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June 2014 Check Presentation

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hispanic Club of Lkland 2014 DBOT

Imagine the gorgeous intricacy of a patchwork quilt, showered with vibrant colors, designs and textures, and each detail telling its own unique and meaningful story that reflects the diverse beauty of humankind and how its many parts blend to create a magnificent whole. Polk State College students represent that glorious patchwork of humanity, and the College’s passion is to educate and empower members of our community from every culture.

The Hispanic Club of Lakeland takes tremendous pride in its partnership with Polk State College in this passionate pursuit, working with the College to makes dreams come true for Hispanic students and transforming countless lives throughout our community through raising funds for education, scholarships and charitable causes.

This 350 member nonprofit organization has committed $10,000 to the Polk State College Foundation in past years for scholarships for Hispanic students. Now the group has specifically designated an additional $10,000 donation for an exciting new purpose: to provide scholarships for Hispanic students who want to pursue a career as a police officer and serve the citizens of Lakeland and Polk County. 

Viviana Pedrosa, President of the Lakeland Hispanic Club, said that the genesis of this meaningful pursuit originated during the Club’s inaugural Hispanic Festival of Polk County, a yearly event which attracts an enthusiastic crowd of thousands every October.

“The first festival started through the efforts of the president of our club at the time and the Chief of Police at the time,” she explained.

“The Chief of Police actually approached the president and said we need a presence in your community, we need to be seen as your friend and not your enemy. And when I became President this past year, I felt an obligation to them, because our success has depended on the city of Lakeland and the police who work hard for us and really didn’t charge us anything. So I think it’s time that we gave back. I think that’s going to come back to us in a very good way.”

Pedrosa, who was a teacher for 12 years, expressed how she felt when she met Hispanic students with various career paths who were benefiting from their scholarship funds.

“Meeting them and seeing how appreciative they are really makes you feel we have done something good for the community, seeing the opportunity that it is giving them to expand their future and do better than their parents did. So it’s a wonderful feeling, so rewarding,” she said.

One of those students, Jesus Jaime, appeared on June 23, 2014 with Pedrosa at a check presentation ceremony at the College’s District Board of Trustees meeting, where the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored the Hispanic Club of Lakeland for its immense generosity to the College.

Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation, expressed Polk State’s deep thankfulness to the organization.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Foundation Board and the District Board of Trustees to Viviana Pedrosa and our own Teresa Martinez for their gift this year which will benefit students attending the law enforcement academy and, in turn, greatly benefit our community!” said Porter.

Jaime, a recipient of the Club Hispano De Lakeland, Inc. Scholarship who is pursuing a career as an RN and who also has a passion for helping the community, spoke of his gratitude as well.

“I’ve always been the type of person who knows, appreciates and respects people who actually take time out of their lives and who give money to help students achieve their goals. I can’t say enough to thank you. It’s alleviated a lot of stress in my life. I thank you with all of my heart,” Jaime said.

Pedrosa’s enthusiasm for being able to help Jaime and other students at Polk State was abundantly on display at the presentation.

“I’m very happy to be here – it’s a momentous occasion for us to have such a young man be rewarded a scholarship. I think it’s fantastic, and we are really looking forward to continuing this relationship with Polk State College. So, thank you so much for the wonderful job you do with your students, for your name and your standing in the community,” said Pedrosa.  

Pictured left to right: Jesus Jaime, Viviana Pedrosa, Dr. Eileen Holden, Mark G. Turner, Teresa Martinez, Greg Littleton, Linda Pilkington, Dan Dorrell and Rick Garcia.