oh what a night!

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

Distinguished Alumni Award 2014 recipients:

(pictured L to R): R. McGill, K. Adams, W. Colwell, J. Kimberly, K. Walker, F. Beltrán
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Post Eblast

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Check out the photos from this year’s amazing event!

congratulations valencia alumnus mikhail elliott ’10!

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

Mikhail

 

a night of celebration!

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

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

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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.”

 

after-hours wine and cheese reception

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Faculty and staff giving at Valencia

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

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

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

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

2014 Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Members

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

association of honors alumni transfer scholarship

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

 

valencia graduate doing it big!

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

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

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

SGA campus leaders send appreciation for student scholarship support

Student Government Association (SGA) presidents gathered across multiple Valencia campus locations to express appreciation for student scholarship support. The result? A heartwarming note of gratitude!

Your support is key to our success

Your support is key to our success.

On behalf of Valencia College and the students we serve, please accept our appreciation for your contributions which provide deserving individuals access to education in our community.

As Valencia College student government leaders, we represent driven and motivated students. Unlike the college generation of years ago, most of our peers are often balancing family, work and community commitments.

The combined efforts of our donors help students through funding for essential and key needs like scholarships, books, tuition and supplies. All Valencia students greatly benefit from the support they receive, no matter how large or modest the award.

We appreciate your support of students like us!

Valencia Student Government Association Presidents

spirit of the season

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

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

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

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

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

winter blessings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy holidays!

valencia homecoming 2013

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

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

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

 

going fast!

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

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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

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.
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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

help make a difference!

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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

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.

endowed chair sparked recent TEDx ValenciaCollegeLive

TEDxValenciaCollegeLiveStudents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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!”

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

alumni and friends reunion/reception!

dental ready

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

dhr

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.”

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.

scholarship thank you

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

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

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

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

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

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

faculty update on endowed chair projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

valencia nursing students heart femmes de coeur

Valencia College Students Thank Femmes de Coeur
Valencia College nursing students share their appreciation to Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) for the recent $12,500 donation to Valencia Foundation. This generous contribution is earmarked to support Valencia College nursing students through the Femmes de Coeur Endowed Nursing Scholarship.
Femmes de Coeur is an Orlando based, not-for-profit volunteer organization comprised of a unique group of community women volunteering time and sharing a common goal to serve the needs of the community. Their uniqueness is reflected through partnerships with existing organizations to accomplish their mission. The sharing of resources allows Femmes de Coeur to help to a larger community audience.

endowed chairs for learning leadership at valencia

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. The endowed chair program at the Valencia Foundation, with support and resources from many community partners, provide Valencia faculty the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

Valencia Foundation is honored to have the support of our dedicated individual and corporate partners. Valencia College and our students benefit from the kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.

Endowed Chair Recipients (2012-2013)


Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences

Suzette Dohany: Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications

Yolanda Gonzalez: Howard Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages

Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development

Mabel Machin: John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business

Julia Nudel: Lockheed Martin Chair in Math

Bonnie Oliver: Bank of America Chair in Business

Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Nursing & Allied Health

Marva Pryor: Bank of America Chair in Business Management

Richard Sansone: University Club Chair in Humanities

Brenda Schumpert: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science

Irina Struganova: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences

Elizabeth Wanielista: Wayne M. Densch Chair in Geriatrics

Joan Alexander: University Club Chair in Computers

Kenneth Bourgoin: HuntonBrady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management

Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology

Steven Cunningham: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise

Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health

Deymond Hoyte: SunTrust Teaching Chair in Economic Development and Business Education

Jim Inglis: Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair

Chris Klinger: Tupperware Worldwide Chair in Community Quality

Ilyse Kusnetz: Eugene & Jessie Drey Endowment of English Speaking Union

Pamela Lapinski: Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing

Adrian Manley: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

James May: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Teaching Chair

Pierre Pilloud: Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant & Food Management

Andrew Ray: Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering

Suzanne Salapa: Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment:

Pamela Sandy: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science

starting the week on a thankful note

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

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

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

– Laura Cordoba

scholarship recipient thank you letter

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Yolande McKay

words of appreciation from faculty member

Valencia College professor James May was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year and is the 2011/2012 University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology recipient.

In the note below Dr. May shares his gratitude to the Endowed Chair program, provides a ‘taste of technology’ and explains the advancements this program has provided for Valencia students.

Every year I like to do a little something to thank the Valencia Foundation and an organization who sponsors Valencia’s endowed chair program. This year my gratitude is extended to the University Club of Orlando. The video below is just a small sample of what I am working on this year thanks to the University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology.

Through this endowed chair I have been able to purchase supplies and learn more about how to use green screening technologies to develop authentic, open source content for students. For example, this year while in Washington for a conference, I visited the National Archive and learned about a letter written in broken English to the then president of the United States by a young Fidel Castro.

In the letter, Fidel requests a “10 dollars bill U.S.” from the president.  This letter is now a combination Grammar & Writing assignment for students, infused with history and much more, and thanks to the green screen technology I can introduce these grammar and history concepts from the steps of the National Archive.

Using technology from a previous endowed chair, I am able to make videos and close caption them (please note that during the first 5 seconds of the video below, that you can chose to switch to a captioned version by clicking on the link inside the interactive YouTube video).

