SANFORD, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2015) – The Foundation for Seminole State College has received a $50,000 grant from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF), to support first-generation students at the college.

“The financial support from the Magic helps so many first-generation students who otherwise may not have the circle of support to go to school, but also the resources needed to be successful and get into that job that they want,” says Dr. John Gyllin, executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State College.

The Foundation for Seminole State is one of 21 nonprofit organizations in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties sharing $1 million in donations. The awards were announced in a ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the OMYF-MFF has awarded around $1 million to local youth organizations.

The grant will go toward the college’s Molding Another Generation in College (MAGIC) Fund, which was established in 2012. The MAGIC Fund provides support – mentoring, tutoring and assistance with financial planning and budgeting – to students who are the first in their families to attend college.

“Without this funding from the Magic and these resources, lots of students wouldn’t have the support to make it through college,” Gyllin says. “The Magic see the impact that this has, and we’re so happy to partner with them.”

First-generation students graduate at a significantly lower rate than average, even when demographics, motivation, academic preparation, academic progress, grade point average and income are accounted for, Gyllin says. At Seminole State, first-generation students account for about 25 percent of the student body. The OMYF-MFF grant will help Seminole State effectively serve and accommodate even more first-generation students.

The college will be recognized at “Seminole State Night” on March 25 at the Orlando Magic’s game against the Atlanta Hawks in the Amway Center. Tickets for this game are still available starting at $15. To order, call 407.916.2523 and mention “Seminole State.” All ticket purchases come with a complimentary Seminole State T-shirt commemorating college’s 50th anniversary.

The OMYF has distributed more than $19.8 million to help Central Florida’s youth over the last 25 years, helping more than 2 million people in need.

The grants were presented in a manner reminiscent of the NBA Draft, with representatives from each organization recognized as members of the OMYF-MFF All-Star team. As they received the donations on behalf of their organizations, the All-Stars were presented with either a specialty basketball or a jersey and greeted by Orlando Magic representatives.

For more information on the grant, visit www.nba.com/magic/omyf.

About the Foundation for Seminole State College: The Foundation is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to enhancing Seminole State College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. Members of the board of directors contribute their management and leadership skills without compensation to support these initiatives. For more information, visit www.seminolestate.edu/foundation/.

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