Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Scholarships awarded to 142 students at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges

More than 142 students were honored as scholarship winners.
More than $80,000 in scholarships was awarded to 142 students at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges in a joyful event Saturday that honored the students’ accomplishments and recognized the challenges they faced during their journey to academic excellence.
The scholarship award ceremony for both colleges was held at the La Mesa Community Center and was sponsored by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, the philanthropic arm of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Cuyamaca College's Fleure Fraser

Grossmont College's Kian Kline-Chilton
Foundation board chair Judy Garrett noted that many of the scholarship recipients dealt with personal issues that included financial difficulties, unstable families, homelessness or recent arrivals from other countries.

“I admire all of you for showing the guts and determination to stick with your programs despite these obstacles,” Garrett told the scholarship winners.

A total of $80,191 in scholarship money was awarded -- $33,191 to 53 Cuyamaca College students and $47,000 to 89 Grossmont College students.

Many of the students were awarded 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.

Cuyamaca and Grossmont College raised almost $850,000 and were two of the 31 institutions in the state that reached – and exceeded - their fundraising goals set by the Osher Foundation. Through a statewide endowment fund, scholarships will be awarded in perpetuity to students at the two colleges.

“Those scholarships are never going to go away,” Garrett said.

Thirty-five students from both colleges received Osher scholarships, and 61 students had their scholarships renewed for another semester.

Several of the scholarships were set up by individuals to honor deceased family members who were students or employees at the college district. They included a scholarship fund created by former Cuyamaca College administrator Arleen Satele to honor her daughter Ariel, and a scholarship fund set up to honor Katherine Faulconer, an actress, teacher and director in San Diego theater who taught at Grossmont College for 20 years.

Each student was required to write an essay to compete for a scholarship, and their life stories told of the hardships they have encountered.
  • Angelina Campos, winner of the Foster Opportunities scholarship, was homeless at the age of 14 and spent years living on the streets. She is now a Cuyamaca College students and is planning to transfer to San Diego State University and become a nurse.
  • Rosa Barbosa, winner of the Barbara Chernofsky scholarship in child development, grew up in an environment plagued by violence, gangs and crimes. Her life changed when she began working with small children at Barrio Station and at a Boys & Girls Club. She is now working toward a degree in child development at Grossmont College.
  • Billie-Rose Schneider, winner of the Peyton Goddard scholarship, lost her parents when she was a young child and was shuffled through several foster homes. She became emancipated at age 16 and began living on her own. She is now a student at Cuyamaca College.
  • Mauricio Amezcua-Lopez, winner of the ASGC Lyman Menor Scholarship, faced many economic challenges while growing up. He often turned to YouTube for lessons on how to fix the family car because his family couldn’t afford a mechanic. He is now majoring in mechanical engineering at Grossmont College.
To donate or learn more about the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, go to the website at www.foundation.gcccd.edu, email the foundation at foundation@gcccd.edu, or call (619) 644-7109.

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