Later this semester, I will also have the ability to add a picture in picture American Sign Language interpreter to the lesson so that I can better reach another population of students. In fact, a large part of this endowed chair work for the rest of the year deals with working to make content more ADA compliant.

Long story short, I want to say thank you. Endowed chairs really make a difference in the work I can do for my students.

5K: family of first responders encourage participants

Dear Officers, Deputies, Firefighters, Family & Friends,

Throughout the years, we have lost many Law Enforcement Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters both in the line of duty and after their service. While many of these Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters have not been acknowledged we would like to recognize these fallen heroes in the Valencia College Annual, Run Walk and Roll 5K. Not only have they protected the citizens and streets of our communities, some may have also given their lives.

This year, we would like to honor and recognize Charles “Charlie” Edwards of Orlando Police Department, ILona Edwards of Orlando Police Department, Brandon Coates of Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Callin of Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Christine “Tina” Collyer Firefighter of Orlando Fire Department.

The family, friends, Brothers and Sisters of Law Enforcement would be honored to have you, as well as your family and friends, to participate in honoring these fallen heroes. The race will kick off March 31st at 6 p.m. at Valencia College West Campus! Please see Valencia 5K flyer regarding race registration, background about the fallen heroes, and race flyers. We ask of you to please print out the Valencia 5K flyer and post them around your department to help increase participation in honoring our Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters.

If you can participate, please sign up and spread the word. All of this year’s funds from Valencia’s 5K go to public safety scholarships at the college.

If you have Law Enforcement, fire and EMT contacts, please pass this on to them. We hope to have record participation this year. Also, please send throughout the department and agency for I do not have everyone’s email addresses.

Registration for the Valencia 5K is on the following web site:

http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/

The registration for the 5K is on the right side of this site. Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Emily Edwards

student shares her gratitude

I would like to say THANK YOU so much for sponsoring this trip as a scholarship donor. I can’t express enough how much I am truly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of something so amazing here at Valencia such as the study abroad program. This will be an experience that I will be happy to share with not only my family but to my friends, current and future classmates.

Coming from a single parent household and being the oldest of 5 kids I have never had the opportunity that I have now to travel, I’ve always had to work to help my mother provide for my other siblings so there was never any time or room for me to explore or to enjoy going on vacations.

Again, I am truly thankful for this opportunity, this is the confidence that I needed to push me to continue to work hard. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A. Austin
2011/12 Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient

22 reasons to celebrate

Take Stock in Children of Orange County, one of Valencia’s signature programs, in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, pairs community leader mentors with students.

This year, 22 seventh-grade students from local middle schools will be inducted into the program, bringing the total number of participating students to 130.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Take Stock in Children of Orange County will hold a ceremony to recognize and celebrate its new and returning student participants, as well as their parents, mentors, community leaders and corporate sponsors.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the Special Events Center (Bldg. 8 ) on Valencia College’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

Take Stock in Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed, starting at age 12, by providing college scholarships, volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to the program’s success.

“The generous support of Take Stock in Children by founding partner Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and Mears Transportation has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “This is making a substantial impact on our community.”

Last year, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Valencia Foundation in support of Orange County’s Take Stock in Children.

Attending Thursday’s ceremony will be:  Commissioner Daisy Lynum, City of Orlando; Bill Sublette and Nancy Robbinson, Orange County School Board; Ron Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools; Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports; Linda Landman Gonzalez, vice president, Orlando Magic, and president of the Valencia Foundation Board of Directors; Betsey Bell, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; and T. Picton Warlow IV, Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation.

Guest speakers at the ceremony will be: Yvonne Chang of Disney Vacation Development, Inc.; Nick Anderson, former Magic player and community ambassador for the Orlando Magic; Ramon Ojeda, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando;  Lucas Boyce, director, Orlando Magic;  Maritza Martinez, assistant vice president, University of Central Florida; Ed Bustos, director, Rollins College; Shanna Bender, mentor, Design Studio 15; and Russ Fritz, mentor, Highwinds.

This year’s inductees include students from Howard Middle School (Natalie Menendez, Tonya Harris-Torres, Joann Mauricette, Dashicka Streeter, Briana Lawrence, Keith Blanding, Sarashly Fonseca-Gonzalez and Cassidy Harding); Lee Middle School (Samantha Perez, Destiny Campbell and Isaiah Hill); and Lockhart Middle School (Alice Brown, Ashley Demosthene, Lorenzo King, Benjamin Roldan, Tony Livert, Dionna Blackman, Coby Cook, Shelby Putnal, Eileen Urbieta, James Churchill and Raphael Powell).

Valencia College introduced Take Stock in Children to Orange County in 2008. The first class of student participants is now in the eleventh grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

Since 1995, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving students in the state of Florida, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships.

To volunteer as a mentor, provide a tax-deductible contribution or to obtain more information about Take Stock in Children of Orange County, please contact 407-582-3336, takestockinchildren@valenciacollege.edu or visit our website at http://valenciacollege.edu/tsic.

looking to the future


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

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

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

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

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

Warmly,
Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE
President and CEO

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

the results are in: tina’s turnout for scholarships

Remembering Tina Collyer. At the event Fire Chief John Miller (pictured here) spoke to friends and family and honored their commitment to keeping Tina's spirit of service alive.

