ORLANDO, Fla. — A global pandemic isn’t stopping Florida Technical College (FTC) from providing essential supplies and resources for students in need to succeed in the classroom, even if it is a virtual one.
FTC is donating more than 2,500 free backpacks filled with school supplies to be distributed by Project Life, The Salvation Army, Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, the NAACP Lakeland Volusia County Council Spring Hill Resource Center, Take Stock in Children, Backpacks for Hope and Kids Pack throughout the Sunshine State.
The Orlando outreach event will be held on Saturday, August 8 from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2550 W Colonial Dr #300, Orlando, FL 32804. FTC will join forces with Project Life to make the Back to School drive-thru event possible. A collaborative event that will benefit more than 500 local students.
FTC started collaborating with the church back in June, right after announcing the multi-year partnership with the Orlando Magic who named the institution the official technical college of the team. As part of the partnership, the two join community efforts to assist families in Central Florida by partnering with Magic player Jonathan Isaac.
“At FTC, our mission and commitment to our neighbors and partners remain the same no matter the circumstance,” said Dr. James Michael Burkett, President of Florida Technical College. “Our priority is to make sure students return to school with the tools they need to start the school year off confident and prepared. While it’s unclear what school will look like for students this fall, we still want to provide them with some sense of normalcy. We are committed to honoring our partnership with Jonathan Isaac and the Orlando Magic by upholding our responsibility to contributing to the success and advancement of our communities.”
“We want families to know that we care about them greatly and although the church building is closed, our mission continues,” stated Phuong Hepburn at Project Life, we want to continue supporting our community.”
Since 2011, the FTC Back-to-School event has been providing free school supplies, medical check-ups, and haircuts to nearly 7,000 Florida students across 20 schools each year. However, due to COVID-19, the institution is unable to offer any in-person activities.
“We’ve been very fortunate to receive the support of our community partners,” says Dr. Burkett. “As a result of their generosity, thousands of students will have the supplies they need to start the school year off right. This initiative is designed to help alleviate some of the financial burdens for those families affected by COVID-19. We don’t want them to worry about buying a new backpack in the middle of a pandemic.”
Participants are encouraged to remain in their cars while volunteers place the backpacks in the vehicle’s trunk. Supplies are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Project Life is seeking more school supply donations to help additional families. Donations can be dropped off at 2550 W Colonial Dr #300, Orlando, FL 32804 on August 3. For more information, please visit www.projectlifenow.org
Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields, Florida Technical College is an academic unit of NUC University (NUC). NUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000) www.msche.org. The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). FTC offers diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs in a range of professions, including Healthcare, Construction Trades, Hospitality, Beauty, Information Technology, and Business. FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland, DeLand, Pembroke Pines, Cutler Bay, and Tampa. Program availability varies by campus.