• Northwest Florida State College Announces 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

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    January 11, 2021
    The Northwest Florida State College Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Four awardees per year are chosen based on nominations in the categories of: Distinguished Alumni, an alumni with a true success story in the state or national arena; Against the Odds, an alumni who has achieved success despite adversity; Rising Star, an alumni who is under 40 years of age with the potential for achievement in the state or national level; and Hometown Hero, an alumni who has achieved success within the College’s district and has demonstrated notable community involvement. 

    The 2020 awardees are: 
    Jennifer Frances - Distinguished Alumni 
    Jennifer Frances established Bess the Book Bus (BBB), a nonprofit program in Tampa that provides literacy access to children and families in under-served and under resourced neighborhoods by providing free books. Since it began BBB has provided approximately 800,000 books to children in the state of Florida. She is currently working with school districts, head start programs and others to increase the reach of BBB and provided books to even more children.

    Wendy Jones - Against the Odds 
    A single mom of three boys and her nephew, Wendy wanted a better life for her family. She worked at a convenience store by day, took care of her kids, and studied at night by flashlight when the power was cut off. Her dedication and persistence paid off when she obtained her Medical Coder/Biller certificate and landed her dream job at White Wilson Medical Center.

    Eric Brown - Rising Star 
    While attending FSU Law School, Eric decided to change directions and go to medical school. After graduating from FSU College of Medicine, Eric was promoted to Lieutenant and began his surgical internship in the US Navy. Once he is eligible per Navy protocol, Eric will compete for a surgical residency.

    Valerie Bogar - Hometown Hero 
    Valerie was one of the six original teens when the Youth Village started in 1999. Now she serves as the program director and is leading the incoming preschool and voluntary prekindergarten programs that will soon be offered as she continues to build the local nonprofit that has served over 2,700 children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

    “Our alumni award winners are shining examples of the achievement that can result from a credential earned at Northwest Florida State College,” said President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “I salute your accomplishments and congratulate you on your successes.”

    The NWFSC Foundation is now taking nominations for its 2021 Alumni Awards, the opportunity is open to any alumnus of NWF State College (Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, Okaloosa-Walton Community College, Okaloosa-Walton College). Award recipients will be recognized at the Foundation’s Annual Scholars and Donors Luncheon in fall of 2021.

    For more information, call the Foundation office at 850-729-5357 or email alumni@nwfsc.edu. For complete descriptions of eligibility requirements and nomination information, visit www.nwfscfoundation.org/Alumni/Award.cfm. All nominations for the 2021 awards are due by March 15, 2021.
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