Making an Impact
Victoria German was a River Ridge High School senior when she decided to stay local for her next educational step. “After graduating from high school, I lacked direction and was uncertain about my future.” Victoria found Pasco-Hernando Community College’s affordability helpful, but she still needed financial assistance. Applying for a PHCC work-study position, Victoria was employed by the PHCC Foundation and learned the Foundation provides scholarships to students needing financial assistance. Upon receiving the Edward K. Roberts Scholarship, she could devote more time to her studies. “Thankfully at PHCC I found an extraordinary blend of support and guidance that helped me to determine my educational path. With the caring encouragement of faculty/staff and the much needed financial assistance from a Foundation scholarship, my future was looking bright!”
Assisting the Foundation three years and scholarships allowed Victoria to earn her associates of arts degree, join the student government association and Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and become an initial student enrolled in the PHSC bachelor program. Continuing her education at the University of South Florida, Victoria recognized the impact from the Foundation’s support provided her. She has assisted at several fundraising events to help the Foundation raise money for future student scholarships.
Today, Victoria German is a proud PHSC alumna and works for IQPC Exchange as a senior event manager.
Kenny Korchak fondest memory was “visiting the College for the first time with my grandpa, he worked part-time as a custodian at the West Campus. He brought me to work with him one day and told me he envisioned me attending PHSC.” From that moment, Korchak worked hard to make his grandfather’s dream a reality. Although tested by health and learning challenges, Kenny persevered—driven to overcome any challenge. Against recommendations, Kenny enrolled in traditional high school courses and received his diploma. Kenny registered at Pasco-Hernando Community College’s Criminal Justice Academy. He did not qualify for federal student aid and needed assistance to afford tuition, textbooks and laboratory fees. Fortunately, Korchak received a PHSC Foundation scholarship—the Linda Bishop Tew Memorial Scholarship—and maintained a full time schedule, 3.5 GPA and join two honor societies. Receiving his Associates of Arts degree, Korchak enrolled in the new PHSC Bachelor of Applied Science degree program.
One of the College’s first program graduates, Korchak understands the PHSC Foundation’s impact to the College and community. “Until recently, I had no idea how important the Foundation was. The staff work diligently behind the scenes educating the community on the needs of the College. Donations facilitate to assist in building new programs, establishing scholarships and so much more!”
Today, Kenny Korchak is a full time Port Richey police dispatcher and community advocate for students with learning disabilities. He also a proud PHSC alumni and PHSC Foundation supporter.
Kenny Korchak was a recipient of the Linda Bishop Tew Memorial Scholarship. The late Geraldine E. Bishop, a proud PHSC alumni and PHSC Foundation donor, established the fund. Cumulatively, Bishop donated nearly $250,000 toward student scholarships.
Kimmarie Lopez was blessed at an early age to recognize her calling for a nursing career. Beginning her journey at then Pasco-Hernando Community College, Lopez enrolled in the Medical Assistant program and began accumulating credits toward a nursing degree when she enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserve with hopes to become a flight nurse. Difficulties in taking the State Board of Nursing test for a license left Lopez with the only option to return to college and work toward a degree. Happily marrying and having two children, she put her education on hold and focused instead on her family. When Lopez’s children were older, she found a passion for Oncology Nursing. She was devastated to learn her previous 9 years of experience was not influential in receiving a position and was encouraged to further her education. Unfortunately, my husband and I were not in a financial position to support returning to PHSC. Accepting assistance from her parents, Kimmarie became one of the first applicants for Pasco-Hernando State College’s new BSN program.
Although excited to restart her academic career and receive her degree, Kimmarie experience a culmination of difficulties that put a strain on her aspiration. Sadly, within two months of beginning the program, her mother passed away unexpectantly. Weeks later, her teenage son became incredibly ill and hospitalized. The following semester her father became ill and Lopez was his only caretaker. Forced to cut back on her job and financial burdens from mounting hospital bills left Lopez in crisis and doubts of finishing the nursing program. After receiving a personal phone call from her professor questioning why she had not registered, Kimmarie was enlightened on the Foundation scholarships available and encouraged to apply. “I would not have graduated without the enormous gift of Foundation support. I was able to finish because of the wonderful donors who provided for my hopes, dreams and aspirations. Thank you for providing opportunity, encouragement and the gift of education.”
Kimmarie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December 2018.