Archive for the ‘Midtown’ Category

A lot of people loved back-to-school shopping as children. There was something about freshly sharpened pencils, a pristine box of crayons, and a new backpack that would make the impending school year feel more tangible and exciting.

But not everyone has the luxury of new school supplies. For some, a new backpack every year ranks low on the priority list when money is stretched thin, and you have bills to pay and a family to feed.

The Care Fair was a family affair, with older siblings helping younger brothers and sisters pick out their favorite backpack design from 20 options.

That’s where Junior League of St. Petersburg (JLSP) and Community Health Centers of Pinellas, Inc. (CHCP) step in.

In partnership with the St. Petersburg College Midtown Center, the two local organizations hosted the 23rd Annual Back-to-School Care Fair on Saturday, July 27. SPC frequently teams up with area groups and businesses both on- and off-campus as part of its Community of Care initiative. A large part of the college’s mission is to make sure that the entire SPC family—students and employees—as well as the surrounding communities, have what they need to lead a healthy and productive life.

The Care Fair was busy from start to finish, with many guests showing up before it began at 8:00 a.m. Not only were there a plethora of local vendors and community resources located inside of the Jamerson Building at the Midtown Center, including an SPC recruitment table, but school-aged children could also pick up a free backpack filled with new school supplies. The backpacks and supplies were provided by JLSP and kids were able to choose from 20 different colorful designs.

Just next door at the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Center, students received complimentary medical and dental exams from CHCP, ensuring that they show up on the first day of class with a bright smile and clean bill of health. Ten local barbers were also on-site to provide fresh haircuts for the kids.

Members of CHCP leadership officially cut the ribbon on their new Mobile Health Center at the Care Fair.

Outside in the SPC parking lot, fairgoers were treated to a live DJ, a drumline, fitness activities, a multitude of vendor tents, and even a police K-9 demo. Representatives from area professional sports teams handed out branded giveaways while the always colorful NOMAD Art Bus acted as a canvas for anyone feeling creative. Kids were given free teddy bears from the Tampa Rough Riders and a close-up look at a fire engine from St. Petersburg Fire Rescue’s Station 3.

The Care Fair was also an opportunity for CHCP to cut the ribbon on their new Mobile Health Center. The completely paperless clinic on wheels will allow for greater patient accessibility and is even equipped with a dental chair and dental x-ray machine. It is also wheelchair-friendly.

Overall, the Care Fair was a great success, and many kids and parents left the festivities with big smiles on their faces. SPC was happy to collaborate with so many local organizations and vendors as it continues to cultivate a Community of Care in Pinellas County.

To learn more about SPC’s Community of Care initiative, please visit stpe.co/communityofcare.

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St. Petersburg College celebrates the launch of Ignite, a guaranteed admission program into Florida A&M University (FAMU). The new program guarantees admission for eligible students to a specific program at FAMU after earning an associate degree from SPC.

SPC will host an information session from 4 – 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the SPC Midtown Community Room, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.

“We are excited about this great partnership with one of the nation’s most esteemed HBCUs,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams. “This relationship allows us to expand educational opportunities for our students, who can start their college career as an SPC Titan and finish it as a FAMU Rattler.”

After completing an associate degree at SPC, eligible Ignite students will transfer to one of five programs at FAMU including:

  • Biology
  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Criminal Justice
  • Journalism

For more information about Ignite, visit why.spc.edu/ignite.




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SPC College Visit Day

Eligible Pinellas County seniors are invited to St. Petersburg College’s “College Visit Day” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for open house events. These open house events count as an official college visit day. While events will vary slightly from campus to campus, students can:

  • Explore different majors – and the careers they lead to
  • Tour campuses
  • Learn how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC

Students should ask for an official college visit letter to take back to their school as proof they attended the event. Campuses hosting College Visit Days are:

For more information, call 727-341-3400 or visit stpe.co/collegevisitdayfall17.



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College Visit Day

Pinellas County high school students can take a day off from classes on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to visit St. Petersburg College’s open house events. Open to high school juniors and seniors, these events count as an official college visit day. While events will vary slightly from campus to campus, students can:

  • Explore different majors – and the careers they lead to
  • Take a tour of our beautiful campuses
  • Learn about how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC
  • Attend motivational seminars
  • Enjoy free refreshments

Ask for your official college visit letter to take back to your school as proof that you attended the event. Choose the campus nearest you:

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Over the past year, Diana Wright, St. Petersburg College’s Director of Facilities Services, has organized several community service opportunities for the college’s Facilities department.

The department added a food drive to their holiday party, collected bags of healthy snacks for children in need, and on May 21, some of the Facilities group spent their Saturday representing SPC at a Habitat for Humanity house down the street from the Midtown campus.


Wright said she was inspired by the Leadership SPC volunteer group project to bring an SPC staff group together to do community service.

“It’s just something we’re doing informally right now,” Wright said.

The five Facilities staffers who could volunteer on Saturday were ready for work, which included painting, carpentry and installing insulation.

