By Stephanie McMillen
Aida González is the staff assistant to the coordinator of student development on the Osceola Campus, a position that, according to Deanne Abrams, her former supervisor, is “an integral part of the outstanding work accomplished at Osceola Campus.”
Deanne, now coordinator of student development on the East Campus, who formerly held the same position on the Osceola Campus, continued, “Along with the large amount of budget responsibilities, purchasing and travel paperwork, Aida makes time to assist in club trainings, Student Government Association (SGA) advisement and supervision of the student leaders.”
Aida says the most enjoyable aspect of her job is when she connects with students – a privilege she says not every employee has the opportunity to experience.
“She offers an open heart, mind and ear to all who confide in her,” Deanne explained. Because of this talent, last year Aida led an important conversation with the campus’ female student leaders, which allowed the students to share their experiences and ultimately better understand each other and work more productively.
“Aida’s guidance in this activity was invaluable,” Deanne said. “The student leaders were grateful for her patience, mediation and ability to not only listen, but share her experiences as well.”
Aida was first a student at Valencia and began working at the college by chance. One day in 1997 while Aida was waiting to see a counselor, an “amazing woman” (Carmen Perez, executive assistant to the vice president of human resources) came to her and asked if she wanted a job at the college.
The next day she was answering phones at the front desk in the counseling department on the Osceola Campus. “Since then, it has been an amazing journey,” Aida said.
For three years, Aida held that position before moving on to serve as the staff assistant for the GEAR Up Grant on East Campus. Another seven years went by, in which time she served as the supplier specialist at the Downtown Center in the procurement office before making her way back to her home campus – the Osceola Campus.
Now, Aida has been in her current position for six years, and says her greatest accomplishment has been instilling something positive into every student that she works with.
“[To] see them for the first time not knowing what they really want and then see them leave with their goals in place is the best [compensation] I can receive,” Aida said.
Aida graduated from Gateway High School in Kissimmee, earned two associate degrees from Valencia (in office system technology word processing specialization and office system technology software specialization), and two technical certificates.
She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology from Pentecostal Theological University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in counseling there as well.
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