Featured Colleague — Sean-Michel DeMent

sean-dement-fc-groveBy Joy S. Jones

“One of my biggest accomplishments is obtaining my Associate in Arts degree from Valencia and being able to transfer to the University of Central Florida to complete my health sciences bachelor’s degree, which I hope to get this fall,” says Sean-Michel DeMent, support specialist I, at Winter Park.

Sean initially applied and was accepted to the University of South Florida, but after moving to Orlando, he and his parents found that Valencia was a great way for him to get a quality, education more affordably. He completed his studies at Valencia and found the transition through Direct Connect to be great overall, but not before he hit a rough patch and had to step back from college altogether for a year to deal with things going on in his personal life.

“Once I resumed, it wasn’t until my second year at school that I discovered the Winter Park Campus, which I found warmer. It was smaller and felt like more of a steady flow, was more personal and I took most of my courses there.”

In his second semester, he discovered student leadership opportunities, which he says helped provide the discipline he needed, along with his first job.

From 2012 to 2013, Sean was a peer educator (now called a wellness ambassador) and organized and promoted wellness activities on campus. Sean was one of the nationally certified peer educators and was named “a peer amongst peers” by the Bacchus Network, a college peer education program that builds skills in student leaders to address campus health and safety issues. He credits the multiple leadership academies and training he received while a student leader with helping him to provide the best possible experience to other students now.

“Student leadership gave me way more experience than I ever would’ve imagined,” he said. “I want to be in the healthcare field and it taught me professionalism and how to present factual, up-to-date information to diverse groups. It really shaped me more for my upcoming career than I would’ve ever thought.”

He continues to sharpen his skills daily while manning the front line reception station for both the Answer Center and business office.

“Sean is homegrown Valencia through and through, from student, to student leader to part-time worker,” says Christina Bolduc, administrative assistant and his supervisor. “He is unflappable in the face of challenging customer service moments and has a true heart for service. He infuses humor in his moment-to-moment, day-to-day, and there is a comforting feeling when he is on shift that work will be done — and done well.”

Sean finds that his coworkers are some of the best and most kind-hearted people he’s ever known and considers himself lucky to be part of the Valencia community.

“Valencia provides hope to the community. Students who may not have been able to go to College can have the opportunity through Valencia. Here, they are able to achieve a better future – with effort of course.”

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name, along with what makes him or her standout, to The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or she can be one of our featured colleagues.

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