By Dani Moritz-Long
For Deborah Xavier, implementation coordinator, Total Rewards and Workforce Planning, Valencia College is home. It’s where she has spent countless hours behind her desk, organizing meetings, managing budgets and handling any other tasks that come her way. It’s where she earned her associate degree, and, perhaps dearest to her heart, it’s where her daughters earned their degrees.
So when Deborah calls Valencia “her second home,” she means it.
Deborah first came to Valencia in October 2009, when she worked on the Employment and Onboarding team for two years before transitioning onto her current team, Total Rewards and Workforce Planning. Throughout her time working for Valencia, Deborah says she has been consistently inspired by the commitment of her colleagues and the organization’s vision to make a positive impact on the Central Florida community.
“I am proud to be working at Valencia, where I provide superior service which contributes to student success — my greatest passion,” she said.
Joe Livingston, assistant vice president, human resources, who has worked with Deborah, is equally proud of Deborah’s work with the College.
“I have known Deborah since she was originally hired in 2009,” he said. “She has proven herself to be a real team player, always willing to take on new challenges and do whatever is needed to get the job done. Deborah is one of the most professional and dedicated people I have ever known. She is a pleasure to work with, and I am richer for having had the opportunity to get to know her.”
On the flip side, Deborah is also proud to be one of the students Valencia has served.
“I am appreciative for every experience offered — both school and work,” she said.
While many other colleges have overwhelmingly large classes with high price tags, Deborah is grateful for the very different experience that students (and employees) like herself can enjoy here. “Valencia offers small and more affordable classes with great professors,” she said. “No matter where you want to go in life, Valencia is a better place to start.”
She continued, “Valencia signifies to the community the ability to change the conditions of the students and their families for the better, for example building the Poinciana Campus to accommodate those with transportation issues.”
Deborah proudly graduated from Valencia in the summer of 2013 with an associate degree in business and has since moved on to the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she expects to complete her Bachelor of Science in integrated business this coming fall.
For her, time has flown by since she found herself on campus with her two daughters, who graduated in the spring and fall of 2013. “Although we had different tracks — business, health and engineering — we went to labs and the library to study together, visited our advisors regularly, took summer classes and had some phenomenal professors.”
When thinking about their time together at Valencia, Deborah’s mind races back to her earliest memories of her now grown daughters and the giant strides they have made in life, in part thanks to the support of the College community which she has come to love. “Valencia is my second home,” she said, “and having witnessed them [her daughters] take their first baby steps at home and another step at my second home, I was ecstatic.”
To give back to the College that has given so much to her family, Deborah has made an effort to go above and beyond the duties defined by her positions. In 2013, she served as a chair of the Career Staff Association. Today, she serves the Black Advisory Committee, an organization established in 1970 to act as a liaison between Valencia and the African American community. Deborah is particularly proud of the committee’s commitment to ensuring the continuation of the Eula P. Jenkins Scholarship, a student scholarship created to honor its namesake, who was a long-time supporter of Valencia and African American student who enrolled at age 82 in 2000.
In the years ahead, Deborah looks forward to continuing to call Valencia home, finding new ways to give back to the College community and making a difference for the place that afforded herself and her daughters an opportunity to take a cherished step toward educational and professional success by receiving a Valencia diploma.
Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.