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January 2013 Check Presentation

Friday, February 8, 2013

With breathless wonder, we gaze upwards at the sublime majesty of a skyscraper towering into the sky, or the stunning beauty of a stately giant redwood tree, soaring heavenward with its mighty trunk and glorious branches. These magnificent sights thrill us as we witness their outward grandeur. But hidden beneath every towering structure is something so solid and unshakeable, it supports unfathomable heights of glory not possible without a rock-solid foundation to sustain them.

In today’s complex world of endless information and knowledge, education is the rock-solid foundation which supports and empowers individuals, our communities and our world to flourish, soaring to unlimited heights and fulfilling their greatest potential. This fundamental truth is well understood by the Polk Education Foundation (PEF), which has worked tirelessly since its inception in 1988 to enhance educational programs for students with private and corporate funds.

Led by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of dedicated community, educational and business leaders, PEF has donated approximately $420,000 to the Polk State College Foundation throughout the years. These generous funds benefit graduates of Polk County High Schools to attend Polk State College, helping to provide the unshakeable groundwork of education to countless Polk State students.

“It pleases me very much each year that we help students attain their goals of going to college, but even more so, they go to college right here at Polk State College. I’m very proud of that fact,” said Susan Copeland, Executive Director of the Polk Education Foundation, and also an Alumna of the College.

With heartfelt enthusiasm, Copeland speaks about the joy and inspiration of giving to students, many of whom have stayed in the county, paying it forward locally.

“There are so many shining examples of Polk State alumni going on to do good things in the community,” said Copeland.

“It’s just amazing to see where some students have come from — the adversity they’ve overcome, the obstacles and the challenges. Some are first generation college students, and have really had trials and tribulations – and they KNOW they’re going to college. It doesn’t matter what they have to overcome and do. And no matter what the amount, all of them are so appreciative when they receive a scholarship,” she added.

She also gives praise to the many generous philanthropists throughout Polk County who have enabled so many students’ educational dreams to come true.

“What we do is only possible through our donors. Some of it is PEF funds, but a lot of it is donors who choose to fund Polk State College students. We have such a giving community,” she said.

On January 28, 2013 at a check presentation ceremony at Polk State College’s District Board of Trustees meeting, Copeland was honored as she presented a $62,280 donation given to Polk State Foundation over the last two years, just the tip of the iceberg of generosity that PEF has embodied. It was representative of the strong partnership that the Polk Education Foundation and Polk State College Foundation have shared throughout the years. The warm appreciation between the two Foundations was apparent at the meeting.

“Susan, on behalf of my fellow members of the Polk State College Foundation and the College’s District Board of Trustees, thank you for all that you and your organization does for K-12 education and higher education in Polk County,” said Jim Rhodes, board member of the Polk State College Board of Directors.

“Everyone at Polk State does such a good job of making donors feel special, and I really appreciate that. I sit on both sides – I’m a donor and we receive funding, so I know how you should treat people, and they do it right,” said Copeland.

Pictured left to right: Linda Pilkington, Dan Dorrell, Teresa Martinez, Mark Turner, Dr. Eileen Holden, Rick Garcia, Ernie Pinner, Susan Copeland, and Greg Littleton.