Green River Community College Foundation Programs
In 2011, the Green River Community College Foundation supported these three broad areas; selected examples follow.
The GRCC Foundation awarded 184 scholarships with an average value of $1,284 to deserving students based on their academic merit, financial need, or program of study. Over 2,000 new students also visited GRCC's new Zgolinski Welcome Center, a centralized admissions and counseling facility made possible by GRCC Foundation support.
The GRCC Foundation supported high-quality education by awarding funds for six Faculty Excellence projects that improved instructional quality at GRCC. The Foundation honored superb individual achievements through Distinguished Faculty and Outstanding Staff awards.
Over 20 students facing unexpected financial crises received Student Assistance for Emergencies (SAFE) Fund awards to stay in school. GRCC's Campus Corner Apartments student housing complex - established by the GRCC Foundation and managed through a separate LLC - gave 340 students the ability to study and work in an academically focused environment.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One student's story: in April 2011, Green River Community College student and GRCC Foundation scholarship recipient Jared Schiff was named one of the USA's top academic scholars. Raised in rural Enumclaw, Schiff is an Engineering student who fell in love with mathematics in high school. He credits his GRCC Foundation scholarship with allowing him to focus on his studies and extracurricular activities, such as being the president of GRCC's student engineering club. The club's successes include first-place trophies in multiple intercollegiate competitions. GRCC Foundation staff encouraged Jared to apply for the All-USA Academic Team, a process which vaulted Schiff and GRCC among the top ranks of colleges nationwide. This passionate desire to help students to realize their full potential is what drives the GRCC Foundation. Successes like Jared’s aside, the need has never been greater at GRCC for private donations to offset declining state funding. The double bind of less financial aid and higher tuition puts more students each year at risk of dropping out. GRCC Foundation scholarships, combined with available financial aid, help hundreds of GRCC students to attend college each year. Foundation scholarships can also benefit many students who are ineligible to receive federal financial aid. A scholarship is not just a check: it's a vote of confidence which most scholarship recipients say is even more important than the monetary award. There are many needs at an institution of GRCC's size, diversity, and scope. However, the most important step is to first give students the financial means and the confidence to enroll. More details are at http://www.greenriver.edu/researchplanning/report-to-community/pdf/2011-report-to-community.pdf.