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Foundation needs $50,000 by March 31 to earn $320,000 for scholarships

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The PCC Foundation needs just $50,000 more by March 31 to reach a goal set by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. If PCC reaches this goal, it will receive $320,000 in scholarship funds for PCC students.

To make a difference in many students’ lives, give now to the PCC Foundation.

Last year, the PCC Foundation successfully met the Miller Challenge by raising more than $1 million for scholarships from individuals, including staff, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, businesses and local foundations. Now they are trying to meet the second year of the challenge.

Left to right, Foundation donor Rose Smith takes a moment to pose with her scholarship recipient Memory Mupfupi and fellow donor Linda Talluto. Smith and Talluto are with the American Association for University Women-Tigard.

“If we do not meet this fund raising goal, we will receive no matching Miller funds,” said Kim Kono, interim director of development with the PCC Foundation. “We don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity for our students, who we know have an unprecedented need for support.”

For the second straight year, the Miller Foundation is challenging PCC to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to build its funding base. This year, money donated for scholarships between now and March 31 will help it meet the requirements for the Miller Foundation Scholarship Challenge.

Last year was the first year of the Miller challenge and as a result the Foundation was able to award 171 additional scholarships for 2009-10. Among colleges and universities nationwide, PCC ranks among the top-ten in percentage increase of financial aid applications this year. Students at the college have amassed more than $50 million in loans to pay for their classes.

Thanks to the economic downturn, distributing scholarships to students has never been more important. Student Adrian Thompson’s family can’t pay for his classes; he’s got to do it on his own. Last year, to get by, Thompson had to work two part-time jobs as he studied full time at PCC.

His future brightened when he was awarded a Rask Family Memorial Fund scholarship for 2009-10, money that is helping him work toward a degree in the dental field. Thompson, who sports a 3.8 grade-point average, wants to transfer to Portland State University to complete his four-year degree.

Adrian Thompson

“I will complete my four years of college to receive my bachelor’s of science degree and enter into a dental school to continue my higher learning and gain more experience in the field,” Thompson said. “I am confident I will succeed.”

The scholarship has helped him focus on his studies more and avoid taking student loans that could have buried him in a mountain of debt. Now he can focus on fulfilling his pre-requisites in biology to lay the foundation for his career in dentistry.

“I wanted to be able to go to school at least for my first two years without taking loans and this scholarship helps my decision to do that,” he said.  “Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »