More local students than ever are finding a college education within reach, thanks to the generosity of Summit County donors.
A $1 million scholarship campaign at Colorado Mountain College has just passed the halfway mark, thanks to new commitments from High Country Healthcare, Genia and Gary Gallagher, and the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The scholarship fund for Colorado Mountain College in Summit County now stands at $580,000.
"The campaign has already made three times as many scholarships available to Summit students this year than were available in past years," said Phyllis Martinez, regional development officer for the Colorado Mountain College Foundation. "Support from many generous Summit County donors helped us award more than 30 scholarships to promising and deserving students who will be attending CMC this fall."
The CMC Foundation is the college's philanthropic arm, raising funds to support students, faculty and capital projects at the college.
Of the 31 scholarships awarded at the campus for the upcoming academic year, at least 25 were new. Those 31scholarships are projected to double when the campaign goal of $1 million is met. Scholarships at the college's Summit County locations in Breckenridge and Dillon provide support for a wide range of students, from those earning associate degrees in subjects like nursing, information technology or entrepreneurship, to students seeking bachelor's degrees in business administration and sustainability studies.
Other donors who have supported the campaign over the past year include Alpine Bank, Pat and Jack Thomas, Hans and M.J. Wurster, Joe and Joyce Yob, Marge and Jerry Gavenda, Millennium Bank, and Bob and Nancy Follett. Pat Thomas explained what motivates many donors: "It feels so good to be making a difference in someone's life."
Providing support changes lives
Among students who've benefited so far from the scholarship campaign is Olivia Lance, who received the Pat Thomas Nursing Scholarship for a second year.
"My first year of nursing school has been remarkable," Lance wrote in her scholarship application. "I have developed my nursing knowledge and clinical skills; however, I still have so much more to learn."
Another scholarship recipient, Hayden van Andel, again received the Yob Scholarship for Business Administration. He is pursuing both a bachelor of science in business administration and a bachelor of arts in sustainability studies. He plans to eventually earn a master's degree in international environmental policies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
The Yob scholarship is helping van Andel so he can manage both work and school, attending college full-time year-round so that he can accelerate his education.
"With these degrees, my career goals are to work with government entities and provide a fresh outlook on current global problems, and in the process hopefully create some innovative solutions that will benefit the majority of Earth's inhabitants," van Andel said.
Illustrating the growing need for financial support throughout the college's 12,000-square-mile service area, scholarship applications collegewide were up 50 percent this year, from 298 to 446.