PCC Foundation Scholarship Award Ceremony - 2012

Uploaded by PCCvideos on 05.11.2012

KRISTIN: Good afternoon everyone.
We'd like to welcome all of our scholarship recipients, our donors and our guests to the
PCC Foundation Scholarship Reception.
I'm Kristin Watkins, Associate Vice President of the Advancement for
PCC, and I also serve as the Executive Officer of the PCC Foundation.
I'm so pleased that all of you could join us today to recognize
the wonderful accomplishments of this years group of scholarship recipients.
I have a few people in the audience today that I'd like to recognize.
We have a few members of our college board of directors, if they could please stand.
Our chair Denise Frisbee, Jim Harper and David David Squire.
And let's give them a round of applause.
I'd also like to recognize the members of our PCC Foundation board who are with us today.
If they could please rise, we have our Foundation Board President Chris Neilson,
Barbara Raz, Betty Duval, Mark Enger, Marion Leviton,
and I believe that Norma Jean Germond is also here, and if I missed anyone else,
please do stand and be recognized.
Ron Wilkinson everyone.
Many of our college leadership is here today as well,
and I'd like to note the folks who are with me on our stage today.
Wonderful PCC president, Dr. Preston Pulliams.
And our four campus presidents.
Sylvania campus president Linda Gerber.
Our extended learning president Jessica Howard.
Our Cascade president Dr. Algie Gatewood.
And last but not least, Rock Creek campus president Dr. David Rule.
I believe we may have a few elected officials with us as well this afternoon.
We were expecting Representative Julie Parrish. There she is, right there.
Julie is a proud PCC alumn, so give it up for her.
And also a person today we were expecting, Representative Michael Dembrow.
And I believe that the honorable former Senator Margaret Carter
was planning to join us as well, so don't know if she has made it yet, but certainly
give her a nice welcome if you see her this afternoon.
Well, I think though the most important here to recognize and celebrate are behind me.
Our wonderful scholarship recipients who have joined us today.
And these students have really distinguished themselves through their exceptional
academic performance, through their perseverance
By overcoming really overwhelming odds and challenges to being in college
And also typically their future potential to success.
This year the foundation recieved more than sixteen hundred applications for scholarships.
We are thrilled that we were able to award eight hundred thousand dollars in scholarships
to about six hundred and forty students district wide. So there's a huge need.
Three hundred of those six hundred and forty students are actually part of a new program
that we launched in the city of Portland called Future Connect.
Which is all that about providing scholarship assistance as well as
wrap around intensive student supports for students who probably otherwise
wouldn't have had a chance to come to college.
To put some of these numbers into perspective, in the 2003-2004 academic year,
The foundation awarded one hundred and fifty five scholarships totaling
two hundred and twenty thousand dollars.
So in just nine years, we have more than tripled the number and amount of scholarship awards
that we give out.
It's a tremendous accomplishment and we have certainly much more to do to meet the needs
here at PCC and our students.
But we certainly would not have been able to come his far
and to accomplish this much without the support of many of you in the audience
are donors, as well as our PCC Foundation Board.
And so please welcome the President of our Foundation Board, Chris Neilsen.
CHRIS: I'm so delighted to be here with these wonderful students and with you, our donors
and with interested members of the community.
I'd like to congratulate the students. When we read the scholarship applications every year,
and look at the accomplishments and look at the obstacles, it's an inspiring
humbling experience.
The room is filled with people who are the first in their family to attend college.
People returning to college because the industry they worked in is no longer
in existance or has seriously downsized and they're looking to do something else.
Parents who are working to set a good example to their children by attending college.
And many others pursuing dreams of careers and a better life.
And what I want to say to the students, with probably my mom's hat on is that
the scholarship is th beginning, and there will be ups and there will be downs,
and what I hope students, is you know that we want you to stay here,
we want you to prosper here.
So if those ups and downs come along, please don't be shy about asking for help.
And now I'd also like to say thank you to the donors who are here,
who have made this day possible and have made the opportunity for these students possible.
