The Los Angeles Valley College Foundation seek donations to help students get scholarships.
By Amanda Cavarretta; staff writer
It started with a group of women munching on crumpets, sipping tea and asking for donations, and during the last 12 years, The Los Angeles Valley College Foundation has handed out $1.3 million in stipends and scholarships to students.
The foundation was originally a ladies high-tea, were members were soliciting donations for students. It was during their afternoon tea, the ideas of fundraising for the college started.
The foundation had a very grass roots feel according to officials until the 1990‘s. That’s when former dean, Dennis Reed stepped in and helped move it toward modernization.
“Their mission was very genuine. They wanted to help out the students with college,” said Raul Castillo, executive director of Valley College Foundation.
Because the uncertainly of state funding, it’s crucial for community colleges to fundraise and ask for donations. Castillo encourages faculty and staff to fundraise for their clubs, programs, and hopefully for the school.
“If you are enjoying your community college experience now, it might not be there tomorrow, said Castillo. “The state continues to cut funding.”
Another challenge for community colleges is establishing an alumni association. Because community colleges used to function differently, alumni’s were not part of the school’s culture. When students graduate from a UC or a CSU school, it is embedded in their mind to give back to the college. Valley students don’t have that way of thinking.
The Los Angeles Valley College Foundation is making a point to reach out to students by forming an Alumni Association. They want to reconnect former students with Valley, and ask to give back to the college.
Last year, the foundation awarded Valley students over $170,000 in scholarship and stipends. The year before that, over $160,000. The foundation doesn’t limit themselves to just scholarships. They also seek grants from private foundations, state agencies, and corporate foundations to help out with different campus programs and projects.
“We are very fortune to have consistent donors,” said Castillo. Hopefully one day, Valley doesn’t need to rely on the state for funding.
Students who are seeking scholarship and grant opportunities may visit The Los Angeles Valley College Foundation office in early January.
The Los Angeles Valley College Foundation is reaching out to students, their families, and the public for their support and donations.
“There are a lot of opportunities to contribute to the growth of Valley College, not just now but for the future,” said Castillo.
For contributions and donations, visit www.lavcfoundation.org or call (818) 947- 2618.