First One Campaign: Over $200K Raised for First-Generation College Students in 8 Weeks


Valencia Foundation’s First One Campaign was a goal buster and concluded with $203,746 raised for first-generation college students! Every dollar raised will go directly to those scholarship funds.

The First One buzz began on July 10, with a kickoff event at the Criminal Justice Institute, where the campaign headquarters were located. As Valencia’s first short-term, online fundraiser, this was an ambitious effort to raise $100,000, which would double to $200,000 with the contribution of a matching grant.

Fundraising team leaders and the College community relied heavily on social media to spread the word about the campaign, and memorable first stories from our colleagues were shared in a show of support.

Valencia Foundation reports that Keith Houck, vice president of operations and finance, was the top fundraiser with $2,254 raised. And a friendly competition brewed between Osceola Campus President, Kathleen Plinske, and West Campus President, Falecia Williams – who both made the top fundraiser honor roll. Donna Marino, donor relations manager with the Valencia Foundation, was also a significant contributor to the campaign.

Among the top 15 fundraisers were Paula Pritchard, dean of nursing at West Campus; Annmarie Wise, purchasing agent in the procurement department; Katie Shephard, professor of speech at West Campus; and Carol Millenson, manager of health continuing education at West Campus.

There were many successful fundraising teams, including “Leadership Team”, “West Campus”, “Valencia Graphic Design”, “Nursing”, “Purchasing” and “OIT”. Student government also rallied and raised $1,105.

Patti Riva, operations manager for energy education, and Carol Millenson were behind the successful team “AAWCC Prima,” And Valencia retirees had a strong showing with $655 raised.

Diana Ciesko, professor of psychology at East Campus, and April Raneri, professor of speech at the Lake Nona Campus, were also on high producing teams, and Rogue Scholars raised nearly $500. And Jason Dodge, student development coordinator at Lake Nona Campus, organized a silent auction in the final week that helped the campaign surpass its fundraising goal.

Bianca Maldonado, one of the scholarship recipients, shares that she is grateful for the opportunity this scholarship will bring to her, saying “This scholarship has offered me a way of focusing on my studies and not on how I am going to pay for it, so thank you!”

Congratulations and job well done to all!

1 Comment

  • Patti Riva said:

    Great outcome! Very pleased having AAWCC (American Association for Women in Community Colleges) partipation "pay off". Thanks to all who contributed not only through AAWCC, but for the entire campaign. YOU are helping make a difference for our students. Thanks especially to Donna Marino, for your patience and guidance through this campaign process.

    AMWed, 11 Sep 2013 07:51:51 +0000Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:51:51 +0000am13,7:51 am

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