Alumni Update from Cece Burns, ’13

Chacoryia “Cece” Burns, Valencia’s 2013 Mary Smedley Collier’s Distinguished Graduate is currently a Broadcast Journalism major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Those of us that have read Cece’s triumphant story and may have also had the privilege of meeting such a kind spirit know that she has manage to persevere through all odds. She has proven that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish any goal.

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Cece shares “Recently, I’ve become the weather anchor for FAMU TV News-20 which broadcast live to over 8,000 Comcast viewers in the north Florida and south Georgia area. I am a Gospel Radio Personality for WANM 90.5 FM “The Flava Station” which airs on Sunday’s from 8am-11am. As I continue with my journey as a reporter, I plan to continue to work with FAMU TV News 20 as the lead desk anchor as well as intern for a local news station and print journalism company until my graduation on April 30, 2016. After that I plan to either move to Orlando or stay in Tallahassee and pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Production as well as become a Multi-Media Journalist (MMJ) for a local news station or become a local Gospel Radio Personality.”

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“My advice to the students is to continue to strive for your dream. Never let anyone deter you from being what you want to be in life. And also always volunteer and get internships in your profession. Be persistent and always be kind to others because you never know who you will meet and who will take you to the next level.”

Cece is a positive role model and is constantly giving back to the community, whether it be volunteering for children’s church or serving on the Transfer Student Association. Her story encourages us all.

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Cece is doing big things and is truly an amazing Valencia Alum….Way to represent!

Check out Cece’s story here

 

Need money for college?

 

2+2 Grad FB

 

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.”

 

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.

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

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:

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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.

 

Valencia employees share “Why I Give Where I Work”

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

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

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

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Gustavo Morales, professor, geology, West Campus:

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

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James Thomas, professor, English, East Campus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

hispanic business council scholarship opportunity

The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HHSFMO) is the largest non-profit organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a college or university degree.

DEADLINE:   Completed scholarship applications and supplementary documents must be received in a single envelope by 5:00 pm on May 30, 2014.

Since its inception in 2000, the HHSFMO has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to 209 students in Central Florida.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be of Hispanic heritage
  • Be a U.S. citizen OR legal permanent resident OR have DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
  • Must have applied for Federal Financial Aid using the FAFSA
  • Be enrolled full or part-time in a degree-seeking program at an accredited institution
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.00 scale
  • Must attend the scholarship award gala in October, 2014

 Application Instructions

  • Complete Hispanic Heritage scholarship application 
  • Official college transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation from college instructor/counselor or employer (max. of 2)
  • Copy of financial aid award letter and/or SAR (Student Aid Report)
     

MAILING INSTRUCTIONS:

You may mail your official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copy of financial aid awards information (single envelope please) to:
Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando
3201 E. Colonial Dr., Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803

HAND DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS

You may also personally deliver your official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copy of financial aid awards information (single envelope please) at:

Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando
c/o Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
3201 E. Colonial Dr., Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803
Orlando Fashion Square Mall (inside the National Entrepreneur Center)

DEADLINE:   Completed scholarship applications and supplementary documents must be received in a single envelope by 5:00 pm on May 30, 2014.


women’s executive council scholarship opportunity

Scholarship Awards 2014

Beginning in 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has granted scholarships to deserving women who are entering or attending colleges in the Central Florida area.  This year the Women’s Executive Council will be awarding scholarships of $1,972 each.

The $1,972 scholarship amount is to commemorate the year (1972) of founding of WEC. 
For more information on the 1972 Society click here

Eligibility Requirements

  • The student must be registered for at least 12 hours at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including the Hamilton Holt School evening division), Valencia College, Seminole State College or Florida Institute of Technology. Consideration will be given for fewer academic hours with full-time employment.
  • The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must be on an educational path to an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree. Applications will not be considered without an official transcript (with the school seal or emailed directly by the school).  An official high school transcript is required if the applicant is entering college for the first time.
  • The application and all attachments must be received by the Scholarship Committee by the deadline noted below to be considered.

Important Dates:

  • Application and all attachments must be postmarked or emailed by: June 30, 2014
  • Notification of award selection by August 10, 2014.  ONLY Winners will be listed on our website and will be notified.

Complete the following steps:

  1.       Download Scholarship Application. Complete and mail or email application.  2014_WEC_Scholarship_Application.pdf
    269.2 KB
  2.       Provide provide three (3) letters of recommendation and include with your application.
  3.       In an essay form, please provide answers to the following:
  •        Please explain why you should be awarded a Women’s Executive Council scholarship and what difference the scholarship would make to you in the pursuit of your educational and professional goals. 
  •        A summary of your educational background including awards received, extra-curricular activities, and related information should be provided. 
  •        Include what your interests are academically and professionally when you complete your course of study, and any community or other volunteer service with which you are involved.
  •        Feel free to include any personal details regarding your particular situation, financial hardship or obstacles that you have had to overcome in the pursuit of your academic endeavors.  You may also attach a resume. 

 The completed application including the essay, letters of recommendation, original official transcript, and all attachments must be emailed or postmarked by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2014. 

Mail to:

Women’s Executive Council

WEC Scholarship Committee

PO BOX 2895

Orlando FL 32802

Email toscholarships@wecOrlando.com

 Please contact scholarships@wecOrlando.com for more information. 

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

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

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

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

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship application now available!

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE! APPLY TODAY!

Valencia Foundation scholarship application - click here to apply online.

 

By submitting your application by June 27, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

Winners will be determined one week after the drawing and we will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

 

have you submitted your 2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship application?

Valencia Foundation

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE. 

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding and a brand new iPad!

Helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

how to: complete the valencia foundation scholarship application

Need help completing your Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application? We can help! 

The Valencia Foundation maintains over 650 named scholarships that are available to qualifying students currently enrolled at Valencia College

By completing just one Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application, the foundation will forward your application for review for any and/or all scholarships to which you qualify for! It’s really that simple! 

