The Ventura College Foundation is helping 28 mature adults attain their dreams of higher education by providing the financial assistance needed to return to college. This month, the Foundation will award a total of $48,400 in Phoenix Scholarships to re-entry students—individuals who must learn new skills and return to school to do so; or who have chosen to return to school after a break in education. Each recipient will receive a scholarship ranging from $500 to $5,000 at the 19th annual scholarship ceremony, held 6 – 8 p.m., April 19, at the Wright Event Center on the Ventura College campus, 57 Day Road, Ventura.
Phoenix Scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic goals and progress, along with their financial need. Now in its 19th year, the positive impact of the Phoenix Scholarship program is reflected in its results: 63 percent of recipients are first-generation college students,
33 percent are single parents and 63 percent are pursuing education and training in the growing health-related fields of nursing, paramedic and emergency medical technology (EMT).
“Finding the money and the time to pay for and attend college when you’re already working a job and/or caring for a family requires commitment and sacrifice. Often, re-entry students are part-time students and, therefore, do not qualify for most traditional scholarships or financial aid,” explained Anne King, VC Foundation executive director. “The Phoenix Scholarship, by taking care of most of the student’s direct educational expenses, makes it possible for these students to continue their education, rather than abandoning their goals.”
The event will be hosted by the Foundation’s staff and board of directors. Also attending will be the family of VC Foundation Board Member Emeritus Lucia Tebbe to award the first scholarships from the newly-established Lucia Tebbe Memorial Endowment. A public school teacher for many years, Tebbe’s involvement in local, state and national politics led to her appointment to the State Board of Education in 1980, under Governor Gerry Brown.
As a re-entry student herself, Tebbe returned to college to earn her J.D. from Santa Barbara College of Law and began a family law practice. Her passion for helping abused, neglected and vulnerable children led her, and two associates, to form Dependent Children’s Advocates. Tebbe joined the board of Ventura College Foundation in 1999 and was instrumental in establishing the Phoenix Scholarship program. Her involvement included not only board participation, but she volunteered at the Re-Entry Center on campus as well. Lucia was made a Board Member Emeritus in 2012.
VC Foundation Board Chair Rob van Nieuwburg said that back in 1999, Foundation board members recognized there was an adult student population struggling to pay for college when they were already balancing school with working and caring for a family. “The board was inspired by these students’ tenacity to overcome personal challenges in order to attend school and upgrade their skills to make a better life for themselves and their families,” he said. “By giving these students a scholarship, the Foundation is able to help remove a financial barrier, so they can focus on their studies.”
Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace, an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus east parking lot. For more information, contact Anne King at (805) 289-6461 or email@example.com. Or visit www.venturacollege.edu/foundation.