Within each of us is a unique force of talent and potential waiting to emerge and take the world by storm. Oftentimes that precious gift lies dormant – like a flower without sunlight and water, it remains hidden in darkness, in danger of withering away forever. That’s why it’s so special when someone comes along whose dedication and generosity allows that person’s promise to blossom to its full fruition. The big-hearted people at Progress Energy have provided this life force to countless Polk State College students, illuminating their path and energizing their dreams. They have gone way beyond powering homes, to empowering individuals to transform their lives.
The company has played a vital role in the success of Polk State students through direct scholarship donations to the Polk State College Foundation, totaling approximately $35,000 over the years, and have freely and enthusiastically given their support for numerous College and Foundation events and programs that help students attain their dream of a college degree and enhance the learning experience.
In addition, the company has provided a wonderful service to the College through Jerry Miller, Progress Energy’s Community Relations Manager, who has provided volunteer leadership to the Polk State community as Vice Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, and on a variety of other committees.
In a check presentation ceremony on February 27, 2012 at the District Board of Trustees meeting on the Winter Haven campus, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored Progress Energy for its immense generosity and dedication to the College. Mr. Miller was there to present Progress Energy’s generous cumulative gift, representing the meaningful relationship between Progress Energy, Polk State College and its Foundation.
“Education is one of the key areas our company targets for philanthropy, because we recognize that education plays a vital role in building community and promoting economic development,” said Mr. Miller.
“And for me on a personal level, I am a big fan of the College, and I’m proud to be part of it. It’s fulfilling to make a positive impact on the community, and be able to direct money where it’s needed most and see the value of the College grow. You really get caught up in the excitement of it,” he added.
He received heartfelt thanks from Carle E. Locke, Jr., Treasurer for the Foundation Board.
“Polk State and its Foundation are extremely fortunate to have such an actively engaged company in Progress Energy that helps the College attain its world class vision,” said Mr. Locke. “Jerry, on behalf of your fellow members of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for Progress Energy’s generous support of this important institution that makes it possible for thousands of individuals to better their lives for themselves and their families through a Polk State degree.” Pictured left to right: Carl E. Locke, Jr., Dan Dorrell, Linda Pilkington, Jerry Miller, Dr. Eileen Holden, Ernie Pinner, Mark Turner, Greg Littleton and Rick Garcia.