Need help completing your scholarship application? Watch the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application Tutorial for a step by step guide of how to complete your application from beginning to end. 

Many students believe they must be “straight A students” or that if they qualified for federal aid, they won’t qualify for scholarships. Join us as we tackle common Scholarship Myths

To access the Spanish version of the Valencia Foundation Scholarship application, visit: Valencia Foundation Spanish Application – Read Only. (Please note: applications and essays must submitted online and in English upon submission.)

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application TODAY! 

Will you start Valencia in the fall of 2014? New students can submit their 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application in May! 

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (Phone: 407-582-1168, Email: sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (Phone: 407-582-3154 Email: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

women’s executive council scholarship opportunity

Scholarship Awards 2014

Beginning in 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has granted scholarships to deserving women who are entering or attending colleges in the Central Florida area.  This year the Women’s Executive Council will be awarding scholarships of $1,972 each.

The $1,972 scholarship amount is to commemorate the year (1972) of founding of WEC.  For more information on the 1972 Society click here

Eligibility Requirements

  • The student must be registered for at least 12 hours at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including the Hamilton Holt School evening division), Valencia College, Seminole State College or Florida Institute of Technology. Consideration will be given for fewer academic hours with full-time employment.
  • The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must be on an educational path to an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree. Applications will not be considered without an official transcript (with the school seal or emailed directly by the school).  An official high school transcript is required if the applicant is entering college for the first time.
  • The application and all attachments must be received by the Scholarship Committee by the deadline noted below to be considered.

Important Dates:

  • Application and all attachments must be postmarked or emailed by: June 30, 2014
  • Notification of award selection by August 10, 2014.  ONLY Winners will be listed on our website and will be notified.

Complete the following steps:

  1.       Download Scholarship Application. Complete and mail or email application.  2014_WEC_Scholarship_Application.pdf
    269.2 KB
  2.       Provide provide three (3) letters of recommendation and include with your application.
  3.       In an essay form, please provide answers to the following:
  •        Please explain why you should be awarded a Women’s Executive Council scholarship and what difference the scholarship would make to you in the pursuit of your educational and professional goals. 
  •        A summary of your educational background including awards received, extra-curricular activities, and related information should be provided. 
  •        Include what your interests are academically and professionally when you complete your course of study, and any community or other volunteer service with which you are involved.
  •        Feel free to include any personal details regarding your particular situation, financial hardship or obstacles that you have had to overcome in the pursuit of your academic endeavors.  You may also attach a resume. 

 The completed application including the essay, letters of recommendation, original official transcript, and all attachments must be emailed or postmarked by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2014. 

Mail to:

Women’s Executive Council

WEC Scholarship Committee

PO BOX 2895

Orlando FL 32802

Email to: scholarships@wecOrlando.com

 

Please contact scholarships@wecOrlando.com for more information. 

reminder: april 4, 2014 priority deadline for valencia foundation scholarship applications!

Have you submitted your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

By submitting your application by the April 4, 2014 priority deadline, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154, jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship applications are available now!

Have you submitted your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application? 

By submitting your application by April 4, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.

Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154, jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

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/.

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship applications are available now!

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE. 

By submitting your application by April 4, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. The winner will also be asked to take photo and participate in a short interview upon pick up to be featured in our monthly foundation newsletter.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding and a brand new iPad!

Helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

2014-15 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship available now!

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

All applicants must provide ALL of the following:

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

All required documents must be submitted no later than March 28, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger 2014-15 Application

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

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

scholarship myths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The essay is too hard… I don’t know what to write about.
The essay portion of the scholarship application is what allows the donor to really get to know you. Share your story, educational and professional goals.

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

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

a closer look – johnson scholarship foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valencia Johnson Scholar, Duneishka Roman

Valencia Johnson Scholar, Duneishka Roman


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014-15 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship available now!

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

All applicants must provide ALL of the following:

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

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

Grainger 2014-15 Application

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

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

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

Image

2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

a closer look: 1st united bank scholarship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

common scholarship myths

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

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

Scholarship Myths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit: www.VALENCIA.org

the mercury marine scholarship

Mercury Marine Scholarship 

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

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

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

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

 

Special kudos: 1st United Bank

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

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

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

foundation mash-up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

discussion with a scholar – a valencia scholarship recipient story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a closer look – grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

apply today for the kissimmee utility authority (kua) scholarship!

The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) Scholarship: 

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

In the past year, KUA has financially supported more than 250 community projects and activities. Notable projects included the “Flee to be Free” child abduction awareness program, voter registration drives, student scholarships, holiday gift drives and free swimming lessons for families unable to afford them.

KUA’s mission statement: To provide reliable and economical services to our customers while partnering with the community and the environment.

The KUA scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year to students who: 

  • Complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application
  • Graduate high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA during their time at Valencia
  • Attend Valencia’s Osceola Campus
  • Is the son or daughter of a KUA employee for more than one year

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

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

spirit of the season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

the johnson foundation scholarship for biomedical sciences is available now! apply today!

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

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

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

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

In order to apply, please complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

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

violin instructor’s fermata: legacy through music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the johnson foundation scholarship for biomedical sciences is available now! apply today!

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

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

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

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

In order to apply, please complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

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

sage – study abroad opportunities at valencia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the johnson foundation scholarship for biomedical sciences is available now! apply today!

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

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

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

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

In order to apply, please complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

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

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

Image

2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

apply today for the kissimmee utility authority (kua) scholarship!

The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) Scholarship: 

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

In the past year, KUA has financially supported more than 250 community projects and activities. Notable projects included the “Flee to be Free” child abduction awareness program, voter registration drives, student scholarships, holiday gift drives and free swimming lessons for families unable to afford them.

KUA’s mission statement: To provide reliable and economical services to our customers while partnering with the community and the environment.

