PBSC employee campaign aims to transform students’ lives
Chuck Zettler knows the value of higher education. That’s why for the past 16 years, he has made a commitment to give to the Palm Beach State College Foundation’s annual Success Circle initiative, a PBSC employee giving campaign which launches on Monday, Oct. 15.
“I really understand how education changes someone’s life,” Zettler said. “I have had a wonderful career thanks to my education and PBSC. In two years, I will be retiring. This would not have happened without higher education.”
The monthlong campaign, which supports student scholarships, runs until Nov. 16. Zettler, a first-generation college student whose parents never completed high school, has been giving each year to help this group.
“I’m a big supporter because not only do I know what it’s like to be this type of student, I know many students who without having received a scholarship would have never finished college and gone on to positively impact our economy and community,” Zettler said.
This year, his gift will go even farther as every $1 donated to First-Generation scholarships is matched by the state with $2, tripling the impact PBSC employee contributions have on the lives of students.
“The 2 to 1 match is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to make a difference. Just $1 a pay check over a 12-month period means $72 for First-Generation scholarships,” said David Rutherford, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “The collective efforts of our PBSC colleagues can lead to over $100,000 in First-Generation scholarships. Together, we can transform the lives of the students we serve.”
It’s not only first-generation students that the campaign aims to help but students in all areas, especially those who are struggling financially. This is what prompts many employees such as Fred Francois to give. Francois, who has increased his donation every year since his arrival to PBSC in 2015, hears firsthand about the financial challenges students face.
“I see these students every day and hear about their struggles,” said Francois, a financial aid advisor who donated $700 last year to the campaign. “It hurts me when they say they can’t find enough money to pay for their books or that they can’t afford a bus ride to class. After hearing this, how could I not give.”
To show appreciation to employees like Francois and to say thank you to those who participated last year, the Office of Institutional Advancement is hosting “Thank You!” events on each campus. These events, which are open to all employees, will also provide an opportunity for other employees to join the Success Circle and support scholarships for students. Emails will be sent out with more details about each campus event soon.
There will also be campus competitions, where the campus with the highest percentage of employees that participate through payroll deduction will claim The Provost Cup prize. That campus will also get funding to hold a campus celebration and will have bragging rights for a year. The Belle Glade and Loxahatchee campuses took the honor in 2017. The Provost Cup will be presented at a Success Circle Donor Appreciation event on Feb. 15, 2019.
The goal of the campaign is to get 100 percent employee participation. Employees can sign up to support Success Circle through payroll deduction, online donations or by check made out to PBSC Foundation (all contributions are tax deductible). For more information, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/SuccessCircle, or contact Danielle Sylvester at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561-868-3543.