Left to right: Rick Spencer, Universal Orlando; Jessica Bickford, student’s mother; Caitlyn Bickford, student scholarship award recipient; Scott Evans, Orange County Public Schools; Wendy Givoglu, Valencia College; and Diane O’Dell, Universal Foundation
A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses
Dean of Valencia’s School of Arts and Entertainment Wendy Givoglu joined Universal Orlando and Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to present the inaugural winner, a Colonial High School student, the Universal Orlando Art of Tomorrow Scholars award. On Friday, May 25, 2018, the Universal Orlando Foundation presented the two-year Valencia scholarship to Caitlyn Bickford, who was surprised by the presentation on her last day at Colonial High School.
Caitlyn is part of the first graduating class of the Art of Tomorrow Scholars program, a grant-funded initiative that is a partnership between OCPS, Universal Orlando and Valencia College’s School of Arts and Entertainment. This is Valencia’s second year participating in the Art of Tomorrow Scholars program and its first graduating class.
Through a fall summit, spring summit, summer camp and an online class, taught by Valencia faculty, with continued mentoring from the Universal Orlando and OCPS teams, the students are shown the many career opportunities within the Arts and Entertainment industry. During the past year, Valencia planned and executed programming for 150 students from 18 different high schools. In partnership with OCPS, this program is a continuation of the eighth-grade Art of Tomorrow program, which is a collaboration between Universal Orlando and OCPS.
The Universal Orlando Foundation worked with Valencia to establish a scholarship competition for graduates of the program who wish to continue their studies at Valencia. The scholarship covers all tuition, books and fees for the student’s associates degree.
Caitlyn is a fine artist who plans to continue with her studies in the arts to explore career opportunities in the fine arts and graphic design areas; she start at East Campus in the fall.