LSSC Foundation receives gift for Kids’ College scholarships for Lake County foster children

Thanks to generous gifts from the Mount Dora Community Trust and the W.T. Bland Jr. Charitable Trust, 20 children from the Guardian ad Litem program in Lake County will be able to attend Lake-Sumter State College’s Kids College this summer.

A growing partnership among the LSSC Foundation, Mount Dora Community Trust, and the Guardian ad Litem 5th Judicial Circuit led to this new opportunity. The Mount Dora Community Trust donated $2,500 matched by an additional $2,500 from the W.T. Bland Jr. Charitable Trust to a new Kids’ College scholarship fund at the LSSC Foundation for Lake County children in the Guardian ad Litem program.

Rob English (left) and Sarah Herrick (left middle) from Mount Dora Community Trust presenting the check to Dr. Laura Byrd (right middle) of the LSSC Foundation and DeAnna Diggs (right) of LSSC Youth Development.

“The Foundation is pleased to facilitate this gift on behalf of Kids’ College and Guardian ad Litem,” said Dr. Laura Byrd, LSSC VP of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the LSSC Foundation. “We are pleased to bring these two programs together to have a positive and meaningful impact on children in our community.”

Children in the Guardian ad Litem program are in foster care, often as the result of abuse or neglect. Volunteer Guardians ad Litem advocate for the best interest of the child in dependency court proceedings.

“The Guardian ad Litem Program is exceedingly grateful to Lake-Sumter State College and their donors for making this offering possible,” said Marcia Hilty, Circuit Director for Guardian ad Litem 5th Judicial Circuit. “The classes and experience provided will expose our children to positive, life-enhancing activities that will benefit them for years to come.”

Kids’ College offers exciting and interactive classes that mix in academic concepts for children in grades 1 through 6. For example, the Creative Design class allows students to virtually decorate a room and create their own personalized décor piece, while learning principles of design. Another class allows students to come up with a superhero and create their own comic book.

Kids’ College is available at LSSC’s Leesburg and South Lake campuses during June and July in two-week sessions. Registration is still available at

Over 400 children are currently involved in dependency court proceedings in Lake County. Only about 85% of those children receive advocacy with the current volunteers in the Guardian ad Litem program. Visit to learn about volunteering.