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Polk State Student Spotlight-October:

Daniel Kept His Promise

Daniel Cano made a promise to himself: he would graduate high school, be the first in his family to go to college, complete a baccalaureate degree, then start his career. Unfortunately, obstacles in life can cause detours, delays, and cancellations.

Daniel graduated Kathleen High School fifth in his class while dual enrolled at Polk State College. He was accepted to enroll at the University of South Florida; unfortunately, a knee injury became an obstacle, forcing a detour in his plans.

Daniel did not give up. Instead he chose to continue his college education at Polk State. With the dual-enrollment credits he earned while in high school, he graduated summa cum laude with a Polk State College Associate in Arts degree within a year of graduating high school.

Daniel continued towards a Polk State bachelor’s degree, but again, another situation delayed his plans. His mother was involved in a terrible car accident, and Daniel was compelled to quit college to help his family. He was struggling financially and losing hope that he would ever be able to complete his education and honor his promises.

To assist his family financially, Daniel started a new job in an entry-level position with Southeastern Construction and Maintenance in Mulberry. Following a promotion, he became a project estimator, a professional position where a mistake could be costly to the company.

Despite the detour and delay, Daniel never lost sight of his goals: “Everyone has obstacles in life, but I made a promise to myself to finish what I started and earn my bachelor’s degree.”

Daniel applied for, and was awarded, a Polk State College Foundation Scholarship, allowing him to re-start his education and re-enroll this fall. This scholarship gives Daniel the financial breathing room to focus primarily on his family, studies, and work. He is set to graduate in 2022 with a Polk State Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree with a concentration in Business Administration. His aspiration is to expand into a management position with his current employer.

Daniel is eager to share his newly broadened goals.

“I see a future there,” he explained. ”I love the construction industry because I enjoy being a part of turning nothing into something.”

Forever thankful for the scholarship he received, he will now be able to fulfill his promises to himself, and benefit his family and the community, while pursuing a path that infuses his passion and grateful heart for new beginnings.


Vice President and Foundation Executive Director Tracy Porter leaving the Eagle’s Nest.    

After a rewarding and impactful 14 years of serving Polk State College, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Foundation Executive Director Tracy Porter submitted her resignation. Tracy shared her sincere, overwhelming, heartfelt gratitude for her work with an active and visionary Board of Directors, talented and devoted team members who always went above and beyond to secure and soundly manage needed resources, generous donors who believed fervently in the mission, inspirational students who exhibited relentless perseverance, and consummately professional colleagues who demonstrated excellence in every endeavor and helped to champion the work of the Foundation and College.

Since joining Polk State in 2006 she had the distinct privilege to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to secure more than $77.5 million in resources for the Foundation and College. She is leaving Polk State humble and eternally appreciative for joining such a phenomenal institution and moving to this truly wonderful community. She is equally honored to have personally given approximately $35,000 to support the missions of Polk State College and its Foundation.

As she departs from the College, there could be no greater tribute to her than a donation to her family’s scholarship to continue to help even more students Tracy will always support the College and Foundation however she is able and will remain forever thankful for the opportunity to have helped countless students because of the kind and selfless hearts that have surrounded her and the institution over the years.