Valencia Shout! Weekly Highlights

Valencia Shout is a collection of short-form articles addressing timely college life, politics, as well as arts and entertainment.

College News

Osceola County Launches Free Tuition Program to Aid Graduating 2022 High School Students

Denise Diaz, Copy Editor

Valencia College and Osceola Technical College have teamed up with Osceola County Commissioners to launch Osceola Prosper, a financial relief program designed to provide free tuition to the graduating Class of 2022. The program qualifies all dual enrollment, high school, charter school, and home schooled students to receive aid with college registration, tuition, and other expenses.

The program is available to all seniors graduating from Osceola County this year. Students will have the opportunity to receive a free scholarship to acquire an AA through Valencia or educational training at Osceola Technical College.

FAFSA applications must be completed by July 15th for the Fall term and by December 1st for the Spring term. Students looking to begin in the Summer term must apply before the Summer registration deadline, April 29th. If a student is unable to complete a FAFSA, they are encouraged to work with one of the Valencia enrollment coaches.

Receive A Student Discount On Campus Dining

Denise Diaz, Copy Editor

All Valencia students now qualify for a $3 discount on food purchases exceeding $5 throughout all campuses. The discount is valid at all Aladdin food service locations. This discount does not include Dunkin Donuts or vending machines. To receive the discount, students need to show their Valencia ID. It’s that simple!

HEERF III Applications Open April 6 for Third Federal Grant Aid Period

Jeremy Gottschalk, EIC

Valencia College will soon begin processing the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) grant applications as authorized by American Rescue Plan (ARP). The maximum grant award is $2,000 with an approved FAFSA for 2021-22. A lesser grant amount is available to those who choose not to submit a FAFSA and are eligible.

As per Valencia College’s Atlas website, “HEERF III is the third allotment of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which provides financial support to colleges and universities, as well as directly to students. To be eligible for round two of the award, certificate- and degree-seeking students must be enrolled in at least one course in a degree or certificate program in Spring 2022”. For more information and to apply, visit here.


Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act On Tuesday, March 22

Denise Diaz, Copy Editor

On Tuesday, March 22, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will impact all high school students entering in the 2023-2024 school year. Students will now be required to complete a financial literacy course prior to graduation. The Senate Bill 1054, known as the “Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act”, requires public school students to obtain a one-half credit in financial literacy and money management in order to receive their high school Diploma.

According to the bill, “many young people in this state graduate from high school without having basic financial literacy or money management skills.”

The bill continues, “the Legislature finds that, in light of economic challenges nationwide, sound financial management skills are vitally important to all Floridians, particularly high school students, and WHEREAS, the Legislature also finds that requiring educational instruction in financial literacy and money management as a prerequisite to high school graduation will better prepare young people in this state for adulthood by providing them with the requisite knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.”

For more information on the new law, visit here.

Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Controversial “Don’t Say Gay” Bill on Monday, March 28

Denise Diaz, Copy Editor

According to the Florida Senate website,  SB 1834 states “a school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” Faculty and staff would be prohibited from having any conversations with a student or class about their gender identity or sexual orientation. Teachers are also to refrain from any classroom instruction about the topic.

The document also states having said discussions are a violation of parental rights in education and states “a parent of a student may bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates this paragraph and seek injunctive relief. A court may award damages and shall award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a parent who receives declaratory or injunctive relief.”

For more information on SB 1834, visit here.

Arts and Entertainment

Here’s What You Missed At the Oscars

Jeremy Gottschalk, EIC, and Becca Sara Coffy, Contributor

The Oscars were more than a controversy over a misplaced and inappropriate joke.

St. Petersburg, Florida, local and producer Will Packer created the first all Black production team for this year’s Academy Awards show.

The hosts included comedians Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall and Amy Schumer.

First ever instance of two women directors winning consecutively since 1929. Jame Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” took the win a year after Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” in 2021.

‘Actor in a Supporting Role’ winner Troy Kotsur, “CODA”, is the second performer who is Deaf to be awarded an Oscar in Academy Awards history. The win was celebrated alongside “CODA”  co-star and Deaf actor Marlee Matlin who received the first award in 1987 for “Children of a Lesser God”. 

‘Actress in a Leading Role’ winner and first-time Oscar recipient Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, addressed current political climates in her acceptance speech. “We’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country, with the only goal of further dividing us.” Chastain portrayed the late Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, a TV evangelist who would later become a champion for the LGBTQIA+ community.