Daytona State’s Falcon HOPE Center Has a New Name, expanded mission to help students in need

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (September 12, 2022) – Daytona State College’s Falcon HOPE Center (formerly the Center for Women and Men), has a new name, is opening a new wing for student-parents, and Director Rabecka Collins is working to expand the Center’s existing programs to ensure all students have the opportunity to change their lives for the better.

“For many students, a bus pass or help with childcare can be the difference between graduating and dropping out of school,” said Collins, who herself was a student-parent and received support from the program while attending classes. “It’s an incredible challenge to balance family, work and school in any circumstance, but even more so for our underserved communities.”

Since 1976, the Center has helped hundreds of students overcome educational challenges by providing a supportive and nurturing environment, fostering personal and educational growth and teaching skills for self-sufficiency. The Center oversees a range of programs that help underserved students with a high school diploma or GED transition into college, providing support for childcare, education materials and school supplies, hosting a clothing closet for job interviews, new jobs and attending classes, and maintaining a food pantry for those who need access to meals. 

The new name, Falcon HOPE (Home to Opportunity, Possibility & Empowerment) Center more accurately reflects what the College has always worked to achieve, Collins said. The Center is nearing completion its new wing – Falcon’s Nest – where student-parents can study or meet with faculty and staff while their children play in a safe, welcoming environment. 

The space is outfitted with kid-sized tables and chairs, books, puzzles, educational toys and tablets. It was outfitted with support from the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler & Volusia, the Division of Early Learning, and Daytona State College students, faculty and staff. 

“When a student-parent graduates, it empowers the entire family,” Collins said. “Being able to bring their children to school gives parents peace of mind and – for the kids – instills the value of getting an education at an early age.”

The HOPE Center is hosting an open house on the Daytona State College Daytona Beach Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 13 as part of Student Development Week. The Falcon’s Nest is open by appointment now and will fully open later in the Fall. 

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Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls approximately 25,000 students a year at its seven campuses, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services and public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more.

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times, consistently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center has ranked DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. Community College Week, a leading publication in higher education, annually continues to feature the college in its list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans multiple times.