Demetrice Garcia is a mom to seven children, ranging in age from 20 to just seven months and she works part-time in the emergency department of a local hospital.
That’s plenty to juggle. For Garcia, there’s more: She’s also enrolled full-time as a biotechnology major at Finger Lakes Community College.
Garcia says she wouldn’t be able to pursue her dream of earning a degree if it weren’t for the support she has received from her employer, family and friends. Her perseverance has been recognized at FLCC with another measure of relief: she was recently awarded the Fred and Mary Jennejahn Memorial Scholarship.
The $1,000 award was created by FLCC mathematics professor Bryan Ingham and his wife, Christine, in honor of his grandparents. Fred was a WWII veteran, Rotarian and volunteer firefighter, while his wife was a longtime middle school math teacher.
FLCC scholarships advance Objective 1 by fostering self-advocacy and improving retention by removing financial barriers.
Garcia was able to meet Ingham at the 35th Annual Constellation Brands Honors Dinner, an event recently held at the FLCC main campus to recognize scholarship recipients and their benefactors.
“I’m inspired by students like Demi who can manage so many things while attending school,” said Ingham. “It’s an honor to be able to help Demi and her family with this scholarship.”
After graduating from Newark High School in 1996, Garcia decided it wasn’t the right time for her to attend college. She went to work and eventually signed on to join the Air Force, but found out during the required physical examination that she was pregnant.
Garcia had her baby – a girl named Mikaila – and soon after enrolled at a community college. A serious car crash in the first semester sidelined her plans. “I thought it was God trying to tell me something, so I went to work,” she said.
Along the way, Garcia had six more children. She juggled the demands of motherhood with a fair share of hardships: Her family was touched by incarceration, addiction and abuse.
A full-time job as a specimen processor in the blood draw lab at an area hospital brought financial stability and a renewed interest in college.
“I loved what I was doing and I had so much knowledge, it got to the point that the lab manager and the supervisors were asking me questions,” Garcia said. “After seven years of working there I decided I was going back to school. I thought, ‘I’m going to join the ranks – I’m going to get those letters after my name just like the rest of you.’”
Garcia switched departments and reduced her work hours, and enrolled in the fall of 2018 at FLCC, where her first-born is also a student. She hopes to complete her associate degree in December 2020.
“I can honestly say my life is completely backwards, but it is working backwards,” she said. “I keep thinking about it and I don’t think I would as happy and successful as I’ve been had I gone to college right out of high school. I am so thankful for the support I’m receiving from family and friends, and I’m grateful for this scholarship – it is helping me achieve my dream.”
Garcia is the second recipient of the scholarship. Seven new scholarships were awarded in the past year. One was created by Canandaigua husband-and-wife, Kevin Murphy and Lorena Garmezy of Canandaigua.
Murphy is considered one of the College’s “Storefront Pioneers” because he graduated from the then-Community College of the Finger Lakes in 1974 when classes were held in downtown storefronts. He then earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego. Garmezy earned her degree from Cornell University in 1986, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather.
The couple met while working at Rochester’s Strong Museum; he was the senior exhibit designer, while she worked in the education department. Both share an affinity for good wine, and hope to strengthen the connection between their respective alma maters – FLCC and Cornell – with the Garmezy & Murphy Viticulture Scholarship.
“We are excited about the viticulture program at FLCC, and also the viticulture and enology program at Cornell. Both have top-of-the-line facilities,” said Murphy. “Both of us value the importance of education as a solid foundation to success in life. A good education opened doors for both of us.”
Murphy and Garmezy attended the scholarship dinner and met the first recipient, Anastasia Van Ark of Lima, Livingston County. Murphy said she is a “very impressive, very bright young woman who will go far in life.”
Other new scholarships include:
- The Thomas Albanese Memorial Scholarship, created in memory of Thomas A. Albanese, a U.S. Army veteran and active member of the Canandaigua Lions Club and Ontario County Historical Society.
