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The Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter Memorial Scholarship

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

The scholarship will be bestowed to law enforcement personnel interested in furthering their education. KISSIMMEE, Fla.– Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter, of the Kissimmee Police Department, fell in the line of duty earlier this year. They left behind young families and an entire community that loved them and appreciated their service. Florida Technical College is making sure their sacrifices are not forgotten by creating a scholarship that honors and carries on the officers’ civil service legacy. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” said FTC Kissimmee Campus Executive Director, Gabriel Garces. “That is a definition that applies squarely to these two officers. They paid the ultimate price to keep our community and families safe. FTC wants to make sure that something positive comes from this tragedy so that the officers’ legacy may live on and they may continue touching lives.” The Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter Memorial Scholarship will cover in full the Bachelor’s Degree program in Criminal Justice with Emphasis in Homeland Security, available residentially or online at the Kissimmee campus. Howard, 36, and Baxter, 27, where shot last August while performing a routine check into three suspicious people near the intersection of Cypress and Palmway streets in Kissimmee. At some point during the check, one of the subjects opened fire. Baxter died almost immediately while Howard succumbed to his injuries the next day. To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must meet all the following criteria: Be an active Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) in Florida Have completed a State of Florida law enforcement academy program Submit a letter of recommendation from the Chief of Police or Sheriff from their respective agency. Write an essay of no less than 150 words detailing their contributions to the community and how a degree would help further their career. Applications and accompanying materials will be evaluated by a board comprised by representatives of Florida Technical College, Kissimmee Police Department and the families of the fallen officers. Scholarship applications are available at FTC Kissimmee campus Financial Aid Department. Completed applications must be submitted to the Financial Aid Department by January 15, 2018.  The recipient of the Memorial Scholarship will be determined by January 31, 2018.   Honoring Fallen Kissimmee Officers Through a Full Scholarship for Students     About Florida Technical College: Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields, FTC is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs in a range of professions, including healthcare, computer networking, web design, criminal justice, culinary arts, and cosmetology. FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Lakeland, DeLand, Kissimmee, Pembroke Pines, and Cutler Bay. Program availability varies by campus. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For graduation rates, median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit www.ftccollege.edu/disclosures.html.

FTC and the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund Give the Gift of Education

Posted on January 16th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

 to Perseverance FTC 2016 SM FTC New Years 2017 v1 from Eleven 11 Communications on Vimeo.   Florida Technical College commemorated Hispanic Heritage Month by making the gift of knowledge more attainable for two of its students. The college worked together with Orlando’s Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando to identify two deserving students who were recently awarded $15K each towards their education. FTC fully underwrote these two awards.
FTC students Carmen López and Zulma Echevarría were the well-deserving and proud recipients of the award. López is majoring in Criminal Justice, while Echevarría is pursuing a degree in Business. “This takes a big weight off my shoulders,” said López, a mother of three kids who struggles to make ends meet as a Walmart clerk. “The only thing I have to worry about now is making good grades.” When López received the award, she was going through a hard time emotionally after losing a baby at birth. Her spirit was down, she was tired and struggling to pay medical bills and considered dropping out. Her FTC family stood by her side, with instructors and fellow students helping her get caught up with school work at a pace she could keep. “This scholarship was the cherry on top,” López said. “It was like a sign from heaven that I was in the right place and should continue pursuing my degree for me and my family.” Upon graduation, López wants to be a juvenile probation officer. “I want to make a difference,” she said. “There are many teenagers out there who get into trouble because there’s no one guiding them. I want to help them turn their lives around before it is too late. I know it can be done if we had more people in the system who cared.” Lopez’s determination comes from her desire to give her children a better life and make them proud.   “I have no time for myself,” she said. “When I’m not working or studying, I am in the backyard playing with my kids. Their laughter is music to my ears. It’s all worth it.” FTC President and CEO, David Ruggieri, said López’s story was inspiring and a good example of FTC’s student body as a whole. “Our students have busy, sometimes complicated lives,” Ruggieri said. “We feel honored that they have selected our schools to empower themselves through education. That’s why we go out of our way to help them stay on track and be flexible when it comes to schedules. Ultimately, we want to see them all walking across the graduation stage.” FTC has long supported the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando because of the organization’s solid track record helping area Latinos achieve. “We are proud to be associated with the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando because it really makes a difference in our community,” Ruggieri said. “Since its inception in 2000, HHSF has provided more than $1 million in scholarships to students seeking to improve their lives through a college degree. There’s no greater agent of positive change than education.” HHSF is the largest nonprofit organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a college or university degree. This year, it awarded scholarships to 31 students who met the criteria, which
requires a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and are
enrolled or plan to enroll full-time at an accredited college or university in Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Lake County. Latinos are the fastest growing population group of Metro Orlando,” said Maritza Martinez, chairperson of the scholarship fund. “The economy of our region will heavily depend on us in just a few years. We’re working hard to make sure our community is prepared, academically and otherwise, to step up to the challenge.” Martinez said FTC’s support was pivotal to the organization’s efforts. “We are grateful of FTC’s support through the years,” said Maritza Martinez, chairperson of the scholarship fund. “’Hispanics are the youngest population group in Central Florida and also the fastest growing. Access to education enables us to be positive contributors to the economy, to our community and to society.” This year’s scholarship winners were recognized at a luncheon in late October. For more information about the scholarship fund, visit www.hhsfmo.org . For information of Florida Technical College diploma, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, visit www.ftccollege.edu. THE HISPANIC HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF METRO ORLANDO (HHSFMO) originated with a series of activities organized by the Hispanic Heritage Celebration Committee of Orange County, an employee group whose main purpose was to plan and organize activities for Hispanic Heritage month. The first Hispanic Heritage Scholar- ship Gala was hosted by this group in October 2000 to raise the organization’s initial funds. In 2003, as a result of this effort to support the local Hispanic community, a partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando was developed and the HHSFMO was established as a separate and independent organization. HHSFMO was incorporated in August 2003 as a non-pro t organization under the State of Florida. To date, HHSFMO along with the support of our partners, has been able to provide more than $1 million in scholarships to help 271 students pursue a college education.   By Jeannette Rivera-Lyles