The KUA scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year to students who: 

  • Complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application
  • Graduate high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA during their time at Valencia
  • Attend Valencia’s Osceola Campus
  • Is the son or daughter of a KUA employee for more than one year

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

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

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

2013-14 ime becas scholarship available now!

IME Becas Scholarship

Are you a first generation Mexican-American student in college? Apply today for the IME Becas Scholarship!

The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.

Students must:

  1. Complete the 2013-14 IME BECAS / Valencia College Foundation Scholarship found here: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm
  2. Complete the 2013-14 FAFSA Application
  3. Be a first generation in college student
  4. Mexican-American or Mexican immigrant
  5. Demonstrate financial need

If you qualify, apply today by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

 

El Programa IME Becas les provee ayuda financiera a los estudiantes que son la primera generación de su familia en ingresar a la universidad y que son mexicanos o mexicanoamericanos.

  • ¿Eres mexicano/a o mexicanoamericano/a?
  • ¿Eres la primera generación de su familia en asistir a la universidad?
  • ¿Has completado el 2013-2014 FAFSA (Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes)?
  • ¿Has completado la solicitud para IME Becas?  [The link below does not take me to the IME Becas application, just the general scholarship page]

 

Si contestas “sí” a todas estas preguntas, puedes ser buen candidato para el Programa IME Becas.  Para más información o para asistencia con la solicitud para este programa becario, favor de contactar a la Valencia Foundation a foundation@valenciacollege.edu

the johnson foundation scholarship for biomedical sciences is available now! apply today!

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

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

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

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

In order to apply, please complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

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

2013-14 ime becas scholarship available now!

IME Becas Scholarship

Are you a first generation Mexican-American student in college? Apply today for the IME Becas Scholarship!

The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.

Students must:

  1. Complete the 2013-14 IME BECAS / Valencia College Foundation Scholarship found here: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm
  2. Complete the 2013-14 FAFSA Application
  3. Be a first generation in college student
  4. Mexican-American or Mexican immigrant
  5. Demonstrate financial need

If you qualify, apply today by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

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

apply today for the kissimmee utility authority (kua) scholarship!

The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) Scholarship: 

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

In the past year, KUA has financially supported more than 250 community projects and activities. Notable projects included the “Flee to be Free” child abduction awareness program, voter registration drives, student scholarships, holiday gift drives and free swimming lessons for families unable to afford them.

KUA’s mission statement: To provide reliable and economical services to our customers while partnering with the community and the environment.

The KUA scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year to students who: 

  • Complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application
  • Graduate high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA during their time at Valencia
  • Attend Valencia’s Osceola Campus
  • Is the son or daughter of a KUA employee for more than one year

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

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

have you applied for the 2013-14 ime becas scholarship yet?

IME Becas Scholarship

Are you a first generation Mexican-American student in college? Apply today for the IME Becas Scholarship!

The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.

Students must:

  1. Complete the 2013-14 Valencia College Foundation Scholarship found here: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm
  2. Complete the 2013-14 FAFSA Application
  3. Be a first generation in college student
  4. Mexican-American or Mexican immigrant
  5. Demonstrate financial need

If you qualify, apply today by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

checking up on the dental hygiene program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a closer look: valencia’s paralegal program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013-14 ime becas scholarship available now!

IME Becas Scholarship

Are you a first generation Mexican-American student in college? Apply today for the IME Becas Scholarship!

The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.

Students must:

  1. Complete the 2013-14 Valencia College Foundation Scholarship found here: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm
  2. Complete the 2013-14 FAFSA Application
  3. Be a first generation in college student
  4. Mexican-American or Mexican immigrant
  5. Demonstrate financial need

If you qualify, apply today by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

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

apply today for the kissimmee utility authority (kua) scholarship!

The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) Scholarship: 

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

In the past year, KUA has financially supported more than 250 community projects and activities. Notable projects included the “Flee to be Free” child abduction awareness program, voter registration drives, student scholarships, holiday gift drives and free swimming lessons for families unable to afford them.

KUA’s mission statement: To provide reliable and economical services to our customers while partnering with the community and the environment.

The KUA scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year to students who: 

  • Complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application
  • Graduate high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA during their time at Valencia
  • Attend Valencia’s Osceola Campus
  • Is the son or daughter of a KUA employee for more than one year

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

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

 

first one campaign success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

discussion on philanthropy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fleck Cadeau

Fleck Cadeau

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

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

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

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

a closer look – valencia’s first one campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bianca Maldonado

Bianca Maldonado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

free federally funded high-manufacturing programs available via workforce central! apply today!

Valencia’s office of Career and Workforce Education dedicates itself to improving the quality and impact of instruction in career and technical education programs within our college. Recently highlighted in the Orlando Sentinel, Valencia offers a six-month training program that affords its participants job training to become certified technicians and high-tech manufacturing, thus allowing them to continue onto seeking careers in automation and simulation fields.  

Receiving grant funding from the U.S. Department, Valencia has an available $4,000 to be awarded in scholarships to be used towards the cost of classes, books and certification testing. With the availability to fund participants, the workforce team has experienced a low number of applicants interested in the program.

Applicants are welcomed to apply via Valencia’s Workforce Education team as the agency is still in search of  

Students are encouraged to connect and apply throughout the month of September in order to still enroll for the fall term.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Annmarie O’Brien at Workforce Central Florida at mailto:aobrien@wcfla.com or 407-531-1222 ext. 2080.

apply today for the hispanic business council scholarship!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship! Apply today for a chance to receive scholarship funding for the 2013-14 academic year!  

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

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.

fall fee payment deadline: august 16, 2013!

Valencia Foundation

The 2013-14 fall fee payment deadline is vastly approaching!

Term charges and payments are due by August 16, 2013 in order remain enrolled in your fall classes.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships! 

