Blogging for Good: Valencia Foundation

central florida blog conferenceNext Saturday, I am attending the second annual Central Florida Bloggers Conference. This is a local conference that doesn’t focus on your genre of blogging, but on blogging for blog sake. It’s a good thing too, since last year there were ZERO DIY/Craft bloggers at CFL Blog Con.

Last year, when I attended the Central Florida Blogger Conference it inspired me to start “vlogging” (video blogging). Side note: Mr. Woodsy hates the word “vlog” –he thinks it sounds dirty. So, thanks to CFL Blog Con I got my feet wet in making videos. This year I hope to take away new strategies and techniques to not only share but implement on Sew Woodsy. But that’s not what I’m here to write about today. CFL Blog Con and the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center have put together a program called “Blogging for Good“. The goal of the program is to enlighten and educate our blog audience on a nonprofit of our choice. There are six amazing nonprofits to choose from.

valencia foundation

The one that hits home the most is the Valencia Foundation. You see, Mr. Woodsy and I didn’t have the traditional college experience like most teenagers straight out of high school. Neither of us could afford to go to a traditional college. We both applied for grants and scholarships but nothing came through. So we both lived at home, worked full time 40-hour a week jobs, and attended our local community college (Valencia) full time (12 credit hours per semester). Mr. Woodsy worked at a local “mom and pop” construction company (and still works there) and I worked at Hooters as a waitress *I know… gasp. Mrs. Woodsy was a Hooters girl!!??! During my last year at Valencia, I was a manager at our local Quiksilver Boardriders Club.

Because we were in our core undergrad classes it allowed us to take most of our classes together. This worked out well for us since we both had very little extracurricular time to spend together. We spent it in class together. One summer I was so busy between summer classes and work that Mr. Woodsy went to the art supply store for me to pick up all my supplies for a project that I was assigned that day that was due the next day. He met me that night after work and sat by my side while I worked on my project in to the wee hours of the night. We cheered each other on during our college years. We were both the first from our families to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Sew Woodsy in College

I figured you’d like to see some “blast from the past” photos of us in our first 2.5 years of college.

Funny Valencia Community College story… we both took the mandatory Speech class together. On the first day of class a few of our classmates thought we were brother and sister at first. We were both a bit creeped out by the statement, but just laughed and shook it off.

Higher education is so incredibly important to us. No one should be denied a college education because they can’t afford it. We went the student loan route (and will be paying them off until 2025 but that’s a whole other story). Know, that there are grants and scholarships available. Gifts to the general scholarship fund for students in need have allowed the foundation to make education possible for thousands of students.

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

Donor-Selected Foundation Scholarships

Most scholarship donors choose their scholars without direct input from Valencia based on their own application process, usually in March or April for the upcoming academic year. If the donor notifies Valencia of the application process, an announcement will be posted on the Valencia Scholarship Bulletin Board and the campus newsletters.

Some donors will ask Valencia for recommendations. Valencia staff will choose students to recommend based on the donor’s requirements and the Valencia Foundation Scholarship applications on file.

Valencia-Selected Foundation Scholarships

Some of the donors have asked Valencia’s Scholarship Committee to choose their scholar. The Committee will match the applicants with the scholarship criteria. Most of the scholarships have unique, special criteria such as graduation from a particular high school, or employment with a certain company. Additional preference will be given to students with financial need and a minimum GPA of 2.5. While good grades are important, the highest grades are usually not the first basis for selection. Valencia Foundation Scholarships are for in-state students and applications must be submitted by the deadline as indicated on the Online scholarship application page.

Whether you are local or out of state. Help support your local community college. It is the future of our nation.

Click here to see upcoming events that benefit Valencia Foundation.

You can also enter for a chance to win one of 6 baskets. Each raffle ticket is just $10 and can be obtained here. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the nonprofit.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated or required to write this post. I did this out of my kindness of my heart because it is a charity and cause that we believe in. I will be entered for a chance to win one of these fabulous prizes.

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