Valencia Helps Pave a Brighter Future with Community Engagement Events

A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses

In an effort to engage our community in crucial conversations about education, the Valencia College Transition team and student volunteers recently joined the newly developed Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) and other partners to spread the word about educational possibilities in Central Florida.

As part of this effort, Valencia staff and Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)/STEM student volunteers participated in the OCPS ACE Community Festival, held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Grand Avenue Primary Learning Center.

The festival featured family-friendly entertainment, food trucks and a Creative Village/Valencia booth that engaged participants in one-on-one conversations about the positive impact education can have. To help facilitate these conversations, student and parent participants were invited to engage in a mobile vision board activity that encouraged them to use bubble-like, whiteboard prompts to share things like their favorite school subject and life and career aspirations.

The messages from the vision board will be used to cultivate an art installation, which will be housed in the Creative Village. This art installation was the result of a 2015 student contest to design a public art wall.

“Engagement activities like this are so important, because they bring the Valencia experience beyond our campus walls and into the community,” said College Transition Coordinator Bernard Huggins. “It is especially important to engage families in the way that this event and Valencia’s participation in the event did. We were catalysts for conversations among parents and their children about education, goal setting and the many resources available to them along the way.”

The mobile vision board will also be featured in an upcoming community engagement activity at Grand Avenue Elementary School on Thursday and Friday, June 15 and 16, 2017, where Valencia staff and student volunteers will once again leverage the board to talk about education.


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