Education Commissioner Presents Tallahassee Community College with a Scholarship Check for First-Generation & Health Sciences Students


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November 16, 2015

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Education Commissioner Presents Tallahassee Community College with a Scholarship Check for First-Generation & Health Sciences Students
~ In total, Florida’s 28 colleges received nearly $1 million in scholarships ~

Tallahassee, Fla., November 16, 2015 – Today, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart presented Tallahassee Community College (TCC) President Dr. Jim Murdaugh with a check for more than $31,000 to benefit first-generation students and students pursuing careers in the critical field of health care. 

"Our colleges are the nation’s best at providing a high quality, affordable education that prepares students to succeed in a global economy. For thousands of students each year, these scholarships open doors that otherwise may not have even existed,” said Commissioner Stewart. “I appreciate the Florida College System Foundation and the generous partners for helping Floridians achieve their academic and career goals."

Each year, earnings from the endowed gifts from Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue and Bank of America contribute to the Florida College System Foundation to fund scholarships that benefit students at the Florida College System’s 28 colleges.

Mike Hightower, chairman of the board of the Florida College System Foundation, said, “It is fantastic to see these students and to hear their stories about a brighter future. When Florida’s businesses partner with our great colleges, it is clear why Florida is the nation’s number one destination to find a rewarding career and build a wonderful future.”

More than $625,000 in scholarships will be allocated to first-generation students this year, including more than $20,538 to students at TCC. First-generation students can face unique challenges, and scholarships help alleviate financial struggles for many of these students. Funds for first-generation student scholarships were provided by endowments made by the Helios Education Foundation and Bank of America.

Angelina Liu, a 2015 Bank of American Dream Makers recipient, said, “My greatest passions are math, science, and architecture, and I am incredibly grateful that the Bank of America Dream Makers Scholarship has enabled me to pursue my dream of being a civil engineer. I appreciate the education that I receive in Tallahassee Community College and I am committed to continuing to work hard in all of my classes to keep my straight A's and show my respect to Bank of America and the Tallahassee Community College.”

Ashley Singletary, a 2016 Florida Blue Scholarship recipient, said, “As a wife and mother of two children, my focus is always on what is best for family and they motivate me every day to achieve goal of becoming a dental hygienist. Pursuing my degree required a financial investment, as well as a significant amount of time, so the Florida Blue Scholarship made a tremendous difference for my family. I am proud to be a role model for my children and I can’t wait to join the workforce as a dental hygienist after I graduate in the spring.

Delmy Pineda, a 2016 Helios Education Foundation First Generation Scholarship recipient, said, “The Helios Education Foundation First Generation Scholarship has helped to alleviate the burden associated with paying for college. My family and I moved to the United States 10 years ago, and one of the first things that my parents did was enroll my siblings and I in schools. I am thankful they have always placed an emphasis on education and I feel fortunate to be able to attend Tallahassee Community College, where I have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed after graduation.”

Braulio Colón, Vice President and Program Director for Postsecondary Completion at Helios Education Foundation, said “Helios Education Foundation believes that education changes lives, particularly the lives of first-generation college students. We are proud to partner with the Florida College System to support Florida students toward postsecondary completion.” 

Mike Palmer, Senior Vice President, Business Banking Client Manager, at Bank of America said, “The Bank of America Dream Makers scholarship is part of our focus to connect individuals with the education and skills needed to succeed.  This investment will provide stability and future opportunities for families and our state in the future.” 

The FCS Foundation is awarding more than $361,000 in scholarships to students enrolled in the nursing and allied health programs with endowed funds from Florida Blue, including more than $10,670 to students at TCC. Scholarships help add more nurses and allied health professionals that reflect Florida's diverse population while meeting critical workforce needs.

Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Director of Grants and Programs for the Florida Blue Foundation, said, “Florida Blue and Florida Blue Foundation believe that nursing plays a vital role in the safety and quality of patient care. We are pleased to partner with the colleges and universities across Florida to provide nursing scholarships to ensure that there are qualified nurses ready to meet the current and future nursing workforce needs in Florida."

Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee Community College, said, “We know that going to college can be life-changing. However, many first-generation college students face obstacles on their way to a brighter future. The Florida College System Foundation scholarships help students overcome those obstacles and achieve success.”

Donna Callaway, chair of the TCC District Board of Trustees, said, “Community colleges are all about opportunity, and that’s what these scholarships provide. We all benefit when our students have the opportunity to reach their potential and to become role models for the younger students who follow them."

“The open access policy at our 28 state colleges allows all Floridians the opportunity to pursue their dreams and earn great careers and jobs,” said Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega. “There are countless inspirational stories behind these scholarships and I am honored to help celebrate these successes.”

Students may apply for scholarships through their local college foundation and/or financial aid office. Criteria for scholarships are based on local college requirements.

For more information, visit the Florida College System Foundation.

Pictured in photo L-R:
John Padgett, Director of Florida Blue Retail Center, Tallahassee
Angelina Liu, 2015 Bank of America Dream Makers recipient
Eugene Lamb, Jr., TCC Board of Trustees member
Delmy Pineda, 2016 Helios Education Foundation First Generation Scholarship recipient
Madeline Pumariega, Florida College System Chancellor
Karen B. Moore, TCC Board of Trustees member
Donna Calloway, TCC Board of Trustees Chair
Pam Stewart, Commissioner of Education
Dr. Jim Murdaugh, TCC President
Pam Butler, TCC Foundation Chair
Frank Messersmith, TCC Board of Trustees member
Ashley Singletary, 2016 Florida Blue Scholarship recipient
Jonathan Kilpatrick, TCC Board of Trustees member

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