Tina’s Turn Out was established by friends and community members in memory and celebration of Tina Collyer’s life.  With the proceeds from the inaugural Sept. 24th walk, the Tina Collyer scholarship has reached $9,400 and is almost half way toward becoming a perpetual scholarship. 

Tina Collyer, a Valencia graduate and an Orlando firefighter, had a passion for helping young Explorers fulfill their dreams of becoming firefighters.   Once endowed, the Tina’s Heart scholarship will be earmarked for students, especially Explorers, who wish to certify as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at Valencia College. 

The EMT-Paramedic Program is designed for students who are interested in providing pre-hospital emergency care to acutely ill or injured patients. A stumbling block for many is the expense of completing the EMT program. 

Help us with the next steps.  Please contribute in memory of Tina Collyer and to help future EMT students.  You can contribute online at www.valencia.org, just click on Give Now and make a donation. 

If you would prefer to mail a check, write ‘In Memory of Tina Collyer’ in the memo field, and send to: Valencia Foundation, 190 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.  Every gift, no matter how large or modest, will make a difference to our students.

Honoring Tina Collyer, community members create a scholarship in her honor.
Thank you to all who participated. Every gift, no matter how large or modest matters! You can still support future EMT students in memory of Tina Collyer by visiting http://www.VALENCIA.org and click on ‘Make a Donation’

More photos from this event are available on Facebook via Valencia Alumni Association or click here

student thank you: sylvia

I would like to thank you for the scholarship that was given to me. I am a single mother who started my venture to return to college almost two years ago. This spring will be my final semester here at Valencia. I will be transferring to UCF and continue my studies there. My passion is to work with children. I want to get my degree in psychology and work in the school system or with the Department of Children and Families.

Since I came back to school I have been a full-time student and have juggled work, being a mother and school and have been able to maintain good grades. I am very proud of my achievements and thank you for the scholarship, because without scholarships like these, continuing my education would not have been possible. I have worked hard and am pleased with where I am academically. I am a very determined person and I want to be a wonderful example to my two sons and other children. I want them to know that the sky is the limit in life, and as long as you dedicate yourself to something, no matter what anyone says, your goals can and will be achieved. It is never too late! Scholarships like the one you have given me are truly a blessing. Thank you for your generosity.

congratulations

Congratulations to our Valencia Foundation President and CEO, Geraldine Gallagher for receiving the Women’s Achievement Award in Education at the 39th annual Women’s Executive Council luncheon.
 
Additional kudos to Ilene Wilkins, President UCP of Central Florida for her dedication and volunteer service she received Central Florida Woman of the Year.

With thanks to all of the 2010 honorees for your support within of our community: 

– Hillary Bressler, .Com Marketing, Inc., Founder and CEO

– Christi Ashby, Editor, Owner of Orange Appeal Magazine

– Elinor Steele Zegelbone, VP Global Comm and PR, Tupperware Brands

– Leigh Ann Horton, Advantage Integration Technology

– Eva Krzewinski, Pearls for Women

– Geraldine Thompson, Representative District 39

– Geraldine Gallagher, President and CEO, Valencia Foundation

– Laura Lee Shields, Bodiford Law Group

WEC’s first annual Women’s Achievement Week was held in 1972 honoring women in the categories of Arts & Science, Business, Community Service, Education, Government, Communications and Downtown Woman of the Year.  The program was expanded in 1987 to include awarding of scholarships to deserving students enrolled in our local colleges.

The 2010 Women’s Executive Council scholarship recipients included Valencia students Deborah Bukowski and Francoise Kogan with additional community scholarships to Randi Alberry, Traci Campana, Jaquelyne Fulco, Alice Pham Le, Tracey Oliver, Marie Sabbagh, Lynn Slivinski and Haydee Torres.  We wish you all great success as you pursue your academic goals!

faculty member gives thanks

Dr. James S. May, Professor of English as a Second Language, expresses his appreciation for the endowed chair process:

Thank you!  Click here for a video of Dr. May's work.

Every year in June, endowed chair recipients submit a form that quantifies how funds are utilized over the course of a year. Unfortunately, reports of this nature often fail to capture the depth and breadth of the impact endowed chairs have on students, faculty, and staff. Many of the most profound effects that endowed chairs have go unrecorded because, simply put, they are difficult to quantify. This post is an effort to qualify, rather than quantify, a few of these effects.

It is easy to quantify the purchase of Camtasia (screen-casting software) and the use of Jing and Screenjelly (Free Web 2.0 applications that allow students and other teachers to make screen-casted videos themselves), but how do I quantify the looks on my students’ faces when they first watch individualized feedback videos for essays they have written? Or when they Jing their own videos and tweet or facebook them to their friends? How do I quantify the looks on colleagues’ faces when I show them the possibilities that these new technologies offer?

It’s easy to quantify the purchase of Dragon Naturally Speaking (software which turns my voice to text), but how do I quantify the feelings of inclusion felt by a Deaf student watching a closed captioned YouTube instructional mash-up I have made? How do I quantify the feelings of inclusion felt by a soon-to-be mother home on bed rest who sits next to me “digitally” as we go over one of her papers on a digital/video conference call?

I can quantify the money I spend buying books or going to a conference for training and the purchase of software and hardware to improve materials for my students. I can list the tools and tricks: Adobe CS4, Soft Chalk, Flip Cameras, WordSmith, Camtasia, Snag It, Voice Thread, Word Clouds, SCORMS, Screencasts, Mashup Videos, etc… But how do I quantify the moment of realization when I tell a student, “No, you don’t have to buy a book for this class. Go ahead and put that money to better use. Your book is online and it is free, interactive, and embedded with audio and video”? How do I quantify the charge I get when I see the light bulb come on in the mind of a student because of something I am doing as a result of an endowed chair? Or when a colleague asks me, “Hey James, can you show me how you did that?” Or when lab staff asks, “Hey, can we use that, or will you come teach us that?”

Last year, I was privileged to receive the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair. As a result, this fall I will pilot a free digital text for writing students, and the text includes embedded practice tests and quizzes. I will also be offering this content to others who wish to reduce the cost of texts for their students. During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years, I utilized funds from the  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Endowed Chair to bring learning leaders into EAP classrooms and to enhance student engagement opportunities through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. This year, as the recipient of the Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment, I have the honor of continuing my work and exploring how vocabulary learning can be enhanced through the use of digital corpora. I would like to thank these families for helping me to do what I do, but the word “thanks” can’t really quantify my sincere appreciation for what these endowments do for teaching and learning. Even expressing the word “thanks” in the various languages of my students just doesn’t get it. So, in an effort to better qualify and give others a better feel for how endowed funds continue to cultivate the learning landscape for teachers and students, I have created a brief showcase to share some of the things endowed chairs have allowed me to do with my students.

The interactive word cloud above this post was created to give you a brief glimpse of how endowed chair funds have allowed me to turn static text into dynamic learning. So, take a moment and think back to your college days, remember those heavy, expensive, and considerably dense texts and then roll over the words in the cloud, click on them, and imagine how these new technologies are changing learning for students.

With sincere thanks,

Professor James May

James S. May
Professor of English as a Second Language
Visit online at:  TeachTricks.org
Valencia Community College
jmay@valenciacc.edu

a grateful grad

A Grateful Grad, by David Urena ’09, for VITAE Magazine, Summer/Fall 2010

Rejected. The one word that flashed across my mind after being denied acceptance into the University of Florida. I didn’t apply to any other colleges. UF had the best architecture program in the state, and I had placed all my hopes into getting in.

So after graduating from Lyman High School, when most of my friends went off to college, I stayed behind in Altamonte Springs. I transitioned from a part-time to full-time employee at Panera Bread, where I worked throughout high school. In a year’s time, I was promoted to middle management. Although the pay was very little for the workload I had, I stuck with it hoping an upper management position would open up. However, when new management came in, the restaurant underwent downsizing, and I was the first one out. Rejected again.

I was 19, hopeless and confused. I wondered what I would do next in life. Reluctant to give the workforce another try, I mustered just enough money and courage to take courses at Valencia Community College. Although I enrolled part-time, every class engaged my interests and challenged my curiosity. Along the way, I met fascinating classmates, worked a few great jobs, including a land development-drafting job, and was inspired by the best faculty and staff around. I want to especially acknowledge and thank a few people:

 • Richard H. Weinsier, Director of the Math Support Center
While working as a tutor in your Math Support Center, I met several fascinating people and made a new family in all of you.

 • Leesa L. Sward, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Your Biology of Human Sexuality course was both enlightening and entertaining.

 • Thomas S. Zurosky, Professor of Chemistry
Attending your Chemistry II course was like being in a laboratory and comedy club at the same time – not every chemistry student can say that!

 • Areej Zufari, Professor of Humanities
You were the only non-literature professor who took an intrinsic interest in my writing. The passion I hold for creative writing is still very strong, mainly due to your encouragement.

 • James L. Chase, Professor of Economics
You are the first Renaissance man I have ever met, and I was fortunate enough to be your student.

 • Merton A. Hollister, Professor of Physics
You are a brilliant thinker who challenged me, through the instrument of Physics, to view the world in different perspectives.

 • Chris D. Borglum, Professor of English
You infused an appreciation for literature I would not have had if it were not for your zealous instruction.

 • Richard L. Russell, Professor of Mathematics
I followed you through seven different mathematics courses, including a sit-in for self-enrichment! I am minoring in mathematics, in large part, due to your impact on my mathematical interests.

 • James D. Lang, Professor of Mathematics
Your calm, collected teachings resonated strongly in my mathematical reasoning and, for that, I have a firm understanding of multivariable calculus today.

 • Patsy G. Buckley, Professor of Student Success
You played an important role in my transition from a good high school student to a great college student through the very first course I took at Valencia: Student Success.

Eventually, I found enough courage and hope to reapply to the University of Florida. This time, I was accepted into a program I was more passionate about: civil engineering.

I hope my story can be one of many that will help and inspire anyone who got rejected and felt like giving up.

Again, my warmest thanks go to those mentioned above for making Valencia a better place to start.

Photo courtesy of David Urena

nursing graduate fulfills lifelong dream

On May 5, when Pamm Danley-Piester walks across the stage during the pinning ceremony for Valencia’s 85 nursing graduates, she will fulfill a life-long dream.  The 43-year-old mother of three always longed to work in nursing, a profession that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives

Like so many women, Pamm’s dreams were derailed after marrying young and raising her three boys, Trevor, Brandon and Brent, now 28, 20 and 17.  A satisfying career in medical transcription didn’t extinguish her dream.  Like most who are drawn to nursing, Pamm is motivated by a deep desire to help others.