- The Bob Barbuto Memorial Jazz Scholarship created in memory of its namesake, an adjunct instructor of music at FLCC from 2003 through his passing in 2018. He arranged and performed backup music for well-known bands such as Blondie, the Four Tops, The Temptations, Pat Benatar and Tony Bennett during his extensive career as a composer and musician.
- The John H. Brahm III Memorial Scholarship, named in memory of a pioneer in the Finger Lakes wine industry. Brahm, who died early this year, was co-founder and winemaker at Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery in South Bristol.
- The Justin Christensen Memorial Scholarship, created in memory of a Clarkson University chemical engineering graduate who developed a passion for wine and winemaking working at a local winery during the summer months.
- The Geneva Community Projects Scholarship was created with the proceeds from the Rosé Soireé celebration in Geneva.
- The William D. Langston Memorial Scholarship, created by retired FLCC math Prof. William G. Langston in memory of his father, a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor who died in 2015 at age 93.
The privately funded FLCC Foundation scholarships are presented to part- and full-time students entering or returning to FLCC this fall or those who transferred to four-year colleges and universities.
Students apply for and are selected to receive the awards based on a variety of criteria relating to major, grade point average and intended occupation. The awards range from $100 to full tuition, currently $4,722 per year.
To create a new scholarship or donate to an existing fund, contact the FLCC Foundation at (585) 785-1541 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at give.flcc.edu.
The 2019-20 scholarship recipients by county are as follows (this list includes some students who earned scholarships in the spring 2019 semester and have since graduated):
Angelica: Cassidy Mountain, Mary Capozzi Integrated Health Care Scholarship
Fillmore: Samantha Bower, Laura McNamara Tyler ’96 Memorial Scholarship
Friendship: Calum Ruxton, Robert L. “Rodge” Case Award
Bronx: Solomon Cherry, FLCC Conservation Faculty Scholarship; Shantaevia Kidd, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Brooklyn: Sean Bernieri, The Frarey Family Scholarship
Johnson City: Rebecca Rayne, Ed & Gerry Cuony Scholarship
Dunkirk: Jesus Vega Hernandez, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Forestville: Brandy Schroeder, FLCC Conservation Faculty Scholarship
Horseheads: Emily Dobbs, Laura McNamara Tyler ’96 Memorial Scholarship
Angola: Kyle Ballard, John and Peggy Champaigne Achievement Award
Buffalo: Mary Elizabeth Padgett. Dr. Rebecca Burgess Memorial Scholarship
LeRoy: Sarah Efing, Brian M. Kolb Leadership Award, John M. Meuser Memorial Scholarship, and Dr. A. John Walker Chorale Music Award
Hemlock: Charlie Reitz, Dr. A. John Walker Chorale Music Award
Lima: Loren Manchester, Mathematics Department Award for Excellence; Jennifer Torres, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship; Anastasia Van Ark, Garmezy & Murphy Viticulture Scholarship
Fairport: Elizabeth Seewald, Arianne van Tienhoven Tepper Award; Ned Shipley, Tom Albanese Memorial Scholarship; Hanna Slaughter FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Hilton: Shaylyn Wiest, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Honeoye Falls: Meghan Doyle, FLCC Nursing Alumni Legacy Scholarship; Kevin Stottler, FAME Advanced Manufacturing Scholarship; Noah Van Bork, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship (science), Justin Christensen Memorial Scholarship
Pittsford: Richard Lomb, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Rochester: Jalissa Colon, Dr. Ina Sue Brown Memorial Scholarship, Mary E. Moynihan Memorial Scholarship; Gay Htoo, Student Access/McKenney Scholarship; Sara Infantino, Summers Completion Scholarship; Dan Magee, Dr. A. John Walker Chorale Music Award; Alexa Nicotina, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Stephen O’Brien, GW Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Tanya Scala, Alice C. Southgate Home Bureau Scholarship; Tianna Scelsi, FLCC Honors Studies Freshman Scholarship
Scottsville: Jenna Scott, Dr. Charles J. Meder Scholarship for the Arts
Baldwinsville: Angelina Profetto, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Bloomfield: Sarah Barker, Student Access/McKenney Scholarship; Ryan Fischer, FLCC Alumni Association Excellence Scholarship; John Henry, Robert L. “Rodge” Case Book Award; Jayde Langan, Ontario County Master Gardeners Scholarship; Gale McClellan, Judi Award; James McClelland, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship
Canandaigua: Alice Avila, IDEA Scholarship; Bradd Boyce, Reh Family Foundation Scholarship; Francisco Burquez, Summers Completion Scholarship; Katelyn Burquez, Summers Completion Scholarship; Stephanie Chrysler, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship; Olivia DiPaolo, Lois J. Griffith Memorial Scholarship; Daniel Ellers, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship; Rachel Emerson, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship; Emma Farnsworth, Mathematics Department Award for Excellence; Courtney Gaddy, S&S Memorial Scholarship; Andrea Gallinger, FLCC Horticulture Faculty Scholarship; Olivia Garlock, Ontario County Arts Council Mariner Family Scholarship; Madigan Groff, Summers Completion Scholarship; Rebecca Hazard, Massage Therapy Scholarship; Brody Hotelling, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; Angela Hurlbutt, Carl Krickmire Outstanding Theatre Student Award; Lillian Jensen, Dr. A. John Walker Chorale Music Award; Hannah Lochner, SUNY Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship; Jasmine Lofdahl, Brenda S. Brockman Beck Memorial Scholarship; Lydia Mazza, Busch Thompson Health Nursing Scholarship, Emily O’Neill, Truman Becker/Malcolm Strong Memorial Scholarship, Allison Pellett, Fraley Family Award; Sarah Trainor, The Shortsville Smokers Scholarship; Marissa Waterman, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Caleb Waterman, Francis Finnick Memorial Conservation Scholarship
Clifton Springs: Jen Neubauer, James P. Finkle Viticulture Scholarship; Sara Vanderhoof, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship
Farmington: Brianna Cole-Allen, Faye Marie Jensen Memorial Scholarship; Denise Owens, Fashion Forward Scholarship; Allison Riley, Reh Family Foundation Excellence Scholarship; Stacey Vanderwall, Fashion Forward Scholarship
Continued in next column
Geneva: Amanda Barnes, Bowen Family Scholarship; Roishon Bowman, Fashion Forward Scholarship; Gavin Caccavale-Brown, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship; Lisa Carylon, T.F. Insalaco Award for Excellence in Painting; Jessica Daggett, Fashion Forward Scholarship; Briana Horton, SUNY Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship; Margaret Jones, GW Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Tatiana Klestinec, Ed Morrell Biology/Biotechnology Scholarship; Georgedaliz Lopez, Hispanic Leadership Scholoarship; Alara Powell, Murray F. Gardner Memorial Scholarship; Kaylee Smolinski, Bowen Family Memorial Scholarship; Ciara Steele, The Awesome A’s Scholarship; Sarah Thorne, Fashion Forward Scholarship; Bailey Wayne, Joanne Glover Memorial Scholarship; Ashley Velez-Ramos, Michaels Family Memorial Scholarship
Honeoye: Ashley Swingle, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Ionia: Abigail Miller, CCFL Storefront Pioneers Scholarship
Manchester: Natasha Sherman, Eugene B. Risser Technology Scholarship
Naples: Rachel Haydar, Frances F. MacLeod Freshman Scholarship; Amber LeMay, FLCC Alumni Association Excellence Scholarship; Sarah Grace Parshall, Jane Milne Mills Memorial Scholarship
Phelps: Wyatt Harrington, Farash First in Family Scholarship; Autumn Javier, FLCC Board of Trustees Scholarship
Shortsville: Rebecca Ritzenthaler, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship
