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LaGuardia Community College Foundation Celebrates Donors
Foundation Board Votes to Increase Scholarship Funding for
Students Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Long Island City, Queens–December 14, 2012--The LaGuardia Community College Foundation celebrated the generosity of donors with compliments of the season at a holiday reception held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan on December 4. Scholarship students mingled with their benefactors at the gathering following the Foundation’s year-end Annual Board Meeting.
Click here to see photos of the holiday reception on the Foundation’s Flickr photostream.
“LaGuardia students are some of the most dedicated you will find,” Foundation Board Chair Paul Higbee told an audience comprised of donors and friends representing local businesses, corporations, and nonprofit foundations as well as contributors from the ranks of alumni, faculty and staff. Rounding out the guest list were, of course, the scholarship students, who were the most sought after attendees of all.
“This spring, the Foundation will be celebrating its 10th anniversary,” Mr. Higbee continued. ”Since 2003, the Foundation has raised over $6.5 million, with more than half of that money going directly to provide scholarships for students. We were able to do that because of the support of my colleagues on the Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the support of donors like many of you here tonight. Thank you all for your commitment to our students.”
In academic year 2011-2012, the Foundation provided over $540,000 in scholarships to keep students in school and reaching for their dreams, and is this year aiming to provide over $630,000 in support of student scholarships.
“The generosity and commitment of our donors to the College and our students is phenomenal,“ Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia, told guests. “There are many causes with pressing needs, but they choose to invest in LaGuardia because we are a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we are very good at what we do.”
At the Annual Board Meeting, Linda Mellon, Executive Director of LaGuardia’s Business Service Programs, presented the Foundation’s Directors with a slideshow of images depicting the outreach and recovery resources LaGuardia’s Small Business Development Center provided to metropolitan area businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Directors unanimously voted to increase the Emergency Scholarship Fund by $30,000 to aid students affected by Hurricane Sandy after Jazha Cabrera, a Criminal Justice major, shared with them how she, her son, parents and brother had been displaced and lost wages due to the storm.
“One of my professors knew that I was struggling after Sandy; he told me about the resources available from the Foundation, and I applied through LaGuardia’s Center for Student Success,” she told the Foundation board. “A week and a half later I received a check that covered my lost wages as well as a monthly Metrocard which made it easier to get from school to work and finally home.”
“This support has helped me stay on track and focused on my academic goals during a very stressful time,” Jazha told the board directors. “Thank you so much, you don’t know how much it means to my family and myself.”
Later at the holiday reception, Michael Piro, a Social Sciences and Humanities major who came to LaGuardia under the G.I. Bill in 2010, also shared how the generosity of LaGuardia donors helped him stay in school.
“To support myself while I attended LaGuardia I held a job as a custodian at a public school, but was laid off due to budget cuts,” Michal told guests. “Unfortunately, this presented numerous financial obstacles, but the Mary and David Solomon Foundation scholarship has helped bridge a financial gap that might have caused me to drop out of school until my financial situation improved. I’m maintaining a 3.7 GPA and am in my last semester at LaGuardia. I’m very grateful to the all the donors who understand how much it means to students to receive a helping hand at a critical moment.”
The LaGuardia Community College Foundation is mission-driven to raise, manage, invest and distribute funds for the College in support of its immediate and long-term student, academic and facility needs, goals and priorities. Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has raised $6.5 million and has provided over 3,300 scholarships to help LaGuardia students write their own futures.
The Foundation is made up of dedicated business and community leaders who have been instrumental in providing support where it is most needed: offering scholarships to low-income students. The Foundation encourages donors and friends to become involved in many aspects of College activities, including mentoring students, serving on advisory boards, and speaking to student groups about their professions. To learn more, visit: www.lagcc.cuny.edu/lagfoundation.
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A nationally recognized leader among community colleges, LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as the ultimate experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. At LaGuardia, we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.