PCC Foundation announces $1 million gift to build first-year experience for students

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The Portland Community College Foundation has received one of its largest gifts by an individual donor.

The $1 million gift pledge by Brigid Flanigan, who is founder and principal of Tenfold Senior Living, will help build and expand the First-Year Experience initiative, which will benefit historically underserved students. The pledge will be fulfilled at $200,000 per year for the next five years.

Brigid Flanigan

Brigid Flanigan.

This fall, the college is piloting the First-Year Experience, which is based on the wrap-around support provided by the successful Future Connect Scholarship Program. The initiative will offer new first-generation college students a connection to a coach, regular contact for career guidance, and support navigating college resources and targeted curriculum in college success.

“When I learned PCC was taking the best elements from Future Connect and scaling them into a first-year experience for more PCC students, I knew this was something I had to support,” said Flanigan, who has supported Future Connect since 2015. “I deeply believe in Future Connect, and I am proud to expand my support with this gift, which will continue to connect students to coaches.”

PCC is in the final year of a five-year Title III federal grant, which assists institutions of higher education in expanding their capacity to serve students who come from families living on limited incomes. As part of the grant and with help from Flanigan’s gift, the college is piloting this first-year support initiative for incoming students starting this fall term.

The plan for the First-Year Experience includes serving approximately 1,500 first-year, first-generation high school students in 2024; 2,500 first-generation students starting college regardless of age in 2025; and 5,000 new-to-college students by 2026 and beyond. 

“This gift is the largest private investment in Future Connect and we are incredibly grateful for Brigid’s generosity,” said Christina Kline, executive director of the PCC Foundation. “Her amazing gift will allow us to create critical, ongoing support to set our students up for success.”

Flanigan has been a developer of senior living communities since 1992, with a focus on building senior living communities in California and the Northwest. She founded Tenfold to develop a model for senior living that offers programs, amenities and a lifestyle to address unmet market demand. She will join the PCC Foundation Board of Trustees, starting July 1.

Since 2016, Future Connect has welcomed approximately 330 new students annually with more than 4,000 students served since 2011. Future Connect provides full wrap-around support, including coaching, mentoring, and scholarships, with the help of public and private partners. This program works to eliminate the barriers for first-generation college students, and supports them throughout their college education so that they can reach their potential as active and productive members of the Portland metro area.

For more details: https://www.pcc.edu/first-year/

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »