She set out at dawn on her highway marathon, a 2,400-mile journey to a new life. With her three-year-old daughter as copilot, Sarina Alford covered the continent-long trail in three days — a feat that most travelers would never tackle. Her destination: Beacon College, Florida. From suburban San Diego to Leesburg, Alford was driven by the hope of a college education and a career in her future. It was something that had seemed all but impossible earlier in her life as she wrestled with dyslexia and other learning issues. Last year, however, her mother found Beacon online and shared what she found with Alford.
Most eight-year-olds dream of playing in the rain. Fiorella De La O wasn’t playing when she dreamed of saving the Amazon rainforest. That dream remains, but she first is trying to save her own backyard. Combining her twin passions of conservation and art, the Beacon anthrozoology major has brought her ardent advocacy to the pages of an educational calendar.
Beacon student Carlos Almasque recently received a $3,200 scholarship aimed at needy first-generation, minority, and new American students attending Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) and Florida Independent College Fund (CICF) member schools.
As a college intern, Jack Jones built his own field of dreams this summer for a parks and recreation department. And to draw from a famous line in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” the memories were so thick, it was like dipping in magic waters. Jones joined more than 40 Beacon students who filled real-world jobs this summer as part of the Career Immersion Program (CIP). The three-week internships immersed them in a range of fields, including hospital human resources, information technology, web design, animal care and rescue, law enforcement, and recreation management.
From Disney to Broadway, high students from across the country found new avenues of creativity during the 2021 edition of Summer for Success, Beacon College’s annual summer college immersion program. Joanna Shang of Baltimore, Md. and her team envisioned a new theme park where everything is based on colorful villains of Disney lore. Bill Gordon of Dallas, Tx. helped make history come alive in an original musical. And Manuel Frangis of Atlanta, Ga. peered behind the curtain of Broadway to see what makes Hamilton and Les Misérables tick.
For many years as a young girl, Kara Donovan hated to look in the mirror. Born in South Korea to a poor, single mother and adopted by an American couple, she often found life in the United States fraught with bigotry against Asian Americans. It made her ashamed of who she was. Then came a life-changing trip in 2015 to South Korea with her adoptive parents.
As Beacon College studio artist Marcos Allen sees it, the things he’s known living the bucolic life in Madison, WI, the unknown things that foster racial strife, and all the moments in between leaving Madison and on the homestretch of graduating college are doors that have shaped his senior portfolio exhibition, “Perceptions.” “With ‘Perceptions,’ I wanted to bring in pieces that relate to my past, personal and perspectives,” Allen said. “I bring to light some topics of race through textural elements, juxtaposition and my interpretation on violence in my city during the (Black Lives Matter) BLM protest.”