • VNSA collected food for the Community Food and Outreach Center to be dispensed to low-income families in the Michigan Avenue area in Orlando.
  • Peace books were gathered to be distributed to different organizations.
  • Paper products were collected for Matthews Hope, a homeless outreach program in Winter Garden
  • A mysterious donor made and delivered many cupcakes to the nursing teams on West Campus and staffers at Florida Hospital South’s cardiac unit, where many Valencia nursing students do clinical and practicum rotations. .

“This experience,” said Graves, “reminded us that it is important to remember that it doesn’t take a ‘Learning Day’ to show acts of kindness and generosity.”

For Paula Pritchard, Valencia’s nursing dean, the outpouring of support was no surprise.

“Our faculty are very giving; they always give to the community, and our students are always the first to volunteer for any type of community service,” Pritchard says. “That’s really the heart of nursing. And I think the spirit of Valencia and the philosophy of the institution absolutely lives and breathes within the students and faculty of our division.”

 

Source: Written by: Linda Shrieves Beaty, http://news.valenciacollege.edu/

come together, run together!

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Benefiting student scholarships for Criminal Justice, Nursing, EMS and Firefighting.

get connected!

Looking to make connections that can help your career or to help someone else make those connections?  Join Valencia alumni, students and professionals from various businesses for a Professional Networking Reception on Friday, February 22nd, 6-8 pm, on the Valencia West Campus at 1800 South Kirkman Road in the Special Events Center, Bldg. 8.

Light refreshments will be provided. Business attire and business cards recommended.

RSVP by Thursday, February 21st to 407-582-3417 or alumni@valenciacollege.edu.

 Sponsored by Valencia’s Alumni Association, Career Center, Internship and Workforce Service; and the Emerging Leaders of the Heart of Florida United Way

arbor day event on east campus

Valencia College has received the Tree Campus USA designation from National Arbor Day Foundation for the 2nd year. You are invited to celebrate with a planting event on Feb 19, 2013.

treecampususaCollege students, faculty, staff and community friends are invited to celebrate with other Valencia supporters at the Arbor Day event on East Campus, Building 4.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, in front of and behind building 4 (library) and will include information tables, music and a tree planting at 1:00 p.m. behind the library.

The Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes excellence in campus tree management, as well as student and community involvement across the nation.

The five standards required to obtain the Tree Campus USA designation include: campus tree advisory committee, tree care plan, a program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance and service learning projects.

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.

distinguished graduate award and scholarships go live!

Valencia Alumni Association scholarship applications for Valencia students are now available online!  Students can choose from a variety of scholarship areas, including:  general studies, nursing, respiratory care, criminal justice, dental hygiene and more.

The application for the prestigious Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished Graduate 2012-13 Award is also available.  This award requires a nomination from a Valencia faculty or staff member.  Valencia’s Distinguished Graduate serves as the keynote speaker at the college’s Commencement Ceremony in May.  The recipient will be awarded $1,500 at the Alumni Achievers Reception in June, 2013.  Up to four finalists will also be recognized at that time and will receive an award of $100 each.

Panel interviews will be conducted for finalists for both Distinguished Graduate and for the Mayor Richard T. Crotty – Valencia – UCF Alumni Associations 2+2 Scholarship.  The Crotty 2+2 Scholarship is valued at $4,000.

Encourage your candidates to apply.

ImageValencia Alumni Association President Michael J. G. McLaughlin presents Shardeh K. Berry with Mary Smedley Collier 2012-13  Distinguished Graduate plaque during Commencement ceremony in May, 2012.

 

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

gearing up for the 18th annual valencia celebration

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Future Valencia alumnus and president of the East Campus Student Government Association, Mike Acevedo (center) and colleagues Vicky Alvarez (left) and Laura Thomas (right) are pulling together the 18th Annual Valencia Celebration.  Check it out on Facebook.  The Valencia Alumni Association is a potential sponsor of the event and always supportive of Mike and team!

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/

valencia alumnus interns for rollins’ 2013 winter with the writers series!

