Highlighting the Eula Pearl Jenkins Scholarship
Thank you to the 52 colleagues who have already joined the race to the Finish Line in our Valencia Foundation/United Way giving campaign. We are entering the home stretch and we invite each of you to join us in this inaugural joint campaign to support our students and our community. The campaign ends this Friday, April 5, 2013.
Your donations, no matter the size, support students like H. Lawrence, a student in our articulated A.S to B.S. in engineering technology program and in the A.S. music/sound technology program, who said, “By awarding me a scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school – learning. As a veteran and a scholar, I genuinely thank you for your munificence. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me achieve mine.”
In designating your gift, you can choose to support the Eula Pearl Jenkins Scholarship. The scholarship was created to honor its namesake – a pioneering African-American resident of Winter Park who, at the age of 82, became a student at Valencia’s Winter Park Campus in 2000.
Mrs. Jenkins’ vivacity was evident to all who encountered her in Winter Park, but especially at the campus, where she was known to smile and speak with everyone she came across. Her own love of learning was an inspiration and encouragement to countless Winter Park Campus students.
Mrs. Jenkins said she wanted to go to college because she knew her mother, though deceased, would be proud to know that one of her 10 children had become a college student. Her mother would have also been proud to know that in 2001, Mrs. Jenkins became the first recipient of Valencia’s “Dare to Dream” award. This award was presented to her by then-executive dean of the Winter Park Campus, Dr. Ruth Prather, who noted that Ms. Jenkins had “inspired many of her neighbors and friends to complete their education.”
Mrs. Jenkins’ connection to Valencia pre-dated her own enrollment, as she was a founding member of the West Campus Black Advisory Committee in 1981. Her exemplary dedication to education and involvement with Valencia is recognized on a plaque, which is on display near the front entrance of the Winter Park Campus. It is only fitting that her fervent belief in the value of college in general, and Valencia in particular, be memorialized in a scholarship to help future students on their own educational journey.
One of Mrs. Jenkins’ instructors at the Winter Park Campus, Trudy McNair, remembers that on one occasion when she was running late, the students urged McNair not to start class. “We can’t start without Eula,” a few of them said. Mrs. Jenkins would walk to the campus from her home on the west side of Winter Park, almost always finely dressed, in heels and a hat. Her love for learning and of Valencia can be well remembered in her namesake scholarship.
To make a contribution to the Eula Pearl Jenkins Scholarship, click here and select the scholarship name from the “Designation” drop down menu. This joint campaign has now reached 67 percent of its goal, with two Foundation scholarships already reaching endowment.
Thanks to Chris Borglum, professor of English on the Winter Park Campus, for providing historical context on the Jenkins scholarship for this article.
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