“My mom was the neighborhood nurse,“ explains Pamm. “She took care of everybody. Both of my parents instilled a sense of caring for others and giving back. My husband Jerry and I live by that value and have passed it on to our children.”

In 2006, with her youngest son nearing high school age, the St. Cloud resident summoned the courage to rekindle an old dream and enrolled at Valencia.  Its nursing program is recognized as one of the finest anywhere.  In the most recent exam required to become a registered nurse (National Council Licensure Examination), Valencia graduates had a higher pass rate than both the state and national average with a whopping 92.92 percent pass rate for first-time takers.

Pat Woodbery, director of Valencia’s nursing program, underscores the support available to students like Pamm. “Nursing is a very difficult program but the camaraderie students share helps them go through each step together.  It can be tackled in manageable chunks.”

Pamm worried that she would be the oldest student in her classes. She worried that after so many years away from school, math would prove too difficult.

“The professors at Valencia are phenomenal,” says Pamm who quickly realized that life experience gave her a unique perspective on health care.

In 2004, Pamm’s terminally ill mother moved in with her family. The skill and gentleness with which hospice nurses tended to her mother had a profound impact on her and the entire family.  She now wants to specialize in geriatric care.

“My faith grows stronger, as I get older, that what gets us through life is not what we can get but what we can give,” says Pamm. It took almost four years to complete the requirements for her degree.

Pamm isn’t done yet. She plans on enrolling in the University of South Florida online program and has her sights set on a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then a master’s degree. Ultimately teaching is where she hopes to make her mark.

Her more immediate goal is a position with Florida Hospital where she did several clinical rotations. Pamm also worked at St. Cloud Hospital, the Council on Aging, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Her advice to anyone thinking of going back to college after a long delay in their studies is to realize they can do it. “Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream,” says this new Valencia nursing graduate whose fear of math proved unfounded.  In her last semester, Pamm earned an A in statistics.

Nursing Graduate Fulfills Lifelong Dream.

student gives thanks

You have not realized this yet, but you are helping me achieve my dreams in a country of limitless potential. Those dreams will be a foundation for my children and the generation that proceeds long after my legacy is nothing but a whisper.

I do not come from poor beginnings nor do I come from an extremely wealthy family line; however, my family has always reminded me of the importance of education. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing me with this type of assistance. Thank you for setting an example in a society that keeps our greater generation growing into bright individuals.

 Jayson F., computer engineering
2009/10 Foundation Scholarship Recipient
 

donor spotlight: C.T. Hsu

C.T. Hsu and Valencia President Sandy Shugart
C.T. Hsu and Valencia President Sandy Shugart

Foundation Director Emeritus C.T. Hsu, president of C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A., is a true philanthropist.

In 1994, he established the Hsu Family Endowed Scholarship at Valencia to support minority students pursuing higher education. In 2006, C.T. and his wife, Jean, contributed $150,000 to establish the Hsu Family East Campus Development Fund to support teaching and learning, which resulted in a $600,000 endowment. His family’s giving commitment also includes hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked to scholarships, faculty endowed chairs and program support. 

He also helped bring the pre-architecture program to Valencia, which allows students to start the program at affordable tuition while remaining close to home. The program now matriculates directly to the University of Florida, and C.T. is committed to developing transfer scholarships. 

C.T. has been instrumental in attracting new donors and major contributors to The President’s Circle. In 2002, he secured the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orlando Chapter as an annual donor to Valencia Foundation with more than $100,000 in contributions. Always one of the first to sponsor foundation events, C.T. also encourages his company and community organizations to sponsor Valencia Foundation events as well. 

His willingness to leverage both his professional and personal relationships in support of Valencia student scholarships has been instrumental in the continued success of Valencia Foundation and its fundraising efforts. 

Professionally, C.T.’s creative design genius is visible throughout Valencia’s campus locations, from the East Campus Criminal Justice Institute and Osceola’s flagship building to the soon-to-emerge UCF/Valencia joint-use facility on the West Campus. Personally, his leadership and enthusiasm are priceless assets to Valencia Community College and Valencia Foundation.

donor spotlight: Sue and Steve Foreman

Sue got involved with Valencia in 1976, as part of a Junior Woman’s Club group working in partnership with Valencia Community College to create the Parent Resource Center, a parent education and family support center.

Through this twentyfive year endeavor, and working with other Valencia Community College community outreach programs, Sue and Steve’s commitment to Valencia grew. Sue has provided service to the college and foundation as a board member since the late 80s. Their call to service is to make college degrees possible for promising, eager students with financial need.

Sue and Steve, and the Foreman family, have been significant donors to the foundation, creating in 1994 an endowed faculty chair in honor of Steve’s mother, which today is worth almost $100,000; providing significant support to Valencia students during hurricane relief efforts; and supporting various specific scholarship funds. Their support to the scholarship capital campaign also exceeds $100,000.

Philanthropy is a Foreman family affair – Sue and Steve and their children, Karen and Doug and their spouses, are all actively involved in supporting Valencia. Most recently, the family created an additional scholarship in memory and honor of Sue’s mom, Esther Bagg Hubbard, recognizing her legacy as a businesswoman, friend, athlete, and sports fan who thrived in the most challenging of circumstances. This scholarship supports women who demonstrate grit and moxie and who just need a belief in their opportunity to open the door to a lifetime of success.

