Category Archives: Education & Talent Development


Lakeland ABWA Offers Two Scholarships to PSC

The Lakeland Downtown Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is offering two scholarships worth $1,000 each funded through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund to two deserving area students.

The Lakeland Downtown of ABWA provides Stephen Bufton Memorial Scholarships (SBMEF) to female students who will be attending accredited U.S. colleges, universities and community/vocational schools. Applicants must be citizens of the United States; residents of Polk County attending Polk State College, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and age of 18 years or older.

Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact:

Kimberly Andreadis/Education Chair (863) 701-7402 or (863) 701-5280

Applications must be completed by March 31, 2015 to A minimum of three (3) eligible applications are required in order for the scholarships to be awarded. The scholarship recipients will be notified in May, 2015.

SBMEF, ABWA’s national educational fund, is one of the most highly respected grant and scholarship funds in the country. For 60 years, ABWA has helped women achieve their business and professional success through educational scholarships.  Since its inception, more than 16,000 women nationwide have been awarded more than 17 million dollars in scholarships.

The Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund is a 501 (c) 3 charitable trust and public foundation. It has the same tax status as public schools, churches and community funds. The fund is listed in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service “Cumulative List of Organizations” described in Section 170(c) of the IRS code of 1954 – revised Oct. 31, 1974.


PSC Collegiate High Schools Hosting Information Sessions for Prospective Students

Polk State’s collegiate high schools will host information sessions for prospective students in February.

Students at Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School in Winter Haven and Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School fulfill high school requirements while also earning college credits. In many cases, students graduate with both their high school diplomas and associate’s degrees.

In addition to the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs, Polk State’s collegiate high schools offer courses that lead to industry certification in computer programming and infrastructure, and health science. A Criminal Justice track is available at Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate, and Polk State Lakeland Collegiate offers a Digital Multimedia option.

Current high school sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply to the schools. Requirements include a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (weighted and cumulative) and a passing score on the PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test); some programs at the schools require only a 2.5 unweighted and cumulative GPA.

The PERT is administered Monday through Saturday at Polk State Lakeland, Polk State Winter Haven and the Polk State JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.

Prospective students are encouraged to attend an information session at any of the following locations and times:

Polk State Winter Haven, 999 Ave. H N.E.

Student Center (WST) 126

Feb. 3, 19

6:30 p.m.

For more information, call (863) 298-6800.


Polk State Lakeland, 3425 Winter Lake Road Lakeland Technology Building (LTB) 1100

Feb. 4, 11, 25

6:30 p.m.

For more information, call (863) 669-2322.

Applications will be available at the information sessions or at the school offices. The application deadline for lottery admission to both schools is Feb. 27.


SlingShot Polk Business Plan Competition Offers Cash, Mentoring to Student Entrepreneurs

SLingshot Logo

Young entrepreneurs in Polk County have a chance to win cash and mentoring from experts thanks to a new competition spearheaded by local education and business leaders.

Small businesses represent 98% of the employers in the state of Florida, demonstrating the need for businesses and educators to encourage creative entrepreneurship that drives the state’s economic growth.

High school and college students under age 25 are invited to enter business plans outlining a new idea or venture that provides measurable benefit to the Polk County region. Teams with up to four members are also eligible.

Entries must include a one-page summary business plan and are submitted online at Judges will select up to 12 semi-finalists from entries submitted by January 30.

Students interested in entering the competition can find helpful videos and tips on entrepreneurship at and


FSC Commencement to Honor Saddle Creek Founder David Lyons

Florida Southern College will hold its Winter Commencement exercises on Saturday, December 13, at 10:30 a.m. in the Branscomb Auditorium. Of the approximately 163 degrees to be awarded, 44 will be graduate degrees in business, education, and nursing.

Kevin M. Hyman, the executive vice president of operations of Bright House Networks, will be the commencement speaker, and Florida Southern College Trustee David P. Lyons, founder and chairman of Saddle Creek Logistics Services, will be presented with the honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Mr. Hyman oversees all operations including customer service, field operations, marketing, sales, finance, communications and government relations for Bright House, the nation’s sixth largest cable operator. He is also responsible for Bright House Networks’ award-winning 24-hour news channels and sports channel: News 13 in Orlando, Bay News 9 and Bright House Network Sports. He is a 29-year veteran of the television industry and joined Time Warner Cable, the predecessor to Bright House Networks, in 1989.  He is actively engaged in the community and serves on numerous boards that include the Board of Enterprise Florida and the Florida Cable Television Association. Mr. Hyman was awarded his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Northern Colorado and his graduate degree in Economics from the University of Rhode Island

Mr. Lyons, a graduate of the University of Florida, was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame in 2004, and was among the Florida finalists for Ernst & Young’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He founded the company, formerly known as Saddle Creek Corporation, in 1966. It now employs more than 2,500 associates and operates more than 16 million square feet of space in 37 locations nationwide, with core services of warehousing, transportation, packaging, and fulfillment. The company has recently received several industry awards, including recognition by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, and is widely recognized as a leader in the use of alternative fuels for freight transportation.

At each commencement, a Senior Speaker, representing the senior class, addresses the convocation. This year the Senior Speaker will be Danielle Snodgrass from Fairfax, Va., who is receiving a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations.

During the commencement ceremony, one of the graduating seniors will be presented the President’s Scholar medal. The medal honors a graduate whose academic standing is in the top 1 percent, who exemplifies the values of the College, and who has a demonstrated commitment to scholarship, student leadership and service.

poly bus

Florida Poly Students Enjoy Free Bus Rides as the Polytechnic Circuit Express Celebrates Grand Opening


poly bus

Florida Polytechnic University students, faculty and staff have free access to the Polytechnic Circuit Express, thanks to a partnership that officially kicked off Wednesday between the University, Polk Transit and the Cities of Lakeland and Auburndale.

A 32-passenger bus provided by the Cities of Lakeland and Auburndale will now connect the University community to popular housing, shopping and entertainment in the region.

To celebrate the Polytechnic Circuit Express service option, an official ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony took place at Florida Polytechnic University on Wednesday. City officials from Lakeland and Auburndale traveled to the ceremony from their respective cities aboard two Polk Transit buses – each wrapped in a Florida Polytechnic theme.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer our students safe and convenient bus service to help them get to class, socialize with friends and explore all that our region has to offer. The response to the Polytechnic Circuit has been great so far and we continue to see increased participation from our students,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “I’m very grateful to our partners Polk Transit, the City of Lakeland and the City of Auburndale for their commitment to this project, the University and most importantly, our students.”

Monday through Saturday, the Polytechnic Circuit Express takes students from the University to four apartment complexes (Arbor Glen, The Landings, Victoria Manor and The Preserve), through Downtown Lakeland, and then back to Florida Polytechnic. Late night service is offered on Friday and Saturday, and limited Sunday service provides an extra stop at Lakeside Village.

In addition to the Polytechnic Circuit Express, students, faculty and staff with a valid Florida Poly ID also have free access to the entire bus system in Polk County.

“This partnership is a great example of how our region can work together for the greater good,” said Executive Director of Polk Transit Tom Phillips. “Students enjoy safe, reliable transportation, and the local businesses will benefit from the increased student traffic. We are delighted to work with the Cities of Lakeland and Auburndale on this project.”

For more information about the Polytechnic Circuit Express Bus Service, please visit