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Bridges to Success Newsletter

April 4, 2011

Spring Break College Tour


by Annie Chippa


by Wendell L. Smith Jr., President of the Bridges Male Mentoring Group Images.


Bridges Academic Recognition Program



Staff Retreat

27-28 Student Leadership Retreat

So overall, I think the trip was a success, we learned a lot about different colleges and what they had to offer along with the chance to visit many new and exciting cities!

On March 6, 2011 the Bridges to Success Program began its annual Spring Break College Tour. It would take students to colleges and universities along the East coast. Some of the colleges and universities we visited were: Howard University, South Carolina State University, and Savannah State College, just to name a few. It was a pleasant experience that I will always remember. I believe all the students learned a lot about what the colleges had to offer and what programs they had. My personal favorite was Howard University; it was located in Central Washington D.C. and had many different degree programs to offer. The best part about it all was the fact that they had a program for education majors. The campus itself was beautiful and it was filled with historical buildings. The student population was very friendly and especially inviting. As we progressed through the week, we had a great time and enjoyed everything we experienced. My favorite experience was in Washington D.C. when we got the once in a lifetime chance to tour the Capital Building. We also visited the Washington Monument and The White House.

The 2011 College Tour was a great experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to travel outside the state of Florida to view some Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). While touring the HBCU’s I found information on their transfer procedure as well as scholarship information, in addition to learning about their history and how they came to be. While visiting Washington, we toured the capital building and walked through the national mall. It gave me the feeling of walking through history, and that instilled in me that I am capable of making history. During the tour I had the pleasure of meeting new faces from the states that we attended and also new faces from Valencia as well as crop that I have built a strong bond with. I would like to thank the Bridges Department for making everything possible; this was a great success.

Bridges to Success Newsletter

by Krystal Almanzar.

If one word can define what the college tour meant to me, the word will be NEW. New faces, new states, new schools, new sights, new experiences. It was a bittersweet feeling leaving my family for the first time and stepping into something that seemed foreign to me. The thought of researching other universities from different states was not of interest to me, however the college tour has broaden my mind and became an educational experience that has cultivated new options in regards to my education. Visiting numerous universities such as Howard, Benedict, Shaw amongst others, gave me a feeling of warmth, unity, diversity and culture that made me appreciate the beauty of education. Knowing that I was stepping in the same floors as our founding fathers did at the house of congress in Washington, to standing on the same sanctuary as slaves stood in the year of 1865 in Shaw University, filled me with emotion, history, culture and great pride to see right before my eyes how much my country has progressed. I thank all the leaders that contributed in making this experience unforgettable.

Bridges to Success Newsletter

Florida Fund for Minority Teachers

The Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. hosted its Annual Recruitment and Retention Conference on March 19-20. Scholars, community college students, board members, school district representatives, and institutional contacts attend the conference each year. Conference sessions and workshops provide participants with professional development and networking skills. Community college students are invited to attend the conference to learn more about the advantages of entering the teaching profession. District recruiters from across the state use the conference as a recruiting venue.

There is an annual Minority Teacher Education Scholarship in the amount of $4,000. Awards are disbursed during the Fall and Spring semesters, in the amount of $2,000 per semester. Students may be eligible to receive the scholarship for up to two consecutive years. Mr. John Stover, and students - Krystal Almanzar, Sylvia Revangile, and Giovanni Torres, represented Valencia Bridges to Success. They all agreed that it was very informative, motivational, and the networking was awesome.


by Deidra “Dee� Salley, REGAL Correspondent and Editor.

Welcome back to another episode of the Remarkably Elegant Gifted Ambitious Ladies (REGAL)! Striving for success is a goal for an academic athlete. Our last meeting focused on education and what you need to do in order to strive for academic excellence. I felt a strong connection as our advisor of REGAL shared a story of how she pushed through her obstacles and made a life that her son deserved to have. Being a mother is blessing and a curse at the same time especially if you are not ready to take on such a huge responsibility. She exerted herself vigor-

Bridges to Success Newsletter

ously to maintain academic excellence and take care of a child while in college. This is a true inspiration for young women and mothers. Women have a way of picking themselves up. Even if they fall into the deepest abyss they believe that one day they will get what they deserve. Hard work, endurance and determination are key in reaching your goals and making your dreams come true.

Mentoring Programs Mentees of the Month of March REGAL

Kyan has really come out of her shell and has extended herself to get to know other members of REGAL. She has a great attitude when it comes to volunteering around campus and other community service activities. Kyan has also shown that she is very serious about achieving her educational goals. On the college tour, she was very engaged in the discussions at each institution we visited. She asked important questions, and took many notes. Her diligence is sure to pay off with a promising future! It is a pleasure to have her as a member of the program. IMAGES

Windy Pierre-Louis displayed his dedication to Bridges and was influential through his encouraging words to high school students regarding the importance of attending college. He represented Bridges, IMAGES, and Valencia Community College as a whole in such short notice. His diligence and passion for student success at Valencia Community College is appreciated.


Angelica Montilla is one of the original “10 Pearls” of the LATINA mentoring program, when it was in its beginning stages in Summer 2008. Angelica is a great example of hard work and dedication. She has completed well over 200 hours of community service, while being a part of Bridges, LATINA and Student Development Welcome Team. With a pending graduation she hopes to be a part of Valencia’s first Bachelors program in Radiology. She has maintained a 3.5 GPA. MOSAIC

Juammy Lora started in the mentoring program in Spring 2009. Since then, his dedication has been amazing! He has committed to countless hours of service at Timber Lakes Elementary, while working and maintaining a 3.2 GPA. Juammy is graduating this May and will transfer to UCF with a major in Computer Science. ELITE

Layesha Bird is another great addition to the ELITE mentor program on Osceola. She has faced many challenges this term; nevertheless, she continues to excel in her academics and as the President of ELITE. She is known for her bright smile and cheery “hello!” She has great ideas that she has put to great use within the ELITE program. She is a Nursing major, and always remains enthusiastic about her future and the goals that she has set for herself. She is an awesome leader!

Parent Advisory Council

by Leslie M. Guevara, PAC Board Member/Student Recognition Co-Chair.


Academic. Civic. Outreach

Winston Churchill once stated “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” When Valencia Community College Bridges students give through their community service they are doing more than just fulfilling a requirement, they are building a lifestyle. They may or may not be aware of the importance of serving others at this point in time; nevertheless, they are exercising what we hope will become a lifelong process that will bring meaning to their lives. We would like to recognize the efforts of our students for doing more than is just required. To this end, PAC is initiating a special student recognition program that is predominately based on community service. PLEASE STAY TUNED – we have some exciting things in store for our student volunteers! Hopefully, we have aroused your anticipation for the complete rollout of this new PAC initiative. Let me leave you now with the words of Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something…and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

Layout Design by Jonathan Tenjo. Written by Annie Chippa, Wendell C. Smith Jr., Krystal Almanzar, Dr. Carter, Deidra Salley, Layesha Bird, and Mr. Gregory C. Miller.