Student Spotlight: Sierra James Canword

Name: Sierra James Canword

Year at TCC: Second-year

Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 

Major of Study: Sociology

Career Goals: “My focus is women’s studies. I want to promote mental health and body positivity for women everywhere.”

Favorite Musical Artist: “I have very eclectic tastes, so it’s never just one person, but if I had to choose it would be Toni Braxton just because she fits my personality.”

Favorite Movie: Across the Universe

Favorite TV Show:  Degrassi

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Book: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Hobbies: I’m in a modeling troupe at Florida State University called Images Modeling Troupe Incorporation.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would choose? Justin Bieber, “He is my guilty pleasure.”

Favorite Quotes: “Never accept where you are in life. If you want to be better do better, if you want to do more, be more. It’s all on you.”

Student Spotlight: Dylan Allen

Tallahassee Community College student Dylan Allen’s favorite musical artist changes on a daily basis.

Name: Dylan Allen     

Year at TCC: Sophomore

Hometown: Tallahassee, Fla.

Major of Study: Double major in commercial music and elementary music education

Career Goals: I want to be a studio session musician, own my own studio, and/or tour with my band, Invented Truths

Favorite Musical Artist:  It changes daily but today it is Stevie Wonder, [because] I’m feeling the funk

Favorite Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Favorite TV Show: Stranger Things

Favorite Food: Whatever I can afford on a college musician’s budget

Favorite Book: Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Hobbies: Making music building guitars

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would choose?: John Lennon

Favorite Quotes: “Music is the universal language.”

Student Spotlight: Nikki Rose

Name: Nikki Rose     

Tallahassee Community College student Nikki Rose enjoys watching Vikings in her spare time.

Year at TCC: Freshman

Hometown: Miami, Fla.

Major: Theater

Career Goals: Actress or high school drama teacher

Favorite Musical: Artist Linkin Park, specifically Hybrid Theory

Favorite Movie: La La Land, all the Star Wars films and Tusk

Favorite TV Show: Vikings

Favorite Food: Breakfast foods! I love breakfast all day

Favorite Book: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Hobbies: Crafting, drawing, acting

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would choose?: Carrie Fisher

Favorite Quote: “All the world’s a stage and the men and women merely players.” – William Shakespeare


Student on the Street

What would you do if a zombie apocalypse was taking over the world?


Madeleine Lemoine, TCC Student

“I would attract zombies to a big stadium, make noise, light fireworks and throw bombs in there to kill them all. I’d throw my ex-boyfriend in there too.”

Alexa Angarita, TCC Student

“I would steal a car and the cutest man in the world. Then, I would drive to the nearest supermarket, get tons of food to survive, and make a new life in a safer place.”

Julio Fuentes, TCC Student

“I will train myself to become a ninja. Then, I would look for a small island away from all the tragedy and start a new life with my family.”

Mutapha Bouhalleb, TCC Student

“Hide in a cave for sure.” 


Helpful Tips to Survive the College Life: Finding Scholarships and Grants

As mentioned in a related article, the federal government, universities, and private organizations can provnever-pay-full-price-for-a-textbookide money to assist students with covering their educational expenses. Financial aid can be received in various forms that do not need to be repaid. They are a gift for you to take some of the financial burden off of attending college.
Typically, scholarships are offered to those who are able to meet certain requirements. For instance, students who have strong academic standing, excel at athletics, or are members of specific ethnic groups may be eligible for scholarships.

To begin the scholarship hunt, let’s explore some key sources for receiving aid:

  • College and University Scholarships: The majority of scholarships that students receive come directly from the students’ colleges or universities. 

Visit a college or university’s website, catalog, and financial aid office for information on their offered scholarships. Awards can be both extended to the entire student body or within a particular college or major.

WFLA-FM Morning Show partners with Prime Meridian Bank to donate to the Working For Limitless Achievement scholarship benefitting the Tallahassee Community College Foundation. They raised almost $8,000 in scholarship money. (Photo courtesy of Scott Brouwer)

Tallahassee Community College offers a handful of scholarships that students can apply for twice a year for the fall and spring semesters. Visit TCC’s scholarhsips page for scholarship info. According to TCC’s website, over 400 students receive scholarships from the TCC Foundation. Alongside the Foundation, you can find scholarships for the S.T.E.M. Program, Workforce Development, Peer Ambassador, and International Student Services.

