Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Foundation on track to award $1 million in scholarships, seeks support

As fall semester marks the start of a new academic year, the Daytona State College Foundation also is kicking into the heart of its fundraising season.
Some tickets are still available for the Foundation’s fall “Championship Gala” honoring longtime community advocate and college supporter “Gator” Bert Reames. The gala will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at Daytona State’s L. Gale Lemerand Center (Bldg. 310) on the Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.
Events such as the fall gala raise much needed dollars for student scholarships and campus growth initiatives. “With today’s difficult economic times, made even more challenging for students by dwindling state funding and tightened federal financial aid rules, the Foundation is placing a particular focus on providing scholarship assistance that often marks the difference in whether or not a student can afford to go to college,” said Donna Sue Sanders, the Foundation’s executive director. This year, the Foundation is on track to award more than $1 million in scholarships to nearly 1,000 students, she said, and the Foundation wants to spread the word throughout the community about both the need for continued donor support and the availability of scholarships for students.
Scholarships are awarded based on need, academic merit or a combination of these and other criteria.  At a recent meeting of the Daytona State College District Board of Trustees, board member Mary Ann Haas, who also serves as its representative on the Foundation Board of Directors, encouraged her fellow trustees to support and spread the word about the Foundation’s mission.
“We want the community to know that the money is being spent (for the benefit of our students),” she said. “I know finances are tight and times are tough, but every little bit helps and can make a huge difference in the lives of our students and their families.”
She pointed particularly to a new effort to create scholarships for people preparing for their GEDs, once a free service but now carrying a state-mandated $30 charge per semester for the self-paced classes, not including the additional cost of testing. “For some people, it’s a matter of putting food on the table or getting that GED,” Haas said. “We need to come forward and help them.” Her call to action was well received by trustee Forough Hosseini, who agreed to provide $1000 toward this effort. 
Scores of Foundation Donor Scholarships are available and can be found at or at the Financial Aid Services Office located on any campus. Eligibility is based on academic merit, the student’s major, financial need or a combination and is most often designated by the donor.
Most recently, three new scholarships have been established and illustrate how donors can tailor the eligibility criteria to best target those students they wish to benefit:
·    Tillandsia Garden Club Scholarship – One $1,000 scholarship to a new or continuing student who is enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more), with an average GPA of 3.0. Students must intend to seek an associate or bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. They also must be US citizens, graduates of either Seabreeze or Mainland high schools and reside in either Daytona Beach or Ormond Beach.
·    William W. Gay Veteran Scholarship (Daytona Beach Rotary Club West) – This is a $1,200 scholarship awarded during fall and spring semesters to a new or continuing student who has maintained a minimum GPA of 2.0 for the semester in which the scholarship is sought. Applicants must reside in Volusia County and must either be an honorably discharged veteran, a family member of a veteran or on active duty. Scholarship recipients will be required to attend and speak at a Rotary Club meeting.
·    REGROUP, Inc. Scholarship – Provides a $500 per semester (fall, spring and summer) scholarship to a new or continuing, non-traditional student enrolled full-time and maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. Scholarship recipients must reside in Volusia or Flagler counties and be members of REGROUP, a student club dedicated to working with adults who are returning to the classroom after being out of school for a number of years.
“What’s important to understand is that we will honor all donor-designated restrictions or covenants associated with any gift or endowment as long as it is in keeping with the mission of the Foundation and Daytona State College,” Sanders said. “One’s gift is a personal expression of their commitment to the college, our students and, ultimately, our community.”
For information on how you can donate to the Daytona State College Foundation, please visit or call (386) 506-3110. Students interested in learning more about available scholarships should set up a user account by following the guidelines at on the college’s scholarships website or contact Charlene Solomon at (386) 506-4422.