The Edmonds Community College Foundation has awarded $345,800 in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year.
“Through the generous support of our donors, the Foundation is able to provide scholarships to students who would not be able to continue their studies without having critical financial needs met,” said Edmonds CC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “I’d like to thank our donors for their belief in the transformational power of education and continued support of student success.”
When Edmonds CC student Ethan Chan graduated high school, he spent the summer working as a waiter at a retirement home to help provide for his family. “Although I enjoyed helping people as a waiter, I quickly realized that there wasn’t much growth in that job position,” he said. “If I wanted to contribute to society and one day be able to support my family, I would need a specialized skill.”
Chan decided to pursue his education at Edmonds CC and began working toward an associate in business transfer degree with an interest in management. While in school, he faced family and financial hardships and applied for and was awarded a Foundation scholarship.
“This gift will be put to good use as I further my education at Edmonds CC,” Chan said. “As a person coming from a family of immigrants, I am in awe at how publicly-funded institutions are willing to support and strengthen their community through scholarships and grants. With the extra support of this scholarship, I can make my goals and aspirations a reality.”
At 18, Edmonds CC scholarship recipient Violet Velazquez graduated from military high school with honors and acceptance letters from multiple colleges and universities. Despite scholarship offers, she was unable to afford to attend the university of her choice and decided to join the U.S. Navy Reserves to help supplement the cost.
“After going through training in 2011-12, I was able to go back home and start my path to higher education.” Valazquez said. “However, my mom’s health was deteriorating and reserve pay wasn’t enough.”
She continued in the Reserves and began working two part-time jobs while going to school full-time for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree. “As you can guess, I couldn’t keep up with that pace for very long. After being so burnt out from school and work, in 2015, I made the decision to put school on hold until I could give it my full attention.”
Almost seven years later, Velazquez returned to her education and is pursuing an associate degree in biology at Edmonds CC with plans to transfer to University of Washington’s environmental science program in fall 2020. She’s motivated to finish her degree despite ongoing financial hardship and received the Foundation’s Boots to Books and Beyond scholarship.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that my efforts have not gone unnoticed,” Velazquez said. “Having a board see the great potential that I have to succeed and to go on and do great things is such an inspiring notion.”
The Foundation will fund up to 300 scholarships once it awards the “Complete the Dream” scholarships for students completing their final quarter, and department and pre-college support scholarships in September. So far, 222 students have been awarded. Scholarships range from $500 to $4,500.
“Awarding $345,800 in scholarships represents a significant community investment from our donors and community partners who believe in our students and the power of transforming lives through education,” said Brad Thomas, executive director of the Foundation.