Campus & Community

Rose pays it forward through Success Circle donation

Gina Rose 011
Gina Rose helps students in the Vocational Preparatory Instruction lab.

As the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, Gina Rose has had a lifelong passion for learning.

Growing up in a working-class family in the rural town of Ware, Mass., her parents stressed the need to go to college.

“Even though they didn’t get a college education, they always wanted that for me,” said Rose, a learning specialist on the Lake Worth campus. “In fact, when I would ask them what I was going to be when I grew up, all they would say is ‘You’re going to College.'”

Rose did just that, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in education from the University of Massachusetts. After college, she owned an art studio for a while before moving to Florida where she earned a journeyman electrician trade license and an Associate in Science in graphic design technology from PBSC. Her education opened doors to various jobs throughout her life, including her current one at PBSC, which she says is the perfect fit for her as it combines her trade and academic skills. She began working at the College in 1996.

This year, she is one of 120 donors to date who have given to the PBSC Foundation’s 2017 Success Circle campaign to support student scholarships. The employee initiative, which kicked off Sept. 29, runs until Nov. 1.

Rose has been giving to the College’s Success Circle campaign for years. This year, she gave her largest donation of $1,000 to support scholarships for students in PostSecondary Adult Vocational and trade and industry fields.

For giving at least $1,000, Rose will be invited to a luncheon with PBSC President Ava. L. Parker.

“I increased my donation to the Success Circle this year because not only do I have a passion to help people learn, I feel so fortunate for where I am today and to work at Palm Beach State. Through my electrician jobs, I’ve had to crawl in hot attics or stand on the side of highways digging ditches in the rain. To have air conditioning, great benefits and great people around me at the College are things I don’t take for granted.”

Rose, who loves working with her hands, has learned many skills throughout her life, but believes everyone should pursue a trade license or at least learn the basics.

“I hate when I see helpless people. Everybody should at least learn something about some trade so they can avoid getting scammed or be able to fix things themselves.”

She also hopes to see more females choose to pursue trade careers, and wants them to know that they’re not just for men.

“It’s a people’s world not a man’s world. I would tell any female that she could be just as successful as a man in any trade.”

Rose knows what it’s like to be discouraged as a female. While she was in trade classes at North Technical Education Center in Riviera Beach, she asked her instructor one day if he thought she could advance to the Electrical Apprenticeship Program when she saw her fellow classmates leaving to do so.

“He just shook his head no at me. However, this only fueled my desire to succeed.”

Rose was not only successful in the program, she graduated first in her class.

Experiences like these only added to her reasons for giving to the Success Circle campaign. According to Rochelle Nolan, director of planned giving, employees give to the campaign for various reasons.

“People give because they believe in the power of education and want to see students who might be struggling succeed,” she said. “They themselves might have struggled or have been first-generation in college. A scholarship can make the difference between a student being able to stay in school or dropping out. When PBSC employees see that, they just want to help.”

The PBSC Foundation has welcomed 69 new donors to date in its current Success Circle campaign. Last year, the campaign had 54 new donors.

In 2016, 145 PBSC employees participated in the campaign, which raised $36,500. This year, the Foundation hopes to increase the number of participants to 245 and raise more money.

As of now, the campaign has raised $20,362. New to the initiative this year is weekly drawings, where three donors are selected for prize awards. The prizes have been donated by area businesses.

Last year, the Foundation awarded $1.6 million dollars in scholarships to PBSC students.

To give to the Foundation’s Success Circle campaign, visit

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3 comments on “Rose pays it forward through Success Circle donation”

  1. What an empowering story, Gina! Your story is inspirational, well done!
    Congrats! I’m so glad to know you, Bravo.

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