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Valencia Alumni Association member Melvin Thompson ’12 (R) is pictured with Dr. Jamie Washington at the Rollins College Martin Luther King Vigil. Melvin is currently a student at Rollins majoring in Psychology with a minor in Writing. He is thrilled to have been recently selected as one of the interns for Rollins’ 2013 Winter with the Writers series.

Want to get involved?  Join the Valencia Alumni Association for networking and other opportunities.  Membership is free!

valencia college alumni association officially carved in brick!

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The Valencia College Alumni Association and many others have taken advantage of the chance to be included as a part of the walkway in front of the new Building 4 at the Osceola Campus.  Engraved bricks purchased in the names of individuals, families, businesses, clubs, in memory of loved ones, and even as gifts have contributed over $11,000 in scholarship support for Osceola Campus students. Please consider adding your own engraved brick to this walkway while also supporting Valencia students.

 Purchase your memory brick! Check out Valencia Colleges The Grove publication to see   Building 4.

scholarship spotlight: angel sanchez (2012-13 valencia foundation scholarship recipient)

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Angel Sanchez (right).

Angel Sanchez, presently a sophomore honors student with Valencia College, is a two-time 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship recipient. Currently, Angel is a sophomore honors student in the Paralegal Studies program with Valencia and earning a 4.0 GPA.

Angel was raised in the tough neighborhoods of Miami and experienced a difficult upbringing. “My parents divorced when I was young. My mom battled a lifelong addiction with drugs while my dad raised me on his own. Although my dad did his best to raise me, the negative influences that surrounded me eventually took a hold of me. I began to get in trouble and dropped out of school in 9th grade. Nobody in my family had ever finished grade school, much less attended college; however, after getting my GED and developing a passion for law, I decided I wanted to go to college. Knowing that my hometown was not a healthy environment for me, I decided to move into a homeless shelter in Orlando and attend college.”

Putting his education and future first, Angel enrolled into the paralegal studies at Valencia College. “I began as a remedial student in math simply hoping I could make it through the paralegal program without failing. I did not know if I had what it took to be a college student, and I knew that my situation was going to be even harder as a homeless student; none the less, I intended to give it my all regardless of the circumstances.”

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Angel Sanchez (right) with Dr. Shugart (left).

With determination to better his life and accomplish his academic and future goals, Angel diligently continued on throughout the paralegal studies program as an honors student. Throughout his time with Valencia, he made the president’s list for consecutive semesters, became a member of Valencia’s Seneff Honors College, the International Honor’s Society, Phi Theta Kappa, the Black History Committee, Inceptia (a division of the national student loan program) and received the 2012 Incentive Awards Scholar for achieving academic success in the face of adversity. In addition to all of his outstanding accomplishments, Angel was made the Vice President of the West Campus’ chapter. Each achievement has given Angel the opportunity to continue pursuing his passion: giving back to the community. “I strongly believe in giving back and not forgetting where I came. Thanks to my achievements I am able to do just that. I have started a “Meet-n-Mentor” initiative to connect Valencia students with at-risk students in hopes of encouraging college enrollment and completion. The initiative has been primarily focused on mentoring homeless GED students at the Coalition for the Homeless. I am also leading the Honor Society West Campus chapter in starting a Book Scholarship for the highest achieving life strides (homeless) student each semester and working to organize a Karaoke fundraising event for it. Also, I have had the privilege of being a guest speaker on behalf of homeless students at the Coalition for the Homeless’ Annual Breakfast Banquet, which included the CEO of the Orlando Magic. I was presented with the opportunity to go on stage and shared my story with, our college president, Dr. Shugart in front the entire Academic Assembly; and I have even addressed the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, on behalf of homeless and at-risk students.”

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Angel Sanchez (right) with Jill Biden (left).

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Angel (left) presented the Gratitude and Appreciation for your time plaque from the Parramore Kiz Zone (PKZ).