Continue reading “Helpful Tips to Survive the College Life: Finding Scholarships and Grants”

A Stand Against Distracted Driving: The Anthony Phoenix Branca Foundation

Demetrius Branca presents Anthony's story to a class full of students.
Demetrius Branca presents Anthony’s story to a class full of students.

Demetrius Branca has the determination to change the world and has a plan to do just that.

In November 2014, his 19-year old son, Anthony Branca, was riding his motorcycle from work to Tallahassee Community College when he was rear-ended by a van and killed.

The person who was driving the van, according to eye-witnesses and available evidence, wasn’t paying attention to the road.

Since his son’s death, Demetrius Branca has started the Anthony Phoenix Branca Foundation to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving.

“Losing Anthony is one of the most devastating things that could happen to me, my family, and in my opinion, the community,” said Branca. “We wanted to take this tragedy and turn it around into something positive.”

Anthony Branca (Photo courtesy of Demetrius Branca)
Anthony Branca
(Photo courtesy of Demetrius Branca)

The APB was founded a few weeks after Anthony’s death when his father realized that, although it is the most painful experience to have happened to him, the world needed to know Anthony Branca’s story and start combating distracted driving.

“I realized that I don’t have a choice. This is not someone else’s battle, this is mine. I plan on waging it and I plan on winning it,” said Branca.

Melissa Valido, the official secretary of the APB Foundation, feels that Branca and the APB will greatly impact Florida driving laws.

“Demetrius is incredibly strong and highly motivated. He works tirelessly to ensure the message is impactful and meaningful to his audience,” said Valido.

The APB gives presentations at local schools and civic groups featuring Anthony’s story, as presented by his father, and the APB’s revolution to end distracted driving.

The Foundation has also teamed up with other organizations such as Donate Life Florida and the Text Ninja App in order to help educate the public on the importance of organ donation and the dangers of distracted driving.

“Our mission is to end distracted driving through education and changes in our laws so that no other family has to suffer through the loss of their loved one,” said Valido.

“I would make [distracted driving] a primary offense and I would increase the fines and punishment for driving distracted,” said Branca.

Demetrius Branca, Issac Branca and Melissa Valido attend a Donate Life Florida event to represent the APB Foundation.
Demetrius Branca, Issac Branca and Melissa Valido attend a Donate Life Florida event to represent the APB Foundation.

Currently, in the state of Florida, driving distracted is considered “careless driving”, which comes with a maximum of one year’s suspended license and a $1,200 dollar fine.

The driver of the van that killed Anthony Branca received a six-month license suspension and an $1,100 dollar fine.

“My advice to a driver is the same advice I would give to anybody: pay attention,” said Branca. “When you’re driving, getting to your destination safely is your focus, so what should you be doing to get to your destination safely? Avoid distractions. How do you avoid distractions? By whatever means you need to.”


“What do they have to lose?”: Why People Protest the President-elect

Peaceful protests have sprung up in various cities across the country in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump winning the 2016 Presidential Election.

Many people across the country feel that the election of Donald Trump puts them at risk of losing the things they hold dear. Some students at Tallahassee Community College have joined in the protests because they feel as if they could lose their loved ones, health care, and personal safety.

Nikki Mendez marching in an local Anti-Trump Protest.

“I could lose my friends [and] I could lose my happiness,” said Nikki Mendez, a TCC student. “I can lose my right to choose and I can lose my health care. If he defunds Planned Parenthood I could lose my pap smears, get cancer and lose my life.”

Continue reading ““What do they have to lose?”: Why People Protest the President-elect”

#PeopleOfTCC: Elaney Tedder

After journeying over 1,000 miles from Lubbock, Texas to The Sunshine State, second-year Tallahassee Community College student, Elaney Tedder is following her dreams and coping with the Florida weather.

Elaney Tedder’s is ready for her second year at TCC to be even more productive. Photo courtesy of Mika Fowler.

“When I first came here, I was scared because I didn’t have a job, but excited because I was taking my first step towards my dream school,” said Tedder.

Tedder began attending TCC in the fall of 2015 with hope to transfer to her dream college, Florida State University. Her love for FSU began while she was still living in Jacksonville, Fla. at the age of five. According to Tedder, Seminole pride is a family affair.