Stanley: Henry Sloth, FLCC Mathematics Department Award in Memory of Sherman Hunt; Andrew Smith, William D. Langston Memorial Scholarship
Victor: Brandon Boje, Reh Family Foundation Scholarship; Laura Broderick, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Ethan Davis, Reh Family Foundation Excellence Scholarship; Colin Reagan, GW Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship
Interlaken: Lindsay Mitchell, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship
Romulus: Jared Fletcher, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Meghan Patchen, Marilyn D. Hurlbutt Nursing Award; Rose-Darline Thermidor, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Seneca Falls: Maria Gallina, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Elizabeth Lipker, Charlotte B. Munson Memorial Scholarship; Pauline McDonald, FLCC Geneva Campus Center Scholarship; Brenden Sofo, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Waterloo: Valerie Goodman, Melissa Young (Hawk Child Wandering) Massage Scholarship; Kristina McDonald, Carol Scharett Memorial Scholarship; Jennifer Pedersen, Mutual Hook & Ladder Scholarship
Ogdensburg: Cyral Burton, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Cohocton: Sara Mann, Brooke Makowiec Memorial Award
Prattsburgh: Samantha Peters, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Clyde: Kailey Cole, Thomas Topping Adult Returning Student Scholarship
Lyons: Alivia Chardeen, GW Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Debra Hayes, AMVETS Post 332 Farmington, NY Scholarship; Hunter Schleede, FLCC Newark Campus Center Scholarship
Macedon: Ahmed Osmen, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Wayne Dunbar, Marilyn D. Hurlbutt Nursing Award; Crystal Pragle-Fishell, Sharon Nedrow ABE Scholarship; Sydney Stell, Diane Fitzmaurice Memorial Scholarship
Marion; Ivan Castillo-Serrano, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; Austin Smeatin, Bill Parham Memorial Scholarship
Newark: Jayden Durfee Thompson Health Nursing Scholarship; Demetrice Garcia, The Fred and Mary Jennejahn Memorial Scholarship; Nicole Garritano, Donald and Jean Burgan Community Service Award; Dylan Ide, Garlock Sealing Technologies Scholarship; Connor O’Brien, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship; Danika Ritz, Garlock Sealing Technologies Scholarship; Vicki Ilyssa, AMVETS Post 332 Farmington, NY Scholarship
North Rose: Gabrielle Warring, Dr. A. John Walker Chorale Music Award, Aldo F. and Anne J. Fiorvanti Scholarship
Palmyra: Sylvia Boheen, Dr. Henry Buxbaum Memorial Award for Achievement and Promise in Fine Arts; Jessie Hubright, Mr. and Mrs. Elwood A. Garner Award; Lacey Johnson, Charlotte Cowie Memorial Scholarship; Diana Ortega, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship; Ivory Saalfrank, Mark J. Prockton Memorial Scholarship; Lydia Wizeman, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Walworth: Victoria Boulware, GW Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship;
Williamson: Erika Meyn, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Matt Serody, Monty Stamp Memorial Scholarship
Branchport: Aline Trombley, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship
Dundee: William Fryburger, Robert “Bob” Barbuto Memorial Jazz Piano Scholarship; Silver Hall-Sutterby, The Opportunity Scholarship; Rachel Woodruff, FLCC Honors Studies Scholarship
Keuka Park: Patricia Richardson, POW/MIA Award Middlesex: Hayley Bradford, Alton B. Corbit Memorial Scholarship; Megan Walker, Geneva Community Projects, NY ScholarshipPenn Yan: Maylee Adams, Constellation Brands Viticultural Scholarship; Alvaro Chavez Gonzalez, Monty Stamp Memorial Scholarship; Constance Glover, Ed & Gerry Cuony Scholarship; Sarah Wilder, Professor Wayne Williams Award in Honor of his Parents Ashley and Pauline Williams
OUT OF STATE
Shelton, Conn.: Joseph Patrick, John H. Brahm III Memorial Scholarship
Galeton, Pa.: Sierra Burrous, Found Word Scholarship