The Art of Giving: College Promise Scholarships
The Aims Foundation held its annual scholarship reception on September 26 to celebrate the amazing students that are benefiting from a dynamic partnership between business and community donors, District 6 and Aims Community College. One of the most successful programs that were celebrated yesterday was the College Promise program.
Many students, particularly 1st generation students, do not believe college is possible or affordable. College Promise is a program that seeks to change that and is designed to help students follow high school with the next best step by helping them pay for their first year at Aims Community College.
As the “last dollar in” College Promise assists students after they have exhausted other aid resources. Students who qualify for government aid and other scholarships often have little remaining financial need. However, those that do have additional need can apply for College Promise scholarships. Since inception, over 450 students have enrolled at Aims due to the College Promise, of those only 202 required private assistance from the Promise fund.
Community leader Scott Ehrlich originally conceived the program to assist all student achieve higher education.
I am very pleased with the early results of College Promise. The goal was always to increase the potential and lifetime earnings of our future adults through higher skills and education and I hope we achieve this. I hope we can continue to provide this to our youth and utilize the resources at Aims for their benefit.
Through the success of the program, other leaders have stepped up to further that initial goal. NCMC, for example, has set up a College Promise Fund dedicated to students who pursue health careers.
Ken Schultz (NCMC Inc., board executive) states:
The Board of Directors of NCMC, Inc., together with Banner Health, are convinced that programs like College Promise are critical to making higher education available to an increased number of students from Weld County. In addition, it better prepares them for entry into the field of healthcare by providing nursing and other technical degrees; which enhance the size and skill of North Colorado Medical Center’s potential work force. It also makes more successful the transition to a four-year institution (such as UNC) and the attainment of even higher technical degrees. The North Colorado Medical Center is grateful to Aims Community College for the outstanding Curriculum that have been developed in support of the healthcare industry and we are proud to be ongoing supporters of the College Promise program.
Since inception in 2008, 67 College Promise students have received degrees at Aims Community College. Many of those students have transferred to 4-year degree programs at the University level. The number of College Promise student who have received Certificates in technical education is 141, with 68 receiving certificates in the health field, realizing the vision of NCMC.
The success of College Promise has benefited the community and created a bridge for students who otherwise may not have been able to attend college take the first best step toward successful academic and professional careers. Economists advise students to consider attendance at community colleges for their first two years as a more affordable option to higher education. Aims and the community of Greeley in partnership with District 6 are assisting students to follow that advice and work toward continued and sustainable success.
Scholarship recipient Kendra Aragon gave a speech at the reception that contained the following inspirational story:
Twelve years ago my mother was diagnosed with scleroderma. My mother’s illness is what inspired and motivated me to do nursing. I wanted to help her as much as I could as well as contribute as much of my time to helping others who may be suffering from similar problems… My sister mentioned many times how incredible and hands on the instructors are here at Aims, she said that everyone was extremely helpful and encouraging. She says and I quote, “going to Aims was the smartest decision that she has made.” I am now in my second year and know exactly what she meant.
Aims’ has not only been an amazing experience with great people and staff, but one of my favorite things about it is that it is not a financial burden. The Aims College Promise Scholarship it has opened many doors for me and enabled me to chase my dreams. Without the promise and the help from Aims, I am not even sure I would have the same opportunities to attend school as I do now. With this scholarship I am able to put my full focus and energy into my studies without having to worry about any financial stress. And that is something very rare in college. For that, I thank Aims and I am truly grateful to the Aims Foundation for allowing me to pursue my education and be that much closer to my goals.
Congratulations to all of the students like Kendra, who are working so hard to realize their goals and to the community who has come together to support them in achieving their dreams!