“They had a supervisor on-site who gave specific instructions on what to do,” Wright said. “He said our team was probably the best group he’s had in a long time because they needed very little direction.”

Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning & Institutional Services Jim Waechter said their work was very much appreciated. Board Member Deveron Gibbons heard that the group would be there, so he stopped by to offer his support and thanks, and the future homeowner worked alongside them, as well.

“It was great to meet her and her appreciation was very gratifying,” Waechter said. “Everybody left with a nice sense of gratification and a willingness to do it again.”

Waechter worked on the team that was installing insulation that day, and he said the work was no joke.

“We were dripping with sweat,” he said. “I took a shower and a nap as soon as I got home.”

Wright said the group will definitely be doing more service projects in the future.

“I started this group of volunteers so that staff with similar interests could come together and serve in their communities,” Wright said. “Lending a helping hand is something that has personally helped me stay eternally thankful and serves as a reminder of how blessed we all are.”

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L to R: Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College; Gregory Wright, Community Affairs Manager, Duke Energy Foundation, Florida; Melissa Seixas, Government andCommunity Relations Manager, Duke Energy Florida; Dale Oliver, Chairman, SPC Board of Trustees.

St. Petersburg College and Duke Energy are joining forces to stimulate the workforce and community.

Duke Energy is helping to develop the area’s workforce by providing $30,000 in scholarship support to SPC students.

The gift to the SPC Foundation will benefit students who are the first in their family to pursue a college credential and will be specifically earmarked for students attending SPC’s Midtown or Downtown campuses.

“Duke highly values this partnership with St. Petersburg College and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students in St. Petersburg,” said Melissa Seixas, Government and Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy Florida, at a recent recognition by the College Board of Trustees.

Seixas described the partnership as “a multi-layered relationship.”

In August, Duke provided $10,000 and a team of volunteers to help support the grand opening of the college’s Douglas L. Jamerson Midtown Campus.

A long list of local dignitaries and more than 1,500 area residents joined the event to celebrate the opening of the 49,000-square-foot, state-of-the art center.

Located at 1300 22nd Street, South in St. Petersburg, the Jamerson Center was named in honor of the longtime legislator, Florida Education Commissioner and St. Petersburg Junior College alum.

“We appreciate all Duke does for St. Petersburg College and for the entire community,” said College Trustee Deveron Gibbons.

Learn more about Duke Energy Foundation.

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St. Petersburg College wins Phoenix Award

Charles Ray, (far left) with PPM Consultants in Orlando, nominated St. Petersburg College for the 2015 EPA Brownfield Phoenix Award. Also pictured, left to right: Jim Waechter, Associate Vice President, Facilities Planning & Institutional Services; Tonjua Williams, Senior Vice President, Student Services; and Midtown Provost Kevin Gordon

St. Petersburg College has been chosen as the 2015 EPA Brownfield Phoenix Award winner. This prestigious award honors the innovative leadership of men and women working to solve the critical environmental problems of transforming abandoned property into productive sites for new economic and community opportunities and assets.

St. Petersburg College was chosen for this award for the development of the new Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center.

“I could not be more proud to be part of the college’s work in the revitalization of the Midtown community,” said Jim Waechter, Associate Vice President, Facilities Planning & Institutional Services. Every construction project that we endeavor is rewarding, but this project is particularly so because of the significant tangible effect that it will produce in our community for generations to come.”

“What an honor it is for the college to be recognized for its efforts to breathe some life back into an important stretch of 22nd Street in Midtown,” said Tonjua Williams, Senior Vice President, Student Services. “We’re proud to be part of the educational and economic revitalization of this historic area of St. Petersburg.”

The new center includes graphic art installations that tell the story of the rich history of Midtown, and 22nd Street – affectionately nicknamed “The Deuces.” At the recent grand opening of the new center, community members walked the halls and shared their memories of eating at Geech’s BBQ, working at the old Mercy Hospital, and dancing nights away at the old Manhattan Casino. Classes began this fall in the new, 49,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art college campus, located in St. Petersburg’s historic Midtown neighborhood.

“Our enrollment is already up by 50% over last fall, which illustrates the strong desire within the community for increased educational opportunities,” said SPC Midtown Provost Kevin Gordon. “We are also thrilled by the number of community members who are utilizing the services provided at the Midtown Center.”

St. Petersburg College has long been dedicated to providing educational opportunities in Midtown. The original 10,000-square-foot Midtown Center at 1048 22nd St. S., opened in 2003 as part of a $2 million St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s HOPE VI project.

In 2012, as demand for classes and community involvement grew, SPC’s Board of Trustees approved a $14 million expenditure to build the new three-story building on land leased from the City of St. Petersburg. The new center includes multiple classrooms, two science labs, three computer labs, a book store, a community room and a career center.

The award was presented to the college at the National Brownfields Training Conference, Sept. 2-4 in Chicago. The conference is the largest training and networking event in the nation focused on economic redevelopment and sustainability.

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