The Valencia Foundation offers a number of privately funded scholarships that are donated by organizations and individuals interested in supporting Valencia’s students.

By completing one scholarship application, our foundation will then try to match you to any of our scholarships to which you qualify for. Per review & donor confirmation, should you receive a scholarship, thank you note submissions are required as a the final steps in awarding students Valencia Foundation scholarships.

Our application is available yearlong for the 2013-14 academic year. Scholarship funding is awarded as they come in to the first set of applicants that qualify for them.

Apply today for your chance to earn a Foundation scholarship!

Most scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year and has a priority deadline of November 15th for the upcoming academic year. To complete your FAFSA application, visit: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

 *In order to complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarship application, visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

*For more information on Valencia College’s important dates and deadlines, visit the Business Office’s website at: http://valenciacollege.edu/businessoffice/important-deadlines.cfm

first one – campaign extension

first-one-avatars-23The foundation’s First One campaign has been extended! We heard from some of our hardworking team leads that perhaps we were too quick to end the campaign on Aug. 11. Scheduling things in the summer months can be difficult and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be successful. We want to be sure the campaign ends at an appropriate time, and raises all the funds we can for our first-generation students.

All funds raised are still eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match and 100 percent of all money raised will go directly to scholarships.

For those of you already working on the campaign, thank you so much for your support. Yes, our campaign goal is important, but your friendship matters more. If there is anything we can do to help you reach your fundraising goal, just let us know! (foundation@valenciacollege.edu)

If you haven’t yet pledged your support, please visit http://www.valencia.org/FirstOne today to find out more about this important campaign that supports education in our community.

First One Kickoff

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

womens executive council 2013 scholarship applications due august 10, 2013! apply today!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

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.

fall fee payment deadline: august 16, 2013!

Valencia Foundation

The 2013-14 fall fee payment deadline is vastly approaching!

Term charges and payments are due by August 16, 2013 in order remain enrolled in your fall classes.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships! 

The Valencia Foundation offers a number of privately funded scholarships that are donated by organizations and individuals interested in supporting Valencia’s students.

By completing one scholarship application, our foundation will then try to match you to any of our scholarships to which you qualify for. Per review & donor confirmation, should you receive a scholarship, thank you note submissions are required as a the final steps in awarding students Valencia Foundation scholarships.

Our application is available yearlong for the 2013-14 academic year. Scholarship funding is awarded as they come in to the first set of applicants that qualify for them.

Apply today for your chance to earn a Foundation scholarship!

Most scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year and has a priority deadline of November 15th for the upcoming academic year. To complete your FAFSA application, visit: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

 *In order to complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarship application, visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

*For more information on Valencia College’s important dates and deadlines, visit the Business Office’s website at: http://valenciacollege.edu/businessoffice/important-deadlines.cfm

womens executive council 2013 scholarship applications due august 10, 2013! apply today!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

spotlight story – donald gibson

Donald Gibson
“I truly try my best to enjoy every single day no matter how tough it gets or how bad it is.” And after meeting Donald Gibson, I can certainly attest to that fact.

Donald currently works at Valencia as a VA certifying official. He helps veterans and dependents of veterans, making sure they are accessing their education benefits and assisting with obstacles that might hinder their educational journeys.

It is a job he eyed when he was a work study student, a position funded through the VA. He found out that his VA benefits would be running out the same month that his supervisor was retiring. He approached his supervisor and told her, “I want your job. How do I get it?” Stunned at first, once she realized he was serious she did everything in her power to teach Donald everything she could. He made the transition and is very proud of the work he does at Valencia and especially proud that he gets to help his fellow veterans.

Donald joined the Marine Corps in order to access the GI Bill and go to college. He was told by his parents at an early age that they were not going to be able to help him finance college. He was good in school but hit some rough spots in high school and education took a second seat to life. At 15 he was responsible for all of his expenses – food, clothing, etc. At 18 he was told that he needed to live on his own, so with 6 months until high school graduation, he found a place of his own and worked to pay for it. Despite all of this, he did manage to graduate high school. Thinking back on that time, Donald says, “I was not necessarily ever anti-school, I was just a teenager trying to juggle a full-time job and going to school full time and it was difficult for me.”

He started attending Valencia, the first in his family to attend college, but soon life happened again. He was not successful at accessing his GI Bill funds and ended up thousands of dollars in debt. He soon found himself unable to continue his education.

Time passed and the Post 9/11 GI Bill was introduced. This version paid the school directly and gave him much needed peace of mind. He applied for benefits and was part of the inaugural group of scholars to attend college using this bill.

And then life dealt another blow. His father was electrocuted by a power line and almost passed away. He moved in with Donald, who not only served as his caregiver, but found himself paying for some of his actual medical care, he estimates $9,000 over two years. During this time, being a care provider and working full time, Donald remained a full-time student and had a 3.8 GPA.

It was a foundation scholarship that helped Donald during another one of life’s troubling moments – a $1,000 scholarship just as his VA benefits were running out. He often wonders if those funds saved him from having to drop out again.

Donald admits that his story may not be typical, and that his first-generation experience has included a lot of struggles. But he recognizes that he is farther along than others, “I’m getting ready to purchase my first home. Even with minimum wage jobs I always made sure that I took care of what I needed to take care of.”

He is able to put things in perspective, and credits Valencia in his life. “One of the biggest things to learn is that if you have goals, you have to understand there is going to be those unknowns that you can’t really plan for, but you have to be able to manipulate and work with them. And that is why I love Valencia so much, as a student and as an employee, because they understand, they truly understand life does happen. And they don’t hold it against you, they actually help you try to manipulate and maneuver those obstacles that get thrown in your way.”

And in his job, he is part of Valencia’s helping hand, providing service to fellow veterans. It is a population that is growing, with more than 2,000 students using VA benefits on an annual basis. Summer enrollment was the highest that he’s ever seen with 900 veterans using their benefits.

