Quentin Smith, AFCEA
Quentin Smith believes that it is important to give back to your community. And in his opinion, supporting local schools is one of the best investments that can be made.
“When you give to education, you know that your support is helping students that are from this community and who will likely stay in this community,” he said. “It’s rewarding and humbling, all at once.”
As president of the Central Maryland Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), Smith’s key priority is to facilitate the exchange of information between government agencies and corporations through collaboration, problem solving, and education. But under his leadership, the local chapter of AFCEA is also making philanthropy a key priority, and Howard Community College is fortunate to be a primary beneficiary.
“We want to further science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in our local community, and partnering with Howard Community College gives us an opportunity to do exactly that,” said Smith. “The campus is literally in our backyard and also offers very high quality education for students who are interested in these fields.”
Through coordinating a series of annual fundraising events, including a springtime 5K run and a bull and oyster roast in the fall, Smith and his 1,600 local AFCEA members made an initial contribution of $25,000 to HCC and doubled that donation in 2014 with a second $25,000 gift. They have committed to making another $10,000 contribution in the next year, which will earn the organization a naming opportunity in HCC’s new Science, Engineering and Technology building. Additionally, the group currently offers both merit and need-based scholarships to HCC students.
“Education is important. Technology is important. Howard Community College is a great institution that is advancing both, right here in our local community,” Smith said. “A lot of people and corporations are coming together to support our events because they know the dollars help people right here in Howard County.”
Smith was recently invited to a luncheon at HCC where he had the opportunity to meet with other donors, as well as students who have specifically benefitted from the funds AFCEA has contributed to the school. It served as a good reminder of why the philanthropic work his company is doing is so critically important.
“The people at HCC are so great to work with,” he said. “And being able to really see how our gifts are making a difference for the students … it’s very cool.”