“I’ve just always loved FSU and loved how excited my dad got when he watched them on TV,” said Tedder. “I feel like he’s living vicariously through me.”

Tedder is currently majoring in International Affairs with a focus on Education.

“I was actually inspired to work in this major when I went to Japan in 2012,” said Tedder. “I went as a junior ambassador, and everything I’ve done since then has been geared internationally.”

Tedder is also greatly involved with extracurriculars on campus here at TCC. She is both a member of the Honors Program and the International Student Organization.

The Honors Program has given Tedder the chance to serve on the Florida Collegiate Honors Council as a representative for two-year colleges. This accomplishment was even recognized by Florida state Rep. Gwendolyn Graham. Tedder will be serving at the upcoming FCHC in Jacksonville in 2017.

Tedder states that her dream is to work for the United Nations or create her own program allowing students to travel abroad. She hopes to implement a strong experience of cultural exchange for all that wish to study in other countries without a hefty price tag.

Her goals are what prompted her to join the ISO, an organization on campus that focuses on bringing international students together with American students who are interested in learning about other cultures.

“ISO has kinda been my rock since coming to Florida,” said Tedder. “ I moved here alone, so I was having trouble with adjusting. I felt like I had a family with them.”

In the summer of 2016, Tedder ventured to Taiwan to teach English. Tedder stated that her time there was amazing.

“I learned a lot about myself and about education in the international system,” said Tedder.

Although she misses Lubbock, a town that according to Tedder, throws tortillas onto the field during Texas Tech games, she is satisfied with the newest part of her life at TCC.

Understanding Scholarships and Grants

Attending college and university for many people is a great accomplishment that will mobilize students to go far in their careers. But, it’s no secret that college can be incredibly expensive. If students don’t receive money from their parents to pay for their tuition, how else will their cover their cost of education? When financial aid only covers so much, how can students keep earning money to cover their tuition and expenses?

infographThe answer? Scholarships.

Scholarships and grants may be a struggle to find at times, but they’re out there. Students just have to know where to look.

Continue reading “Understanding Scholarships and Grants”

The Donald Trump Rally: Protesters vs. Supporters

An American flag with a peace sign in place of stars waves above the crowd lined down the right side of the I-10 highway. Directly across from this, a group of young men shake a Confederate flag in retort. Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally at the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 25. which prompted hundreds of protestors to gather across the street in response.

A few hundred protesters picket at the Tallahassee Trump Rally.
A few hundred protesters picket at the Tallahassee Trump Rally.

Many Trump supporters looking forward to the rally were turned away at the door as the museum hit capacity, and some of the disappointed supporters decided to spend the duration of the event combating the picketers with their own counter-protest. Heated arguments arose between the two groups, fingers were being pointed towards both sides for who was at fault for any altercations that night.

John Conner, a Republican student who is currently undecided this election, had issues with Trump protestors in the past.

“I brought up valid points of what he said and how his mindset is that of a businessman,” Conner said. “They just looked at me and started cursing at me and it led to a fistfight because someone was outwitted by someone [else] who believes something different.”

A crowd of trump supporters counter-protest the protesters across the street.
A crowd of trump supporters counter-protest the protesters across the street.

Noah Stapleton, a student who favors Senator Hillary Clinton, said that it was in everyone’s rights to support or protest Donald Trump that night, and that neither group should point fingers at the other.

“It’s a first amendment right that the people have,” Stapleton said. “Protestors and supporters both have a right to coalesce for each of their beliefs.”

Some Tallahassee Community College students believe that arguments between the Trump supporters and Trump protestors could have been avoided entirely while maintaining their right to express their opinions. Stapleton said that both sides are allowed to express themselves through protest but there’s no gain to arguing with the other about flawed candidates.

“People are allowed to express their opinions, whether it is in support or contention of the candidate,” Stapleton said. “Both candidates obviously have faults. Whether you support the candidate or not each candidate already has acclimated a level of doubt.”

Conner said that if faced with someone who is bent on disagreeing with you, it may be best to drop the subject entirely and move on.

“Everyone is so closed minded about what each other says,” Conner said. “Just walk away because no one is going to agree.”