When asked how he remains so positive, even in the face of challenges, he shares that he has a good support system. “Me and my mom have an amazing relationship,” he shares. Some may question their relationship based on his strict upbringing, but he shares the truth is actually far different than people may assume. She knew him better than he knew himself and realized that he was the type of person who needed to go out into life and experience things on his own, even hardships. And he also cites his faith with reassuring him that everything happens for a reason and this is God’s plan.

His positive energy is not contained, it spills over to those close to him. He is a mentor to his cousin, who is also a first-generation student and currently attending Valencia. He identifies with the struggle of other first-generation families, struggles they may not have needed to go through if they were able to make more money with a college education.

He also mentors a young man that his aunt and uncle took into their home. The young man’s mother struggled with substance abuse and his aunt and uncle offered a stable and loving environment. Donald will tell you that this young man is “one of those people who has so much potential but doesn’t know how to tap into it.” To make sure this young man realizes that potential, he paid the $35 registration fee for him to go to Valencia and helped him fill out the FAFSA. But the support doesn’t end there: “I will be taking time to walk him through the system, to make it easy for him, so he doesn’t get overwhelmed and lost and confused. He doesn’t have people like that in his life that can help him walk through it because nobody he knows, not one person, has ever been to college.”

After meeting with him, I can definitely say that Donald Gibson is someone you would be grateful to have in your corner. The foundation is in the midst of our First One campaign and I find myself thinking about something Donald said at the very end of our chat. First time in college stories aren’t always about college. Donald’s story certainly shows that, sometimes life happens and how you get through it makes you stronger and wiser than before.

discussion on philanthropy – dr. kathleen plinske

This issue is dedicated to our First One campaign, and a celebration of first-generation students. For this month’s discussion on philanthropy, I am checking in with another first-generation college student, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, campus president at Osceola.
Dr. Plinske

Dr. Plinske had a distinctive high school experience, essentially moving out of home at 14 to attend a public, residential high school in Illinois, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). Growing up, there was always an expectation that she would go to college, and attending that high school was a game changer for her because such a large percentage of the graduating class went on to college. It also instilled in her early the concept of philanthropy and giving back. “When you are a student at the high school, they instill in you that the education you are given is a gift from the people of Illinois and the expectation is that you are going to make a difference in the world and give back for that gift you were given.”

The blessings continued for her as she went on to Indiana University and received a merit-based full scholarship which covered not only tuition, room and board but also undergraduate experiences like study abroad opportunities. She graduated with bachelor degrees in physics and Spanish and got a job at her hometown community college. She immediately started working on her master’s degree in Spanish, and they allowed her teach in the evenings while also working full time. She remembers that being a very neat experience – teaching, being a student and working as college support staff all at one time.

She got her master’s from Roosevelt University in Chicago and started a doctoral program at Pepperdine University in Malibu. It was a hybrid program that required attendance for a week at a time and the rest of the coursework was online. She would save and use her vacation time from work in order to attend classes.

She then progressed through a number of positions at McHenry County College and ultimately ended up serving as interim president, and from there she came to Valencia. But it wasn’t a full stop at Valencia, she continued her educational journey and received her MBA from the University of Florida in December 2012.

Doing all of this as a first-generation student offered a unique set of circumstances. She remembers her first semester, she was convinced she was failing all her courses. She remembers having conversations with her mom, should she drop out? Am I college material? And her mother wanted to help but didn’t know how to advise her, having not been in that position. But her mother gave her some wonderful advice: Just stick it out for this first semester and then we’ll see how you do and go from there. It turns out Dr. Plinske had straight A’s, and continued having straight A’s, she just didn’t have a thermometer to gauge how she was doing.

She brings these experiences to her job at Valencia and it is especially helpful at Osceola, where she cites having a very high percentage of students that are first generation. “I can empathize with what they are going through and I understand the importance of really uplifting them. I understand what they are feeling and what their fears might be and what type of support they might need, and just being understanding of what they are going through and how big a deal it is for them and for their families to be the first ones to go to college.”

Dr. Plinske is a firm believer in the power of scholarships, they open a door to a future that might not be possible. For her, she knows that her life and career path would have been much different had she not been afforded additional opportunities and one opportunity impacts the next, which impacts the next and so on.

And on the subject of first-generation students, she is just as passionate, “A contribution to this campaign that supports scholarships for first-generation students will have long-lasting impact on our world that we might not even be able to imagine.” Supporting the First One campaign helps support a student who one day may cure cancer or be president of the United States, the possibilities are endless. “We don’t know our impact ultimately in the end and I think that is what is so exciting about supporting student scholarships.” Without the catalyzing effect of higher education, these talents could remain untapped and unrealized.

Dr. Plinske made a very generous donation to the campaign, a $1,000 gift in memory of her father. Osceola’s student government president approached her and asked if she would support their First One fundraising team. They were shocked when she said yes. She knew she wanted to make a gift to honor her father and his support. She tells a wonderful story about when she was in high school. Every Friday, after work, he would drive to her high school to pick her up and then drive her back on Sunday. She was so homesick, without those weekends home she may not have made it through school.

On the subject of philanthropy, she believes “that unto whom much is given, much is expected.” It was a philosophy she developed in high school and every day a quote from astronomer Carl Sagan, his words on the wall at school, served as a reminder: IMSA was a gift from the people of Illinois to the human future. So from a very early age, the expectation to give something back to make a real difference in the world was introduced to her. “Each of us has unique gifts that we can share – time, treasure and talent – and it is our responsibility to make the best use of our gifts to make the world a better place.”

Would you like to join Dr. Plinske and support education in our community? You can, through our First One campaign. With this campaign, we are trying to raise $100,000 for first-generation scholarships. 100 percent of every dollar raised will go directly to scholarships and gifts received by Aug. 10 are eligible for a match through a challenge grant, bringing our impact to students to $200,000!

