Susan Kessler and Kenya Kelley informed Historic City News that St. Augustine resident Ryan Blanco was recently honored with an award from the Florida Association of Community Colleges.
Blanco, the owner and manager of Island Family Pharmacy was nominated by St. Johns River Community College and won in the “Rising Star” category. The award is one of three LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni awards presented during the FACC annual convention in Orlando.
Criteria for the award are based on successful professionals who begin their academic careers at the community college level. Before earning his degree in pharmacy from the University of Florida, Blanco, 33, earned his associate in arts degree from SJRCC.
Blanco said putting people first is a trait he says he learned to appreciate by attending his local college. “My experiences at SJRCC helped me realize I wanted my career to be connected to a community and not just a matter of finance. That is much of the reason I decided to return home and open an independent pharmacy, to have a means of building patient and community relationships,” Blanco said.
The award was created in 1990 in honor of the former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins and his contributions to the Florida community college system. Two additional recipients were also presented with LeRoy Collins awards for “Against the Odds” (St. Petersburg College) and “Lifetime Achievement” (Broward College).