The generous support of the donors is what allows the foundation to make the awards
that you've heard about. Please join me and give to them another round of appluse.
There's no denying that the need for scholarship help especially in these economic times
is a hard demand to meet. At PCC, fifty percent of full time students are on financial aid
yet nearly two thirds of those are also requiring loans to meet their
college and expenses.
It's the vision of the PCC Foundation that all students in the region have access
to an excellent education at PCC and the support that they need
to take advantage of that education.
Yet as you've heard, we were only able to meet about
forty percent of the requests that we recieved.
Clearly it is our commitment and our goal to meet the need that our students have.
I invite you to help us, it's through donors that we are able to do that.
You've already stepped up once, and I probably would be remission my job if I
didn't say we'd be happy if you step up again.
We love to have scholarships set up.
So, without little arm twisting, let me move on to introduce two of our very
deserving scholarship recipients.
Sherice Smith and Wendy Hempkin.
Sherice is a recent graduate of Jefferson High School. She's is in the Business Progam at PCC.
She plans to transfer to PSU to earn her degree and to open a business of her own.
Wendy is in the Honors Program at PCC and working toward her goal of becoming a doctor.
On top of that, she is the mother of two young daughters.
Please welcome Sherice and Wendy.
SHERICE: Hello, my name is Sherice Smith, and I am a recipient of the Chip Shields...
Sorry, the Senator Chip Shields and Shelda Holmes Scholarship
and the Fostering Advocate Success Scholarship.
Growing up, I found out a lot about the value of education, and it was the hard way.
As a high school student, I never strived to be more.
My whole freshman year I treated myself out of the luxury of being an honor roll student,
or even a B+ student. I lead the halls of Jefferson with the promise that next year
I'll return to turn thing around.
That summer I was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma
forcing me to drop out of school and summer school.
So, through countless overnight hospital stays and doctors visits,
opportunity happened to me in January of 2009.
I was given a second chance at life.
And I realized that what makes me an individual stand far beyond measure
is not that I'm a cancer survivor, or that I have
or that I have dramatic parents, or even that I'm a foster kid
who has bounced around from home to home.
It is my ability to take all the bad that life has ever offered me, and survive.
Knowing that I am a statistic and everyday I wake up the odds will continuously be against me,
I take advantage of all of the opportunities that are given to me.
My education is truly my blessing in disguise.
Because it is my foundation for growth.
With my education, I can change the story of my life.
I think PCC is the perfect place to start my story since they have offered some of the finest
education at the community college level.
I consider myself fortunate to be able to attend, however, I do plan on continuing my education
at Oregon State University to recieve a degree in business.
This scholarship will help out tremendously,
and with this chance, my tomorrow has been brightened.
Again, I thank you for making me and my fellow recipients dreams possible.
Thank you.
WENDY: I want to thank Sherice first off for having the courage to go first.
Good evening, I'm Wendy.
I am a recipient of the John L Evans and
Beaverton Business and Professional Womens Association... Womens Club Scholarship.
I have a 4.0, I'm in the honors program, and I am a ROOTS mentor.
I have volunteered over 200 hours at OHSU Hospital,
and I am helping to raise, the two most, and in truth an entirely objective statement
amazing girls in the entire world.
As impresive as all that may sound, this is not the story of my singular success,
but testimate to the power of our community.
My success is achieved because of the community that supports
Portland Community College.
This community is made not just of my friends and my family,
but the staff at PCC, and every other person who takes their time
whether a donor or a family member or a representative
to support Portland Community College and the students that go here.
When I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, I was sitting in the hospital
the newborn in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
But it was a great experience because I had wonderful conversations
with my husband, my best friend Shannon, and Melody who said
Yes! Go! Become a doctor!
And the doctors there said, yes, it's a really long road but you have it.
And suddenly this crazy idea seemed possible.
So I came here to PCC, and my husband became primary caregiver.
And stayed home with the girls until finally deciding to pursue his own degree,
computer science.