It’s not too late to start your own fundraising team, or you can support another team or make a general donation. Join us today at www.valencia.org/FirstOne

a closer look – a conversation with dr. joyce romano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She admits that even when she went to college, she had no idea she would be doing what she is doing now. It brings her back to her first-generation experience, “When you are a first-generation college student, your ideas of what is possible are so limited because you just don’t know what you don’t know.” Even in her career, she admits that it never crossed her mind to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer or pilot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

apply today for the hispanic business council scholarship!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship! Apply today for a chance to receive scholarship funding for the 2013-14 academic year!  

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

support first generation in college students

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

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

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

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faculty and staff giving committee award 5 student scholarships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

online fundraising campaign for first generation scholars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

Geraldine

Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE

President and CEO

Valencia College Foundation

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

the m. overstreet hospitality and tourism scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year! apply today!

Valencia Foundation

Are you currently enrolled in Valencia’s Hospitality and Tourism program?

Apply today for the M. Overstreet Hospitality Scholarship! 

Qualifying candidates must: 

  • Successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Enrolled in Valencias Hospitality and Tourism or Tourism Management program
  • Complete a 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship application  
  • Be enrolled in 3 credit hours or more
  • Be active participants in extracurricular activities 

If you qualify, apply today by completing the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship application found here: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

apply today for the hispanic business council scholarship!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship! Apply today for a chance to receive scholarship funding for the 2013-14 academic year!  

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

first one campaign kick-off

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

a first that will last a lifetime

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

First One Donate

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

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

first one efforts support first generation college students

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

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

First One Kickoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the 2013-14 retired air force, marine, army, navy (rafman) club scholarship now available!

The RAFMAN (Retired Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy) Club Scholarship is currently seeking a High School Graduate and resident of Orange and Seminole Counties

Applicants must also meet these additional requirements:

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

In order to apply for this scholarship, please visit https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 and complete the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarship application today!

the m. overstreet hospitality and tourism scholarship is available for the 2013-14 academic year! apply today!

Valencia Foundation

Are you currently enrolled in Valencia’s Hospitality and Tourism program?

Apply today for the M. Overstreet Hospitality Scholarship! 

Qualifying candidates must: 

  • Successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Enrolled in Valencias Hospitality and Tourism or Tourism Management program
  • Complete a 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship application  
  • Be enrolled in 3 credit hours or more
  • Be active participants in extracurricular activities 

If you qualify, apply today by completing the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship application found here: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

 

 

 

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

women’s executive council scholarship opportunity!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

spotlight story: valencia launches first ONE campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

discussion on philanthropy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

new vitae magazine is out!

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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! 

womens executive council 2013 scholarship application is now available! apply today!

 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

the progress energy scholarship has a new name! apply today for the duke energy scholarship or renewal!

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If you haven’t already, apply today for the Duke Energy (formerly Progress Energy) scholarship today!

Duke Energy continues to boost access to female students who are pursuing a career in the engineering field.

This scholarship awards $4,275 annually for 2 years at Valencia and 2 years at the University of Central Florida! 

Scholarship requirements:

  • Female students 19 years or older
  • Majoring in Engineering
  • Enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more)
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Resident of Orange or Osceola county
  • Applied for FAFSA at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

If you were awarded the Duke Energy Scholarship in the 2012-13 academic year, you may qualify for a scholarship renewal. 

In order to renew your scholarship, please contact Jen Bhagirath at (407) 582-3154 or via email at: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process. 

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

way to go crew!

crewlogoCommercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando had a successful golf outing on May 10. Net event proceeds from the event were $16,186.91. Funds raised at this event go to support the Commercial Real Estate Women Scholarship, designed for students studying in the fields of accounting, architecture, building construction, engineering, drafting and design, pre-law/paralegal studies, real estate and marketing. In all, CREW Orlando golf outings have raised $113,000 for student scholarships.

We send CREW a job well done, thank you for being our partner and helping students realize their dreams!

women’s executive council scholarship opportunity!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

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

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

http://valenciacollege.edu/return/

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

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

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

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

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

The open house events will be held:

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

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

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

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

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

financial aid event scheduled this summer

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

FAFSAFRIDAY

Osceola Campus
East Campus
West Campus

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

Atlas Lab – Building 2, Room 131

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» Campus Map
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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 5, Room 213

» Driving Directions
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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Building 11, Room 133

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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.”

women’s executive council scholarship available now!

Womens Executive Council 2013 scholarship application is now available! 

Throughout the year, Women’s Executive Council (WEC) raises money for Women’s Executive Council’s Scholarship & Endowment Funds Through corporate sponsors and direct donations.  These funds provide scholarships to women attending Valencia Community College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Seminole State College of Florida.  Our scholarships have provided a turning point in the lives of the many young women we have embraced. Through our financial support, we have encouraged their personal growth, self-improvement, professional development and leadership skills.  Since 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has awarded $118,600 in scholarship funds to women in Central Florida.

Scholarship Value: $1,972

Deadline: August 10, 2013

Eligibility:

  • Registered for at least 12 credits at University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including Hamilton Holt School evening), Valencia College, or Seminole College. Consideration will be given for academic hours with full-time employment.
  • 3.5 GPA and must be on educational path to a professional degree.

How to Apply:

Mail all required documents to:
WEC Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2895
Orlando, Florida 32802

For more information, rules, and requirements, please emailcommunications@wecOrlando.com

hispanic business council scholarship opportunity!

The Hispanic Business Council’s mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida area.

This scholarship was created by the HBC to assist Hispanic business students living in Osceola County. Two full-time scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each and two part-time scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Scholarship requirements:

Apply today by completing your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Additional scholarship details as well as other scholarship opportunities can be found at: http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/Scholarship_bulletin.cfm

spotlight story: elizabeth fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justin Harvey

Justin Harvey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sending appreciation to faculty and staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!”

are you a 2012-13 progress energy scholarship recipient?

