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Valencia College teams up with Heart of Florida, MacKenzie Scott to offer new scholarship

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Some 200 students in Valencia College’s Accelerated Training programs will receive scholarships that can be used to pay for rent, food or other expenses. 

The Live United Scholarships will provide a $125 dollar a week stipend to students in Valencia’s Accelerated Training programs in Pine Hills. 

Jeff Hayward is president of Heart of Florida United Way. He says the goal is to help these students complete their certifications in high-demand and high-paying fields, like carpentry and maintenance.

“It helps the individuals, certainly helps the market because we do need skilled labor, and it helps our economy at the same time.”

Valencia College President Kathleen Plinske says students who graduate from the program can break the cycle of generational poverty. 

“And so this will really help support our students, it may allow them to perhaps step away from work so that they can truly focus on the short-term training program that they need in order to accelerate their career and move into a job that's in high demand and pays high wages in Central Florida.”

The money comes in part from a $20 million dollar donation Heart of Florida received from none other than philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos. 

[embed]https://www.wmfe.org/in-collaboration-with-the-hechinger-report-a-look-the-rise-of-accelerated-skills-training-programs-for-pandemic-career-changers/193551[/embed]

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.