With their support, but also, with their support again, I would say the studying...
My studying was made more effective by the tools that were given to me
by the staff at PCC.
I was allowed and able to focus, I was able to obtain a 4.0, become part of the honors program
which helped me, reach high for my dreams,
and become a member of the ROOTS program
help kind of keep me grounded and not just float away.
When I added on volunteering in compalative care at Oregon Health and Science University,
the hard work and the compassion of the doctors continued to motivate me.
WIth patients and their direct reminders that it's not just what you do with the future that matters,
but what you do right now.
Their support, even when they were sick and we were just spending time together
reminded me that we are all connected. We are all a community.
And every word of encouragement and the level of support you give
helps to move someone forward.
Recieving this scholarship is not just about money.
It was about the fact that people I had never met,
who probably couldn't have pointed me out in the street
believed that I could do this.
Because they believe... I find myself encouraging more and more students
you can do it, I did it. I had a 2.18 in high school,
I couldn't have pulled the meaning of homework if you had given me a dictionary.
So that's what PCC is. It's about support, it's about community, and it's about the
opportunity to succeed.
And to show my goals, that they can achieve anything that they want to do.
So tonight, I want to thank not just my friends who are up here with me,
and my daughters, every person who helped build this community
fosters encouraging success like mine and like those of every person on stage. Thank you.
DR. PULLIAMS: Let's give these two women another round of applause.
Let me just... And I'm standing between the recognition of all these great students
and so my remarks will not be very long,
but I do want to certainly thank the hard work and commitment of our foundation board members,
lead by Chris Neilsen, the outstanding president of this group.
I've watched you work all my eight years, I've been just simply fascinated by
how quick they are and how hard they work.
One number I don't think we shared earlier was that the last four years,
they've given twenty seven hundred scholarships for opportunity. That's unbelievable.
Twenty seven hundred.
Now it's also, I wanted to give a few minutes, a few seconds to thank our donors
our wonderful folks who really give their heart in terms of supporting
what our mission is all about, about opportunity here at Portland Community College.
So students, I want you to give our donors a round of applause.
We have a big problem in the state, some of you may be aware and some of you may not,
we are still losing too many students.
Young folks who are coming out of high school, or some don't even make it out of high school
and do not have an opportunity to go for higher education.
The numbers are still staggering in terms of how little percentage of individual students who are
recieving an opportunity to go to higher education.
In this state we rank 47th in the country out of 50 states
in terms of our percentage of students who have the opportunity and take the opportunity
or even graduate from high school and go onto higher education.
This has tremendous implications for our society.
For our economy, and for opportunity really for all of us if we do not
aggressively invest in this problem.
Now I have a testimony I'd like to take much time to talk about it.
You know, I was struggling to get out of high school,
because I had to work a lot. My family struggled financially.
But I was blessed in two ways. One is I finished up my high school career.
I expected to go and work as a farm laboror or
helping my dad who had worked hard to support all six of us,
kids of which I was the oldest.
And so, I really really never seriously even though I had an opportunity to go to college.
The fate of this were two things. One, there was a group of individuals, donors who got together
and decided to give a scholarship for two years at the local community college,
all tuition, books, fees, everything was covered by this scholarship
by the local rotary club.
And the scholarship was intended to go to someone who had potential,
and had not demonstrated it yet. And that was me.
I was living that life in terms of not really demonstrating my potential
to being successful. I never even really though I had that, like little confidence.
That scholarship I remember changed my life and lead to me completing
my local community college program and moving onto the state university.
and coming back and teaching and working at the very college that I graduated from.
there in my hometown of Michigan.
By the way, that scholarship was $660.
Things have changed, haven't they? They really have.
But that scholarship changed my life.
The other part of this is that
someone at that Community College, an english instructor
took time out to encourage me,
commit to me and coached me in terms fo being successful.
And so I have this now obligation because of those two components
and those two factors in my life.
Someone who reached out and helped me.
I have now I feel a personal professional obligation in some way to give back.