Steve and Sue believe in providing a bridge for individuals who need education as a pathway to their economic self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment. Currently, Sue is working to engage significant philanthropists in Winter Park to create an endowment to benefit qualified Winter Park graduates. Their continued and innovative commitment to Valencia is a stellar example of individuals who have made a remarkable difference in the life of this college.

Reprinted from: Valencia Foundation Biennial Report

another successful silent auction

Student Development Coordinator, Victor Collazo shared great news with the college yesterday afternoon!

We conducted our annual Lost & Found Silent Auction today at the West Campus Special Events Center. All proceeds go to the Valencia Foundation general fund for student scholarships. Thus far we have collected $1,125. This does not include those that have not picked up their items and proceeds from our sale next week. We expect to exceed last year’s record of $1,500.

 Thank you!!!

  • Security for collecting and organizing the items.
  • Zia-ur-Rehman Ansari, Valencia Volunteer Student Coordinator for organizing this event
  • The West Campus Student Development Team (Staff and Students Leader Team) for doing an incredible job this week. The hard work was worth it in the end.
  • All those that participated. Some even added more to what they owed knowing it is going to scholarships. (A special ‘thank you ‘ to you.)
  • And the Valencia Foundation for their support today with collecting funds and for your great work assisting our students with scholarships.

Thank you for spreading the greatness that is Valencia Community College, Victor!

student thanks foundation board

I would first like to thank each and every one of you for allowing me to be a recipient of the Valencia Foundation as well as organizations such as The University Club of Orlando that so generously took the time to invest in my future. It is an absolute honor to be here and briefly share my experiences at Valencia Community College. I’m sure I can speak for all the other recipients when I say, your generosity has made a positive impact in all our lives and that is something I do not take lightly. With the substantial donation I have received you all have said that you believe in “me and my abilities to be a productive member of society”. 

 As a military veteran returning to the unknown of civilian life, I was quite apprehensive and a little nervous about returning to school because I realized that school would be a tremendous investment in terms of my time, energy and finances.  I did my research and found that Valencia has by far one of the best programs in regards to the career path I wanted to pursue. With the financial assistance I have received, it has made my educational pursuit a bit easier and therefore enjoyable.

 I do feel very confident that once I have completed my program, I will be able to utilize the skills and knowledge that I have acquired to be successful. As I look forward to completing my program next summer and beginning a career in sound production, I do plan to continue my course studies at Valencia pre-majoring in journalism and from there transferring to UCF.

 This experience thus far has been nothing short of invigorating and liberating. My only regret is that I waited so long to continue my education.

 Since, you all have chosen to invest in me as well as numerous others, I cannot be more proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful organization.

 Again, I thank you.

Daphne C.
University Club of Orlando Recipient
2009/10

dog’s best friend???

Valencia student Roxy Jean Smith turns to blogging to pay tribute to Valencia’s finest!

Reprinted from Roxy Jean Smith’s professional blog (http://bit.ly/6cJnpJ):

Professor Patricia Boyle has been teaching 20th Century Humanities at Valencia for 12 years and enjoys every minute of it. “I genuinely like the subject matter,” said Boyle, “if I wasn’t teaching it, I would be reading about it and studying it.”

Boyle received her degree from Montclair State College in New Jersey and has taught at other institutions like the University of Central Florida, Seminole Community College and on United States Navy ships during the Gulf War in the early nineties.

Humanities isn’t just about art and history, it is about people. “I have a natural curiosity about what makes people tick and why things happen,” said Boyle.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower believed that you can “promote peace through understanding.” Humanities is sought to do the same thing, by understanding people and the history of a different culture we can learn to respect and appreciate the people and land.

Boyle’s real love is in helping animals and being kind to the Earth, which is the main focus of the Humane Education class she teaches.

Humane Education has only been offered at Valencia for the last three years and has just recently become an official class that is now recognized statewide.

“This class isn’t just about helping animals,” said Boyle, “it is about how humans relate to each other.”

The class frequently has guest speakers and goes on different field trips throughout the semester. Some of the field trips include going to the Orlando Science Center, The Holocaust Center, the pound, animal shelters and the humane society.

Boyle has given humane education presentations at elementary and high schools. The presentations focus on how to treat animals properly and the importance of preserving the environment.

In 2003, Professor Boyle and a few of her friends got together to form their own organization to help and rescue animals. Buddies for Life, Inc. is about humane education and the importance of pet adoption.

Buddies for Life’s motto is, “A vision of a loving, permanent home for every pet.” They have rescued and successfully adopted 1,012 animals.

The organization mostly rescues dogs, but they occasionally get a few cats. When they receive an animal they get them updated on their shots and have groomed before they are put up for adoption.

“I love animals and I want to do what I can to help,” said Boyle.

Professor Boyle strives to make a difference in the life of her students and animals through teaching humanities and humane education classes. The most valuable asset Valencia Community College has to offer to the students is its professors; without them Valencia would have no purpose.

Thank you, Roxy for calling attention to the Valencia professors who strive to change the lives of their students (and animals) everyday!!!

look to this day

orlando magic youth fund

Many thanks to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund for support of Valencia, Take Stock in Children and our community as a whole!

