Sept. 30, 2015 Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—For Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Engineering student Nick Silva, receiving a Foundation scholarship was “a defining moment in his education.”
“I received the news that I got awarded a Foundation scholarship around the time that I was thinking about dropping out [of school] to work full-time,” he shared. “The scholarship not only provided me with the financial support I needed, but [also] with the strength and hope to continue going forward, knowing that there were others who believed in me.”
“The scholarship gave me the resilience to believe in myself and never stop striving for my education,” he continued.
Silva—and hundreds of other students—are benefiting from “Futures Rising,” the MCCC Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, which recently exceeded its $9 million goal to raise a total of $10,526,000 over two years.
“The ‘Futures Rising’ campaign opened the College’s doors wider by emphasizing the need for more scholarships to benefit more students. These scholarships connect hundreds of students, who could not otherwise attend college, with an outstanding education,” said Dr. James Linksz, interim president, MCCC.
In addition to establishing 82 new student scholarships, the campaign also provides support for key student success initiatives and arts programming, among other areas of need.
“‘Futures Rising’ opened new funding opportunities that support student success, deepen academic excellence, enhance facilities and engage the entire community through our vibrant arts programming,” shared Linksz.
Silva, since receiving his scholarship, has excelled at MCCC. He founded the College’s chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, participated in the QuadForge Undergraduate Research Program, and was elected as president of the Central Campus Student Government Association.
It’s stories like Silva’s—along with her own experiences as an MCCC student—that inspire alumna and retired mathematics professor Mary Ann Pitts to give back.
In fact, during her 25 years of teaching, she saw, firsthand, the challenges MCCC students face.
“Generally, our students don’t have the same means as students at other colleges. I felt like I could do something to help,” Pitts explained.
After retiring, she established the Pitts Family Scholarship, which annually supports a non-traditional female student majoring in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) discipline.
Pitts is among more than 55,000 alumni who started their academic and professional careers at MCCC over the past 50 years. And today, the College offers the same opportunity to more than 24,000 students enrolled annually in its degree and certificate programs. However, with unmet student financial need exceeding $29 million in 2014-15, scholarships, like those established through “Futures Rising,” remain critical to MCCC’s mission of advancing student access and success.
To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s “Futures Rising” campaign or for information about how you can make a difference, visit mc3.edu/thankyou.
- Alana J. Mauger