Now I've had a great opportunity in terms of working with our foundation
to help raise money, but as some of you may realize and know that I'm going to retire
at the end of this academic year.
As president here, before I do I want to personally raise one million dollars
for opportunity for scholarships.
I appreciate tha applause, now I need some checks.
No, seriously, in terms of that I'm going to be working accross the community with business
and with anyone who listens to me so I can tell the story
as represented by folks on our stage in terms of getting opportunity
for higher education.
We have... We are going to launch a campaign very soon
for foundation, again I'm going to work very hard in terms of my last weeks and months here
to get in the community and tell our story and raise that money,
and that money will be used for scholarship, grants, to finance education
for some of the students I described earlier.
And also to provide coaching and support for those students
to help them make sure that they have the opportunity to be more successful.
Let me just thank you all for coming out, celebrating with us.
Thanks again our donors, thanks again our students and I wish them all the best.
and now I don't want to stand any longer here
without beginning the process of recognizing them.
So I'm going to ask our state party to come foward,
and we're going to go about our business recognizing the students.
Please give them another round of applause.
Hi, my name is Ryan Newell.
I am a recipient of the Platt Electric Scholarship as well as the
Career Technical Scholarship. I'd like to think the fine people of both of those
organizations for allowing me the opportunity to to proceed on with my education.
This scholarship means that I can pursue my childhood dream of studying Physics.
This means I can continue my career in the Professional Arts,
hopefully become an established artist one day, maybe have my own studio.
I have got the Young Start Scholarship, and because of it
I am able to take more credits this year, because I can afford it.
Hi, I'm Kelly and I recieved the Keith Skelton Foundation Scholarship,
and I'm so thankful to have the scholarship so I can continue my education
and become a drug and alcohol counselor to have a better life for me and my children.
These scholarships have made it possible for me to focus on my studies,
and I'll be able to work on my capstone project for renewable energy systems.
One number I don't think we shared earlier is that the last four years they have given
twenty seven hundred scholarships for opportunity. Isn't that something?
Twenty seven hundred.
I want to tell the donors who gave me this scholarship that I appreciate it,
and that it means a lot and it gives me hope that I can finish what I started here
and get my degree in Zoology.
I am most grateful, and I must say I really appreciate it.
That means I don't have to worry so much about my financials
situation and paying for my education. It helps ease some of the burden.
I am entirely grateful for that.
This scholarship means that I don't have to take any loans
It has paid for half my tuition.
And this scholarship means a lot to me because it gives me the opportunity
to pursue my goal of becoming a civil engineer.
It'll force me to be able to clear my mind for a moment and pursue my education.
I'm eternally grateful for it, it's really put me one step closer to my dream
of having a masters in social work with speciality in horticulture therapy.
I will start my future as a theater arts actor, and I hope to succeed,
I'm just really really grateful, thank you so much.
Every person who has helped build this community
fostors and encourages success like mine and like those of every person on this stage.
I have now a feel of personal and professional obligation in some way to give back.
Now I've had great opportunity in terms of working with our Foundation
to help raise money, but as some of you probably realize and know
that I'm going to retire at the end of this academic year as your president here, but before I do,
I want to personally raise one million dollars for opportunity for scholarship.
If I could say one thing to the people who made this scholarship possible, thank you.
Thank you to everyone at the PCC Foundation for making this scholarship possible.
To those who made this scholarship possible, thank you so much.
Thank you very much Delta Boule' for giving me this scholarship, I really appreciate it.
and it means a lot to me.
With the rising cost of education these days, it's incredible difficult for a student to
be able to succeed without accumulating a lot of debt, so...
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.
I never thought an education at my age would be possible.
Thank you very much.
I want to thank you the donor that makes this scholarship available to me,
because it allow me to work less and focus more in my school hour.
I would like to tell the donors thank you very much for giving me this scholarship
it really means so much to me, it really helps me start a bright future.
I want to thank you, and my family thanks you because he made it possible
for me to go to college.