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College of Central Florida Student Recognized with the Commissioner’s Leadership Award

College of Central Florida Student Recognized with the Commissioner’s Leadership Award

Published on: Jan 13, 2021

LaWonda Eastmond, a College of Central Florida graduate was honored today at the State Board of Education meeting with the Commissioner’s Leadership Award.

LaWanda’s example of sacrifice, service, and commitment to reaching her goals should serve as an example for all young people.  She is a veteran of the United States Army, a mother, and now she can add college graduate to her resume after graduating from the College of Central Florida this year.

LaWanda is no stranger to hard work. She served her country and community as a vehicle driver in the U.S. Army both in active duty and as a reservist. Shortly after leaving active duty, she continued to serve in her community working full time as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA).  LaWanda worked hard and never lost sight of her dream to be an engineer. She explored and was accepted into the College of Central Florida Engineering Technology Program. After completing her Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in 2018, she then continued her postsecondary journey in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management bachelor’s degree program at College of Central Florida.

As if school, reserve duty and the obligations of life were not enough, LaWanda continued to take 16 credit hours, all with her first child on the way! After LaWanda’s daughter Aaliyah was born, she continued taking 15 credit hours a semester, attended her internship program at Winco Manufacturing and maintained a high GPA.  Lawanda graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management.

Winco, recognizing LaWanda’s talents and the first fruits of her training at her Florida-based college, offered a part time job after her internship was completed then a full time job as soon as she graduated. Winco Manufacturing is based out of Ocala and manufactures an extensive range of products, primarily medical furniture, that enhance the patient and caregiver experience. In her work with Winco, LaWanda continues to use her gifts and talents to make products that assist the sick and the frail. 

The Commissioner was honored to highlight LaWanda’s story and her success. She has showed tremendous resiliency while balancing school, work and family. 

Thank you LaWanda for your time and work on behalf of Florida. Congratulations on finishing this chapter of your life and we wish you the greatest of successes in the future!