By Dani Moritz-Long
It’s all too easy to envision a financial aid specialist as an analytical machine knee-deep in paperwork, armed with a red “loan approved” or “loan rejected” stamp. But, while Financial Aid Specialist Sedrick Brinson is responsible for processing student loans, his goal is to help as many students as he possibly can (through financial aid awards and education), and he’s a far cry from the imaginary number-crunching machine one might expect.
“Loyal, dedicated and hardworking,” are the terms his supervisor of four years, Director of Financial Aid Services Tamika Martin, uses to describe him.
“He is committed to the success and advancement of our students,” Tamika said. “He is a part of several initiatives collegewide from heading our Default Prevention Committee, heading our Brother 2 Brothers program and he is a mentor for Take Stock in Children [Valencia Promise]. Sedrick is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach and make the most meaningful impact in the lives of our students.”
Sedrick’s colleague, Manager of Learning Support Services Lorie Bellot, agrees.
“Mr. Brinson works tirelessly every day to ensure that our students have more knowledge about financial literacy, loan default prevention and mentorship,” Lorie said. “Sedrick has been with the College for years and, during his time, he has made great impact on the lives of students through his leadership with loan default prevention, which led him to being recognized by the White House and College President Sandy Shugart.”
Throughout his Valencia tenure, Sedrick, who will earn his bachelor’s degree in organizational communication in May 2018, says he’s most proud of the recognition he’s earned as a result of his dedication to helping our students. For example, he fondly remembers when Dr. Shugart recognized him for improving Valencia’s federal student loan cohort default rate or when he helped Valencia gain White House recognition for our participation in the White House Student Loan Debt Challenge. More recently, he says, he’s proud of his selection to serve the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA) Executive Board as a Region III representative.
Most importantly, however, Sedrick is proud to play a role in Valencia’s mission of creating better tomorrows.
“I think Valencia signifies three things: Access, Commitment and Trust (ACT),” he said. “Valencia is always reaching out to our communities, seeking and inviting all learners and partners to achieve our goals. Furthermore, Valencia is committed to its mission and vision when trying to fulfill and discover strengths within our institutional culture to foster a deep stewardship of our work. Lastly, Valencia is always reliable and responsible when trying to earn the trust of the students, faculty, staff and community.”
To enhance that mission, Sedrick serves as a mentor for Valencia Promise and leads Brother 2 Brothers, a student mentoring program with the mission to uplift, restore and transform young men on Valencia’s West Campus. Needless to say, he’s happiest when supporting others.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), 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.