Foundation for Success
EFSC Foundation is providing more student scholarships
The future of our community looks like Rachel Williams. A mother of four, she and her husband struggled to get by on one income as she stayed home with the children and put in more hard work pursing a dream: studying at Eastern Florida State College to become a teacher.
A scholarship through the Eastern Florida State College Foundation is helping make that happen, opening a door for Williams that otherwise might have slammed shut. “The scholarship is a much needed and greatly appreciated godsend, and has become essential in my goal to one day become a teacher,” she said. “I can think of no higher calling than to help mold our children into the successful adult citizens they have the potential to become. I thank the foundation for its generosity.”
Williams is among hundreds of students receiving scholarships from the foundation as increasing donations from the community are providing students more financial help. For instance, the foundation awarded $353,000 in scholarships to 344 students this fall. That’s 115 more students and twice the amount of money awarded during the same period last year. The past year has also seen 10 new scholarships created for students in fields such as health care and aviation and those pursuing general studies.
In all, the foundation has awarded $3 million in scholarships the past five years as it grows along with the college, which has added 40 new programs that include 17 highly popular bachelor’s degree tracks. “Thanks to the generosity of our community, the foundation is helping more students get the education they need to improve their lives and have successful careers,” said Foundation Director Jennie Kriete. “But the college is continuing to grow and with it a need for more scholarships. That’s why gifts to the foundation are so important, with every dollar donated going to students.”
The foundation’s annual “Come Grow with Us” appeal is currently underway with the goal of raising $50,000 for the Titan Fund by Dec. 31. (easternflorida.edu/go/titanfund)It also has launched several new initiatives to increase donations. They include a renewed Alumni Association with nearly 500 Eastern Florida graduates joining during its first year.
There have also been barbeque competitions, tailgate parties, golf tournaments and a recent “Titan’s Toast to Health” at the college’s new Health Sciences Institute on the Melbourne campus. The growing support is paying off in meaningful ways. “If it wasn’t for that help, I don’t know if I would have been able to afford all of the tools necessary to earn my degree. I am deeply grateful for the scholarship,” said Williams.
Then there’s Raquel Magalhaes, who said a scholarship gave her an important emotional boost. “Having someone believe I deserve a scholarship is really motivational. It has helped me to realize that all the work and effort I put into learning is even more valuable than I thought,” she said. “I promise I will make this opportunity count and do my best to make sure the foundation knows its choice was the right one.”
A scholarship was also a game changer for Natasha Diaz. “Nursing has always been my dream. Now I can focus on my studies without having to worry about a financial burden at the end,” she said. “Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to purchase supplemental books to aid in my studies. It also provided me with funds for transportation.”
Said Kriete, “Behind every scholarship we award are stories like these. That’s why every donation, big or small, is important, and why we need the community’s help to make the dream of a college education come true.”
For more information on the foundation, visit easternflorida.edu/foundation