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Scholarship Reception Highlights EFSC Foundation Impact
March 6, 2018 - Eastern Florida State College student scholarship recipients got a chance to say thank you to those who have helped them seek a degree at the annual Titan Scholarship Reception at the Hilton Rialto Place Tuesday night.
Alumni, donor and EFSC Foundation board member Susie Wasdin called it “history in the making,” highlighting the impact of several students in attendance who are the first in their family to get a college education.
"I see such opportunity in these young people and the reason we wanted to make our scholarship a four-year scholarship is that there is so little funding for four-year programs," Wasdin said.
"We love to give back to our community, education is the answer and we are happy to do whatever we can."
Susie and Tom Wasdin are part of the Distinguished Alumni & Friends Scholarship and recipient Christopher Strohm was thankful for the help but also the chance to say thank you.
"I didn't think this would happen but it did," Strohm said of the scholarship.
"I wanted to thank them personally. I applied because I had a financial hardship and was hoping for a bit of help and I got that."
Strohm is changing careers after spending a few years as a correctional officer and
is currently working at Ford Motor Company while taking classes toward a bachelor’s
degree to help him in his new career path.
The event’s featured speaker was Dr. Al Koller, who retired from NASA after more than 32 years as an engineer and program manager and then served 21 years in senior administration roles at Brevard Community College, now EFSC.
Koller, currently president of the e3 Company, talked about getting the help he needed
in his younger years and the importance of passing that on.
“E3 – Education, Enlightenment, Encouragement. In my opinion the most important one of those is the encouragement piece and that is what we are doing tonight, encouraging one another and it is really powerful,” Koller told the audience.
“You start with an event like tonight where you celebrate one another. You see first-hand
the good that you can do.”
Eastern Florida State College President Dr. James Richey echoed that sentiment, thanking
donors for all that they do in helping the Foundation provide 514 scholarships last
year to students needing assistance.
“You can see the results of your generosity in this room and in our classrooms throughout the college where students are pursuing their dreams – dreams that might otherwise be lost or abandoned,” Richey said. “You are truly making a difference in their lives and in our community.”
Among the evening's highlights was personally recognizing scholarship recipients and donors plus sharing the impact of financial assistance through a video that showcased students who are achieving their educational goals thanks to EFSC Foundation scholarships.
To learn more about EFSC Foundation scholarships and how to donate, visit efscfoundation.org