Full Sail University taps into the needs of its Central Florida community by donating campus spaces and production support, sponsoring large initiatives, helping K-12 educators, and more.
By Abby Stassen
Full Sail University commits to its student population with hands-on learning in accelerated degree programs. However, the school also stays involved with the surrounding community. Here are some of the ways that Full Sail meets the needs of Central Florida.
Hosting Local Events
Full Sail Live is an on-campus venue that hosts events for the Full Sail community and the wider Central Florida community. Organizations like the Foundation for Foster Children and A Gift for Teaching have used Full Sail Live to host fundraising events. Orlando’s chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has used the venue for multiple events, including their PropelHER Pitch Competition. The African American Chamber of Commerce hosted and streamed their Business Summit from Full Sail Live, and the Adult Literacy League also broadcast their Reading Between the Wines virtual event from the venue.
The Conducive Education Center of Orlando (CECO) held their fundraising event at Full Sail Live. CECO also partnered with Full Sail to develop an interactive ladder game to help children with motor function disabilities practice gripping motions and increase their upper body strength; they debuted the game at the fundraising event.
Education Beyond Campus
Full Sail makes regular efforts to support the educational community throughout Central Florida. In the past, the school has partnered with the Orange County Sheriff's Office to donate refurbished iMacs to the Boys & Girls Club of Pine Hills, the Russell Home for Atypical Children, and the African American Council of Christian Clergy. Full Sail also worked with Walmart and Lift Orlando to donate hundreds of backpacks, as well as laptops and additional supplies to students and families at Legends Academy, a charter school in the Washington Shores community. Frequently, Full Sail sets up on-campus donation boxes for A Gift for Teaching, a free store where Central Florida teachers can shop for school supplies.
Full Sail launched TechFest, an event that brought emerging technology to 17 Florida high schools, in 2019. TechFest gave students information about STEAM careers and hands-on experiences with tech like 3D printers and virtual reality headsets. Each school also hosted a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Full Sail’s Instructional Design & Technology master’s program set up free, on-demand webinars for local K-12 educators who needed help transitioning to remote learning.
Full Sail’s student volunteer organization, Pure Motivation, keeps students active in the Central Florida community. Some of Pure Motivation’s past projects include packaging meals with Feeding Children Everywhere and assisting with a charity bike race hosted by Critical Mass; all proceeds were donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.
Pure Motivation is led by Stacy O’Mara, Full Sail’s Director of Professional Development. Stacy is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who donated her professional skills to students during PRIDE month and after the Pulse nightclub tragedy.
Connecting Through Gaming
Full Sail supports charities and celebrates diversity with community-oriented gaming events. Full Sail has participated in the Extra Life fundraising initiative, a 24-hour event that raises funds for sick children in need at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a number of times. The school raised thousands of dollars in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
The university’s Stream of Thought: PRIDE event celebrated Full Sail’s LGBTQ+ community with a streaming event on Twitch. The school curated a collection of public resources, like The Trevor Project and the LGBT National Health Center, for the event.
Full Sail stays present in the Winter Park and Baldwin Park communities by participating in smaller-scale events. The school builds floats for the Winter Park and Baldwin Park Christmas parades each year, and Full Sail provides its mobile Stageline unit to local bands during outdoor events.
Full Sail collaborates with larger local organizations as a sponsor. In 2018, the school partnered with The Nature Conservancy to sponsor “The Monarch Initiative,” a multifaceted campaign that encouraged conservation action for monarch butterflies. It featured online engagement, outdoor activities and art, and additional community partnerships.
Full Sail has also sponsored the annual Florida Film Festival for more than 20 years. The Oscar-qualifying festival features newly released independent and international films at Maitland’s Enzian Theater.
Full Sail has helped children with critical illnesses experience their dreams with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Children from different parts of the country have come to Full Sail’s Audio Temple to professionally record their instruments and write original songs.