He adds: “Personally, I enjoy being an inspiration and an advocate for others. I am currently pursuing dual degrees in Leadership and Paralegal Studies. My A.S. Paralegal Degree compliments my passion for law and will enable me to get some much needed entry level employment upon graduation; meanwhile, my Honors A.A. Degree in Leadership will enable me to transfer and compete for acceptance into very prestigious universities or programs. My academic goals include earning acceptance and academic scholarships into a selective university and then going on to law school. My life goals include advocating for the underprivileged and giving a voice to who have been silenced or written off. Also, I want to continue defying the odds and inspiring those who need hope! I want to promote and make education accessible to at-risk students and communities, because I know the transformative power it can have. Most importantly, I want to help others find their faith and belief to help them achieve the promising things of which they are capable. Hence, any career that would help me fight for and impact the lives of others is my career of choice!”

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F.L.I.R.T. The Financial Learning and Research Team

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F.L.I.R.T. The Financial Learning and Research Team

The Valencia Foundation partners with many generous donors who are excited to contribute to the education of the leaders of tomorrow, like Angel. 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

rafman club supports valencia college students

Image(Pictured:  Arthur Jarvis ’85 (L) and Davidson Saint Fort ’96 (R))

“Men striving together to make a better community for all concerned” — this is the motto of the RAFMAN Club.

The Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy (RAFMAN) Club established an endowed RAFMAN Club scholarship through the Valencia Foundation to support Valencia College students in 1996.

The club and its scholarship committee, chaired by Valencia alumnus Arthur Jarvis ’85, have raised funds through an annual banquet to make it possible to award the scholarship annually since that time.  Currently, the RAFMAN Club Foundation awards an all tuition paid scholarship for one year to two deserving students in need of financial assistance.

Davidson Saint Fort ‘96 was the recipient of the first RAFMAN Club scholarship.  Since earning his AS degree in computer science at Valencia College, he went on to earn a BS degree in computer engineering and computer information systems at Florida A&M University, and is currently employed as a senior engineer at the Cerner Corporation.  He also serves as a volunteer on the RAFMAN scholarship committee to “pay it forward”.  In his words:  “I want to thank God and the RAFMAN Club for investing in me.  When there appeared to be no solution to my financial situation to attend college, you believed in me.”

This year’s RAFMAN Scholarship Banquet will take place on Saturday, March 16th in Faith Hall of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 John Young Parkway.  Registration and a silent auction/raffle will begin at 6:00 pm followed by the banquet and program at 7:00 pm.  Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Orange County Superintendent of Schools, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, silent auction donations and individual tickets, please contact Arthur Jarvis at 407-492-1266 or afleet7@bellsouth.net.

faculty update on endowed chair projects

January 4, 2013: Valencia College Endowed Chair faculty share with donors and administrators an update on their 2012-2013 projects.

January 4, 2013: Valencia College Endowed Chair faculty share with donors and administrators an update on their 2012-2013 projects.

Valencia faculty, administrators, distinguished professors and scholars gathered on January 4, 2013 to provide mid-year project updates and an overview of endowed chair proposals.

The Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program has been established to recognize and promote academic excellence at Valencia College. The program honors outstanding members of the Valencia teaching faculty and provides resources needed for advancement of instruction at Valencia. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions, which aim to attract preeminent researchers, this program recognizes and supports the Valencia faculty.

For more information on Valencia Foundation’s 2012-2013 Distinguished Professors and Distinguished Scholars please visit our past  blog titled “Endowed Chairs for learning leadership at Valencia.”

Valencia Foundation: Planned GivingIf you would like more information on endowed chairs for learning leadership, student scholarships, academic programs or creating a legacy planned gift please contact Donna Marino at 407.582.3128.

grand wines at grande bordeaux tasting in orlando

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits Tasting

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting
Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm

Valencia’s event sponsor for Taste for Learning is hosting another elegant wine tasting event for those who love to sample and sip.

25+ chateau owners and managers from Bordeaux, France will join ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in Orlando to host a one of a kind Bordeaux-only wine tasting.

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting at Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm

For ticket or event information please visit online at: http://www.abcfws.com/BordeauxGrandeTasting