Orlando, Fla. –The Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF), a fund of the McCormick Foundation, in a surprise ceremony, will present checks totaling nearly $700,000 to 23 grantee organizations from three counties in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole and Osceola).

The presentation will be held at the OMYF Grant Recipient Awards night on Tuesday, January 5 at the Orlando Museum of Art from 4:30-6:30 p.m. As part of the surprise check presentation, the organizations will be greeted by Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw.

With funds raised through OMYF, and the match provided by the McCormick Foundation, a total of $689,000 in grants will be distributed to these charities. In addition to the Grant Recipient Awards night, the organizations will be recognized at halftime of the Wednesday, January 6 game vs. the Toronto Raptors (tip-off at 7:00 p.m.).

The beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF “VIP” Committee and then approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors after an extensive five-phase process which began in July of 2009. “Through the OMYF we are committed to ensuring the team provides a positive, encouraging example,” said Vice President of Community Relations/OMYF and Government Affairs Linda Landman-Gonzalez. “We hope to leave an indelible mark in our community through our charitable endeavors and are committed to that task. It is our privilege to be able to honor those who help to make Central Florida a better place.”

OMYF focuses on helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk, by supporting programs and partnerships that empower families and change lives. OMYF, founded in 1988, became a fund of the McCormick Foundation in 1994. OMYF is supported through a team effort by Magic players, coaches, staff and the DeVos Family, in partnership with season ticket holders, corporate partners, fans and the community and matching funds provided by the McCormick Foundation.

Since inception, nearly $15 million has been granted through OMYF to local nonprofit organizations. The 2009 grant recipients: A Gift of Music, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida, Boys Town of Central Florida, Bridges of Light Foundation, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Community Coordinated Care for Children, Crealde School of Arts, Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Gift for Swimming, GROWS Literacy Council, Harbor House of Central Florida, Health Care Center for the Homeless, HEBNI Nutrition Consultants, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Justice and Peace Office, Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando Marine Institute, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Shepherd’s Hope, Steinway Society of Central Florida, The Salvation Army, Valencia Community College Foundation

Reprinted from post by Andrew Melnick, HowardtheDunk.com blogger.

kudos

From left to right: Rich Maladecki, President CFHLA, Jim Inglis, Program Director, Hospitality & Tourism and Restaurant Management and Donna Marino, Manager Valencia Foundation.

Congratulations to Professor Jim Inglis and the hospitality students on receiving $8,500 from CFHLA for the Hospitality Program. This marks the 10th year in a row that CFHLA has donated substantial funds to the program with a portion going towards supporting the Front Desk Lab on West campus, a hotel-style lab that features front desk guest software.

In addition to the grants, each semester the CFHLA recruits several current Valencia Hospitality students to intern at the corporate office of the association. This intership provides an opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and to participate in numerous industry and community events.

Source: The Bulletin, Monday, December 7, 2009

thank you

thanks1

I want to thank you for sponsoring and funding scholarships at Valencia Community College. As one of this year’s recipients of your scholarship, I wish to express my thanks to your organization for your generosity and for looking out for students, such as me, who are in financial need.

I knew that by selecting Valencia I was already headed for a great future, supplemented with an inpsiring education. This scholarship award, thanks to the consideration of your organization, will only further assist in achieving my education and career goals, and increase my chances of success. Without a doubt, this award will prove to be extremely valuable to me, helping to reduce the financial burdens of pursuing a degree in Nursing.

Once again, I want to thank you Henry T. Simmons for your generosity in funding this scholarship, which has provided support and encouragement for both my family and me. I hope to become an individual that makes your organization proud.

B. Hernandez
2009/10 Henry T. Simmons
Scholarship Recipient

friendly motivation

A little friendly motivation from one of my favorites, Abraham Lincoln…Never underestimate the power of a friend. Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down…” A friend is more than a companion. A friend is the better side of ourselves.

 As we enter this season of thanksgiving, a heartfelt thank you to all of our friends and motivators!

our students give thanks

Through your kindness, my next two semesters have been completely covered, including my textbooks, which we all know can be as expensive as tuition itself. As an independent, full time student, reaching the level of higher education beomces a challenge as we face everyday life. I will be forever grateful for what the foundation has done for me durimg my future endeavors.

R. Stio
2009/10 Ella B. Sadler
 Scholarship Recipient

in memory of tina collyer

tina2Scholarship in memory of Valencia student Christine “Tina” Collyer: Tina’s Heart

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. 

If you wish to make a donation to the Tina Collyer Memorial Scholarship, Tina’s Heart please visit www.VALENCIA.org and click on Make a Donation.

our thanks!

As Jill mentioned below we had a wonderful event this past Saturday. I wanted to send a personal thank you to our generous food sponsors. Our guests were captivated by signature food items that were provided for Taste 4!

It was an absolute pleasure to work with these fantastic  chefs and restaurants, and I look forward to working with each of them in the future. With the support of the these food vendors, ever single dollar raised goes directly to 2+2 scholarships for DirectConnect.

We would like to offer our special thanks for the gourmet food that was provided for this year’s event!

Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana – The Westin Imagine Orlando
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que
Hooters
Cala Bella, Rosen Shingle Creek
Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez, Rosen Shingle Creek
Kouzzina by Cat Cora™ at Disney’s BoardWalk
Cabin Creek Food Services
B.B. King Blues Club
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

an amazing taste

Saturday was amazing – another successful A Taste for Learning! The final numbers are being tallied, so be sure and check back to see how much was raised in support of Valencia and UCF 2+2 DirectConnect scholarships.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, attendees and volunteers – we appreciate your support! And remember, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program.

It definitely was a great time for a great cause!

the university club of orlando

thanks1I would most graciously like to take the time to thank you for your outstanding contribution. It was a pleasant surprise to see that The University Club of Orlando saw fit to assist me in my educational pursuits. While researching your organization I must say I was highly impressed with the phenomenal support you all have shown the Central Florida area for over the past 80 years. I am truly flattered to be supported by such an awesome organization, it definitely says a lot when professionals and pillars of the community take a stand to give back and uplift the surrounding communities wherever you may see a need.

Again, it sincerely means the world to me that your organization has taken an interest in support of my college endeavors. As a veteran of the U.S. Army I cannot honestly express in words the appreciation one feels when our fellow countrymen/women decide to step up and show that “you all do care.” I do hope one day to be a part of your wonderful organization and assist you all in your efforts of continuing to build this amazing community.

D. Cooper
2009-10 The University Club of Orlando
Scholarship Recipient

words of thanks

thanks1Thank you for your generous donation. Through your kindness, my next two semesters have been completely covered, including my textbooks, which we all know can be as expensive as tuition itself. As an independent, full time student, reaching the level of higher education becomes a challenge as we face everyday life. I will be forever grateful for what the foundation has done for me during my future endeavors.

Again, thank you for your help with my continued education in addition to assisting me with my dreams of one day working with the State Department to further the American vision around the globe.

R. Stio
2009-10 Ella B. Sadler
Scholarship Recipient

martin and gracia andersen foundation

Valencia Foundation has been helping students reach their educational goals since 1974. According to a recent statistic from discovernursing.com, by the year 2020 there will be an estimated shortage of 800,000 nurses. Our partnership with the Martin and Gracia Andersen Trust genuinely reflects our mission to enhance learning in Central Florida. Our donors clearly see the vision and need within our community.

Due to the generosity of the foundation we were able to award ten (10) students nursing scholarships. These fine men and women all exemplified financial need and a passion for their current field of study.  Gary Wright writes, “I am a 44 year old African American male, I am married with four children. Pursuing my degree has been financially strenuous for my family and me.” Although Gary has applied for financial assistance, he was denied. Often, we hear from students just like this that have reached out for additional help and are unable to obtain the financial means to continue their education. It’s reported that we are currently meeting only about half of the documented need for financial support within our community. Only through scholarship opportunities like these are we able to truly make a difference in the lives of students who might not otherwise be able to afford an education.   

As one of our students writes, “I am grateful for the opportunity to personally thank you for your generosity. Were it not for scholarship patrons like you, many students such as myself would not be able to pursue their life-long goals.” 

We are forever grateful for your support!

facebook and twitter

facebook friends:  the wall is now open on the official Valencia Alumni Association page!

twitter friends:  follow us @valenciagiving

@valenciagiving

@valenciagiving

 

Valencia Foundation group

Valencia Foundation group

www.VALENCIA.org 

www.ValenciaGiving.org

foundation@valenciacc.edu

scholarship committee rocks!

scholarshipcommitteeIt’s wonderful to witness a group of individuals so dedicated to our students.

This past Friday seven faculty, staff and foundation team members joined together to award scholarship dollars for deserving students. During one of the busiest times of the school year, our fellow committee members spent a half day to serve one purpose: awarding scholarships.

Busy as bees, the committee sifted through a healthy pile of applications and essays in search of the perfect fit.  The committee shared stories of college days, spent a few moments reading excerpts of student essays that touched our hearts, and laughed at individual’s outbursts.

Pat Lee, Career Staff representative writes “I just wanted to say how much fun I had this morning. Not only was it fun, but it’s a really rewarding experience being able to award scholarships.”

What a rewarding experience. (I hear you, Pat!) To be able to shape the future of someone that you don’t know; to believe in an individual so much that you are willing to invest in their future without hesitation or expectation. This is what makes my day bright…all I can say is the scholarship committee ROCKS!

fine wine and spirits

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A Taste for Learning would not be possible without the generosity and support of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

Through the sponsorship and support of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, vintners from around the world will be pouring their finest wines. Join us on October 17 and speak and mingle with international winemakers and vintners throughout the evening. The ABC leadership team works with us for six to eight months ahead of each event on planning and implementation, leveraging their professional relationships and bringing huge inkind sponsors to the table. The day before and day of the event, they unleash 75 or more logistics staff to unload product and set up the entire configuration. This represents an enormous commitment of time and talent, which is only a portion of ABC’s annual contribution to Valencia.

ABC, we appreciate you!
Thank you for all you continue to do for Valencia.

www.valencia.org/taste

thank you, thank you, thank you

With the foundation’s fourth signature fundraising event quickly approaching, we say thank you to Rosen Shingle Creek for graciously hosting A Taste for Learning on Oct. 17, 2009. This is the second year the event will be held at the Rosen and we are grateful for their support.

THANK YOU ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK!!!

We hope you’ll consider joining us on Oct. 17 to enjoy fellowship and a common intention of advancing education in our community.

Check us out: www.valencia.org/taste