Page 19 - Scene Magazine 43-03 March 2018
P. 19

Education Scene
KCC Foundation – Making Connections to Open Doors and Change Lives
 BY TERESA DURHAM
  Autumn Thorn- ton is a 2017 grad- uate of Athens High School and got a jump on her ca- reer plans by dual enrolling at KCC while still in high school. She wants
to be a veterinarian and is getting her start by studying science at KCC. Autumn shares that she is going into this field be- cause she loves helping animals, has done a lot of job shadowing, and really loves the idea of being a vet. After graduating from KCC, Autumn plans on transferring to Michigan State University and work- ing toward a doctorate. She has no regrets about starting at KCC, stating that she has been able to live at home and get adjusted to college before moving away. Autumn is a recipient of a Gold Key Scholarship at the KCC Foundation.
First generation college student Albert Hruai graduated from St. Philip Catholic Central High School in 2016. Coming from a private school background, he chose to attend KCC because it was small- er, closer to home, and less expensive than other schools. Albert is pursuing an associate degree in computer networking and works part-time in KCC’s Arts and Communication Department. He plans to transfer to Western Michigan Univer- sity after graduation and eventually work in business, possibly starting his own as an entrepreneur. Albert is a recipient of a KCC Board of Trustees Scholarship.
International student and KCC alum- na, Eucharia Ganda, transferred to the University of Michigan-Flint to study computer information systems after grad- uating from KCC in 2016. The distance of the journey after KCC was nothing compared to the distance she traveled after high school. Eucharia lived in Italy for more than a decade before coming to Battle Creek to study business adminis- tration at KCC. She stated her first year was rough but after getting more involved through service-learning projects, student groups like Phi Theta Kappa honor soci- ety and working on campus in the Testing and Assessment Center, Eucharia found her place at KCC. A year-long internship with the State of Michigan spurred her
interest to pursue a career as a business analyst. Eucharia is a recipient of the Robert F. Hites Family Scholarship at the KCC Foundation for graduates who transfer to a four-year school.
The Gold Key, Board of Trustees, and Hites Family scholarships are three of over 150 scholarship and project funds at the KCC Foundation. From these short stories, one can see how scholarships provide educational, career, and personal benefits. Having a scholarship that pays for one’s education can reduce the risk of dropping out and not getting the degree one wants. By reducing financial con- cerns, scholarships can also mean more time for studying and learning, which can lead to better grades and retention of knowledge and increase the chances of completion. Scholarships are worth listing on a resume and can make for a more attractive job candidate. Employers who understand the competitive nature of a scholarship will recognize it as an
accomplishment. Scholarships also help by allowing students to be more selec- tive in how they spend their free time. Students are able to maximize the college experience through service-learning, volunteer opportunities, and internships. For Autumn, Albert, Eucharia, and count- less other students, scholarships provide invaluable connections – to degrees, to careers, to experiences. For donors, scholarships connect them to the hope of a brighter future.
Elizabeth Binda (1916-2009), a be- loved educator, philanthropist and KCC Trustee established the Gold Key Schol- arship program that is supported today by many generous donors. Her legacy, along with many others whose gifts make real connections are an inspiration. We are proud to steward and support an institu- tion that opens doors and changes lives.
Teresa Durham is the Director of the Kellogg Community College Foundation. Eric Greene, Simon Thalmann and KCC student Bailey Scott also contributed to this article.
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