The Progress Energy Scholarship is renewable!

If you were awarded the Progress Energy Scholarship in the 2012-13 academic year, you may qualify for a scholarship renewal. 

Progress Energy continues to boost access to female students who are pursuing a career in the engineering field.

If you are female, 19 years or older, currently enrolled in an engineering program, with a 3.0 GPA or higher, live in Orange or Osceola counties, and have documented financial need, you may renew your scholarship!

This scholarship awards $4,275 annually for 2 years at Valencia and 2 years at the University of Central Florida. 

In order to renew your scholarship, please contact Jen Bhagirath at (407) 582-3154 or via email at: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process. 

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

hispanic heritage scholarship applications due may 31, 2013! apply today!

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply…

Since its inception in 2000, the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HSFMO) has awarded more than $744,500 in scholarships to 195 students in Central Florida.  HHSFMO recognizes the continuing need for quality education, the financial challenges of our community, and the difference scholarship support can have in a student’s academic success.

HHSFMO officially launched its 2013 scholarship application period on Monday, April 15.  The application is now available to download at our website:  www.HispanicHeritageScholarshipFund.org

Application deadline is May 31, 2013.

All students should review the ”Eligibility Requirements,” and “Frequently Asked Questions” before completing the scholarship application.   Each scholarship will be credited directly to the student’s account at the college/university in which he/she is enrolled.  The scholarship award must be used for tuition, lab fees and/or books.

Scholarship information and photograph provided by: The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando.

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

Have you applied for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships

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Have you applied for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships yet?

Review committees are working diligently on reviewing and selecting application submissions. It’s not too late! Submit yours TODAY

One application is needed per academic year. To apply for a fall 2013 scholarship, please visit: 

https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466.

Second Priority deadline: June 1, 2013

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

Don’t let another minute pass by, submit your application now! 

progress energy available now for female engineering students! apply today!

Progress Energy is boosting access to female students who are pursuing a career in the engineering field.

If you are female, 19 years or older, currently enrolled in an engineering program, with a 3.0 GPA or higher, live in Orange or Osceola counties, and have documented financial need, you may qualify for the 2013-14 Progress Energy Scholarship. This scholarship awards $4,275 annually for 2 years at Valencia and 2 years at UCF!

In order to apply, visit: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466 and submit your 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

Your Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application may also be considered for any additional scholarships to which you may qualify for. These scholarship selections are based on donor discretion. 

The Progress Energy Scholarship is renewable. If you were awarded the Progress Energy Scholarship in the 2012-13 academic year, you may qualify for a scholarship renewal. You must meet all original requirements and be enrolled full time in an engineering-degree seeking program. 

In order to renew your scholarship, please contact Jen Bhagirath at (407) 582-3154 or via email at: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu in order to obtain further information on the scholarship renewal process. 

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

 

leaving a legacy: planned and deferred giving

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

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

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

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

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

Bequest Type

Sample Language

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

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

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

2013-14 women’s executive council scholarships available now!

Beginning in 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has granted scholarships to deserving women who are entering or attending colleges in the Central Florida area.  This year the Women’s Executive Council will be awarding scholarships of $1,972 each.

The $1,972 scholarship amount is to commemorate the year (1972) of founding of WEC.  For more information on the 1972 Society click here

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The student must be registered for at least 12 hours at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including the Hamilton Holt School evening division), Valencia College or Seminole State College. Consideration will be given for fewer academic hours with full-time employment.
  • The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must be on an educational path to a professional degree. Applications will not be considered without an official transcript (with the school seal or emailed directly by the school).  An official high school transcript is required if the applicant is entering college for the first time.
  • The application and all attachments must be received by the Scholarship Committee by the deadline noted below to be considered.

 Important Dates:

  • Application must be received by: August 10, 2013
  • Notification of award selection by September 10, 2013*  

*Due to the large volume of scholarships received, only the selected recipients will be notified. 

Complete the following steps:

  1. Download complete and mail in application found here: WEC_Scholarship_Application_2013.pdf
    398.6 KB
  2. Provide the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of three references other than family members with your application.
  3. In an essay form, please provide answers to the following:
  • Please explain why you should be awarded a Women’s Executive Council scholarship and what difference the scholarship would make to you in the pursuit of your educational and professional goals.
  • A summary of your educational background including awards received, extra-curricular activities, and related information should be provided.
  • Include what your interests are academically and professionally when you complete your course of study, and any community or other volunteer service with which you are involved.
  • Feel free to include any personal details regarding your particular situation, financial hardship or obstacles that you have had to overcome in the pursuit of your academic endeavors.  You may also attach a resume and letters of recommendation.

The completed application including the essay, the list of references, original official transcript, and all attachments must be received by 5:00 pm on August 10, 2013. 

Mail to:
Women’s Executive Council
WEC Scholarship Committee
PO BOX 2895
Orlando FL 32802

Please contact communications@wecOrlando.com for more information.

Scholarship details found at http://wecorlando.com/Scholarship_Information.html.

2013-14 valencia foundation scholarship commitee volunteers

Valencia Foundation

Valencia Foundation has launched the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application as of April 1, 2013 with a priority deadline of May 1, 2013. A second priority deadline is set for June 1, 2013.

It is our goal to select and award students prior the college’s fee payment deadline so that students are aware of the award and encouraged to continue their education in the fall of 2013. 

Because of the dedication of our faculty and staff, we were able to do this for our students! If you are interested in serving on the 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Committees, please feel free to contact Jen Bhagirath extension 3154 or via email at jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu.  

Thank you again for your dedication to our students. We can’t thank you enough!

For students: in order to apply for a 2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application, please visit: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

 

apply today for the hispanic heritage scholarship! submissions due may 31, 2013

If you haven’t already, apply today for the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship!

