Valencia College’s Sleep Out Promotes Homeless Youth Awareness


Attendees gather at Valencia’s East Campus Mall area to enjoy the musical performance from Sid The Singer.

Diego Galicia Rojas, Contributing Writer

The Valencia College community came together on East Campus for the Second Annual Sleep Out event. It was held on March 5 to raise awareness about homeless youth.

The event serves as a fundraiser to benefit Covenant House Florida, the local chapter of Covenant House, an international organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk youth aged 21 years old and under.

The event was organized by the Phi Theta Kappa chapter and Student Development. Other Valencia organizations also lent a hand for this cause.

The organizers described how donations could be used. A $20 donation can provide three meals for three homeless youths, $50 can help with school supplies, $130 can provide a homeless youth with a GED exam, and $150 can go to one night of crisis shelter and services for a brighter future.

At the time of this writing, the event has raised $3539 dollars, meaning they have almost reached which is half of the $7500 goal. This is also an increase from the 2500 dollars the Sleep Out raised in 2017.

Maria Shorkey, Associate Executive Director for Covenant House, shared her excitement about the funds raised and how they can help the organization.

“[The donations] mean that we’re going to have access to technology at Covenant House to make it easier for young people to study and master all four sections of the GED exam, so they can quickly get their diploma and come here to the open arms of the Valencia College community,” Shorkey said.

Dr. Leonard C. Bass, Valencia Dean for Learning Support, was proud of those in attendance and the people responsible for setting up the event.

“I would say tonight our students and staff are casting their stones and making a difference in our community,” Bass said.

The formal program began at around 7pm and featured a student from Covenant House, Phi Theta Kappa President Michael Onuchovsky, a spoken word performance by a Valencia student and a musical performance from Sid The Singer.

Fabiola Conceiçao, a high school student taking courses at Valencia, was glad to have seen an event of this kind.

“This is my first semester here and I was so pleased to see the school supporting such an important cause. I have schoolmates who struggled with homelessness and I believe that there should be more awareness on this issue,” Conceiçao said.

A candlelight vigil was also part of the program. Afterwards, those in attendance received a sleeping bag, a plastic bag, and a cardboard box to put themselves in the shoes of a homeless youth.

For more information on Covenant House, go to To donate, please visit and share