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Thursday, September 1, 2022 — Polk State College has announced the return of its on-campus Hispanic Heritage Month festivities which will begin with the Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off on September 15 at noon in the Lakeland Technology Building at 3425 Winter Lake Road. The event will feature Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Frederick Heid as keynote speaker as well as food and performances. The event is free and open to the public.

Each year, Polk State’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion curates an array of opportunities to bring together, celebrate, and educate students, faculty, staff, and members of the community about culture, inclusivity, and more. Events continued through the height of the pandemic virtually and will return to campuses this year. 

“Our College is dedicated to providing these enriching opportunities for the community,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “Our virtual cultural events over the last two years were well attended and highlighted the critical importance of these opportunities to come together, learn from one another, and celebrate our cultures. I am thrilled that we can do so in person again.”

The College also continues to celebrate its designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). This designation provides the College with eligibility to apply for Title V and HSI STEM grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education. To become an HSI, an institution must have a student population that is 25% Hispanic or greater. Polk State’s student population stands at 28% Hispanic – up from 19% in 2017 and mirroring the growth of the population in Polk County. 

Polk State’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will run through October 15 with the events below. All events are free and open to the public.

Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-off


September 15 | 12 p.m.
Lakeland Technology Building (LTB) 1100
Lakeland Campus, 3425 Winter Lake Road

Hispanic Artist Exhibit: Jesus Nieves


September 15 – October 15 | Mondays – Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Winter Haven Fine Arts (WFA) Lobby
Winter Haven Campus, 999 Ave. H N.E. 

JDA Celebration


September 21 | 11:30 a.m.
Polk State JD Alexander Center
152 E. Central Ave., Lake Wales

Performing Solo Artist: Pablo

September 29 | 12 p.m.
Lakeland Academic Center (LAC) 1133
Lakeland Campus, 3425 Winter Lake Road

Café Con Leche Events


October 4 | 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, Polk State College President, and Teresa Martinez, Polk State College District Board of Trustees Vice Chair 
WFA Lobby

October 6 | 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, Polk State College President, and Dr. Martha Santiago, Polk County Board of County Commissioner
LAC 1133

Hispanic Heritage Month Fiesta Celebration
October 13 | 12 p.m. with Omar Arroyo, City of Haines City Commissioner
Winter Haven Student Center (WST) 126
999 Ave. H N.E. 

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 14,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as 9,000 individuals in a wide range of certificate and workforce training programs. The College also operates three charter high schools. 

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.

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