|Scholarship award winners|
Almost $118,000 in scholarships were awarded to 216 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students on Saturday in a ceremony that highlighted the struggles many of the students have overcome and the bright futures ahead of them because of their education.
“We believe in you and we’re investing in you,” Sally Cox, CEO of the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, told the scholarship students at the event held at Cuyamaca College.
The scholarships were created from a variety of sources, including private donors who want to honor a deceased family member or colleague; businesses that want to assist college students with their education; or college departments that want to find another way to serve their students.
Tom Courtney said his family created the James Kelly Courtney Memorial Scholarship to honor his son, who died in March 2017. He said the scholarship, awarded to two students each year, is a life-affirming way to remember his son, who graduated from Cuyamaca College in 2007 and went on to earn a master’s degree from San Diego State University.
"James lives on today in these two students,” Courtney said.
Brooklyn Lopez was among the students who spoke at the event about the effect that getting a scholarship has had on her life. The former foster youth plans to graduate from Cuyamaca College this spring with three degrees, then plans to transfer to San Diego State University to earn an accounting degree.
“Receiving a scholarship is like getting a strong, warm hug,” Lopez said. “It’s an amazing feeling to know someone cares about a student’s success.”
More than 80 students received Osher scholarships, the result of a statewide community college scholarship fund established by the Bernard Osher Foundation in 2011. Osher, a Bay Area philanthropist, committed $50 million to the fund and challenged colleges to raise money to establish the scholarships. Through the money raised by the colleges, the scholarships will be awarded in perpetuity to Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students.