MARIETTA, OH (June 7, 2019)— The Washington State Community College (WSCC) Foundation recently recognized both donors and scholarship recipients at the annual Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony. The event recognized 91 students who will benefit from Foundation awards in the 2019-20 academic year.
The Foundation increased scholarship awards by more than $20,000. The number of recipients increased by 27 students when compared to last year. In total, recipients received more than $73,000 in scholarship assistance this year.
Despite this promising growth, WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood shared that the Foundation received 300 scholarship applications this year, a 119-percent increase from 2018 to 2019.
“There has never been a greater need for donor support,” said Wood. “While the Foundation was able to award more scholarships thanks to the generosity of our donors, the community demand still far surpassed the Foundations’ capacity.”
When the Foundation first awarded scholarships in 2004, just four students received a total of $2,300. Since that time, the Foundation has continued to expand the number of recipients, the types of scholarship awards available, and the amount of Institutional and Student Support funds which are used to support program enhancements, student emergency needs, and more.
Of 2019 award recipients, ages, backgrounds, and educational plans varied widely. One recipient, Gregory Smith, received the J. Ryan Graham Memorial Scholarship, established by Daniel K. and Jean G. Graham in memory of their son, Ryan Graham. The scholarship is designed to assist students pursuing a degree or certificate in an Engineering and Industrial Technology program at WSCC.
Smith, a 40-year-old who spent his career as a landscaper and truck driver, is seeking education to improve his future and inspire his children. “I’m looking to better myself,” said Smith who went on to explain that both he and his wife have enrolled in college over the past year. “We are showing our children that no matter how old you are, or where you are in life, education and learning new things are important.”
To help meet the needs of current and prospective students who require financial assistance in order to complete a degree or certificate program, the WSCC Foundation launched the Annual Fund Campaign, “Together We Can” earlier this year. The campaign encourages businesses, community members, WSCC staff/faculty, and alumni to invest in the students at Washington State.
“Our goal in the initial phase of the campaign is to focus on bolstering our scholarship fund. If we want to see our local economy grow, it absolutely starts with education. Every contribution is valuable because every dollar benefits our students,” Wood stated.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 15% of Washington County residents are impoverished. This is higher than the national average of 13%. “Scholarship open doors for our students, many of whom are struggling to cover their daily living expenses,” said Wood. “Our students should never have to choose between putting food on the table and going to school. We want to do everything possible to remove the barriers that keep students from earning a degree or certificate.”
The Washington State Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation administered by a Board of Directors composed of community leaders and institutional representatives. Gifts made to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are used exclusively to support the College’s mission, programs, and students.
For details about the WSCC Foundation Annual Fund Campaign and ways to help fund educational access, visit www.wscc.edu/foundation or contact the Cheryl Canaday at 740-885-5706.