On September 15th, I’ll be attending my first ever bloggers conference, the Central Florida Bloggers Conference (CFLBlogCon) in Orlando! I’m so excited about this opportunity to meet with like-minded people in my area and to learn firsthand about working with brands, optimizing my social media presence and making the most of my blog.
One of the programs that the CFLBlogCon is sponsoring is Blogging for Good. Through this program, bloggers and speakers attending the conference aim to bring awareness to six amazing non-profit organizations that are doing great things in Central Florida.
Today I’d like to step away from the usual health and fitness posts and talk about an organization whose mission and purpose resonates closely with me, the Valencia Foundation of Orlando, FL.
What is the Valencia Foundation?
The Valencia Foundation is a non-profit corporation founded in 1974 to financially assist Valencia College in providing scholarships, facilities and technology to their students where state aid and student tuition income have fallen short.
According to the Valencia Foundation, 4 out of the 5 reasons students give for dropping out are financial. Through private gifts and state matching funds, the Valencia Foundation has made the dream of a higher education a reality for thousands of students.
Although I’m not an Orlando native, I strongly support what this organization is doing for Florida students because it hits close to home. In 2005, I was a high school senior from a lower-class family applying for college. The applications alone were so expensive that I threw all my chips in and applied only to the University of Florida. After I got accepted in December 2005 through early admission, I spent the rest of the year figuring out how I’d pay for college.
Even with Bright Futures and Florida Pre-Paid, many students find themselves unable to bridge the gap between their budgets and their expenses. I was one of those students, and during my senior year, I wrote countless scholarship essays and applied for every single grant and assistance program I could find.
Due to organizations similar to the Valencia Foundation, who awarded me with several scholarships, I was able to get through all four years of school and graduate cum laude with a bachelor degree in advertising.
Why is the Valencia Foundation important?
The Valencia Foundation supports Valencia College, the country’s top community college in 2011. It helps many students who are in the same situation that I was in, graduate with college degrees that promise a brighter future.
The impact of this program in Central Florida can be measured by the number of Valencia College graduates in the work force contributing to Florida’s communities with starting salaries double those of a high school graduate. In addition to providing scholarships, the Valencia Foundation allows students to learn using the latest technology in state-of-the-art facilities with experienced professors, the impact of which cannot be quantified.
For everything that the Valencia Foundation does for Central Florida, it’s my turn to give back. My goal in participating in the Blogging for Good program is to bring awareness to the Valencia Foundation and to help my community understand the importance of organizations like this.
How can you help?
Attend a Fundraiser
- A Taste for Learning
- September 15, 2012 at 7 p.m.
- International wine sampling and silent auction
- Benefits scholarships and medical education
Spread the Word
- Tweet, Facebook, Pin and share this post
- Spread awareness in the Central Florida community
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and learn about the Valencia Foundation! If you’re not from Florida, I encourage you to research an organization you can stand behind in your community and find out how you can help spread their message. In full disclosure, I am writing this as part of a contest, but win or lose, I stand 100% behind the Valencia Foundation.
Do you work with any non-profit organizations in your community? How do you help to spread their message?