Since its inception in 2000, the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HSFMO) has awarded more than $744,500 in scholarships to 195 students in Central Florida.  HHSFMO recognizes the continuing need for quality education, the financial challenges of our community, and the difference scholarship support can have in a student’s academic success.

HHSFMO officially launched its 2013 scholarship application period on Monday, April 15.  The application is now available to download at our website:  www.HispanicHeritageScholarshipFund.org

Application deadline is May 31, 2012.

All students should review the ”Eligibility Requirements,” and “Frequently Asked Questions” before completing the scholarship application.   Each scholarship will be credited directly to the student’s account at the college/university in which he/she is enrolled.  The scholarship award must be used for tuition, lab fees and/or books.

Scholarship information and photograph provided by: The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando.

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!”

hispanic heritage scholarships available now! applications due may 31, 2013!

Since its inception in 2000, the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HSFMO) has awarded more than $744,500 in scholarships to 195 students in Central Florida.  HHSFMO recognizes the continuing need for quality education, the financial challenges of our community, and the difference scholarship support can have in a student’s academic success.

HHSFMO officially launched its 2013 scholarship application period on Monday, April 15.  The application is now available to download at our website:  www.HispanicHeritageScholarshipFund.org

Application deadline is May 31, 2012.

All students should review the ”Eligibility Requirements,” and “Frequently Asked Questions” before completing the scholarship application.   Each scholarship will be credited directly to the student’s account at the college/university in which he/she is enrolled.  The scholarship award must be used for tuition, lab fees and/or books.

Scholarship information and photograph provided by: The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando.

valencia foundation welcomes faculty and staff volunteers interested in serving on 2013-14 scholarship committees!

Foundation Logo

The Valencia Foundation Needs You!

The Valencia Foundation is in search of volunteers to serve on a committee that will review applications and select qualified, deserving students to receive scholarship funding for the 2013/14 academic year.

As a volunteer on this committee, you will be asked to compare individual donor and scholarship requirements to student scholarship applications and select the best fit candidate to receive an award.

The review process starts today and ends on May 31.

If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact Valencia Foundation Scholarship Coordinator Jen Bhagirath at jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu or call extension 3154.

Additional details can be found in the May 7, 2013 of The Grove: http://thegrove.valenciacollege.edu/volunteers-needed-for-201314-scholarship-application-review/?utm_source=MASTER+LIST&utm_campaign=b4601a83ce-The_Juice_Volume_3_Issue_175_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8f87859af4-b4601a83ce-277021265

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!

a closer look – valencia students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

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

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

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

Professor Ed Frame

Professor Ed Frame

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

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

Professor Frame's classroom in Second Life

Professor Frame’s classroom in Second Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have you applied for 2013-14 valencia foundation scholarships?

Image

Have you applied for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships yet?

2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Priority deadline: May 1, 2013

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship deadline: may 1, 2013!

Grainger - For the ones who get it done.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to apply for the 2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow!!! 

Are you studying Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades? 

Submissions are due by May 1, 2013 by 3:00 p.m. 

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

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • A list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why the student chose to study technical education, how their achievements and/or leadership roles have helped them grow individually and their future goals within the technical field.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study from Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades.
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard).
  • All required documents must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM May 1, 2013 to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger Application

Grainger Tools For Tomorrow Scholarship Program

All About Grainger

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

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

 

have you submitted your 2013-14 valencia foundation scholarship application? apply today!

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2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Priority deadline: May 1, 2013

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship deadline: may 1, 2013!

Grainger - For the ones who get it done.

Are you studying Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades? 

There is still time to apply for the 2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tommorrow Scholarship!

Submissions are due by May 1, 2013 by 3:00 p.m. 

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

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • A list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why the student chose to study technical education, how their achievements and/or leadership roles have helped them grow individually and their future goals within the technical field.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study from Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades.
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard).
  • All required documents must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM May 1, 2013 to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger Application

Grainger Tools For Tomorrow Scholarship Program

All About Grainger

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

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

 

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

new grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship deadline: may 1, 2013!

 

Grainger - For the ones who get it done.

There is still time to apply! Grainger Tools for Tommorrow has extended their deadline!

2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship

Are you studying Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades? 

You may qualify for the 2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship! Apply Today!

Submissions are due by May 1, 2013 by 3:00 p.m. 

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

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • A list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why the student chose to study technical education, how their achievements and/or leadership roles have helped them grow individually and their future goals within the technical field.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study from Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades.
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard).
  • All required documents must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM May 1, 2013 to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger Application

Grainger Tools For Tomorrow Scholarship Program

All About Grainger

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

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

 

have you applied for 2013-14 valencia foundation scholarships?

Image

 

Have you applied for 2013-14 Valencia Foundation scholarships yet?

2013-14 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available!

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

Priority deadline: May 1, 2013

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

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

grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship deadline – april 15, 2013!

Grainger - For the ones who get it done.

2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship

Are you studying Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades? 

You may qualify for the 2013-14 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship! Apply Today!

Submissions are due by April 15, 2013 by 3:00 p.m. 

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

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • A list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why the student chose to study technical education, how their achievements and/or leadership roles have helped them grow individually and their future goals within the technical field.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study from Electronic Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Welding, Automotive, Construction, Facilities Maintenance or other Industrial Trades.
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard).
  • All required documents must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM April 1, 2013 to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger Application

Grainger Tools For Tomorrow Scholarship Program

All About Grainger

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

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

 

scholarship recipient photo shoot

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

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

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

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

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

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jill Wileden
Resource Development Manager
Valencia Foundation

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.

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael McLaughlin

Michael McLaughlin

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

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

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

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

a closer look at valencia’s nursing program

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

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

Here is a look at the areas of study:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valencia’s nursing program also relies on tutors. They are an invaluable tool to student success and instructors find that students are more likely to open up and work through a problem with a tutor because they are peers. Nicole Witek is currently a nursing tutor and hopes to work in wo