The Modesto Junior College Scholarship Program awarded over $250,000 to 246 students for the fall 2014 term during the Annual MJC Scholarship Ceremony held August 14. Additional awards will continue to be made throughout the 2014-2015 academic year.
The Scholarship Ceremony provided the opportunity to give recognition to the scholarship recipients and generous donors. The event also provided an opportunity for the college and the MJC Foundation to express appreciation for donors’ generosity and provided some of the students a chance to thank donors in person.
“These scholarships I received are tremendous,” Hazem Nasher, an administration of justice major who was awarded two scholarships – an American Legion Post 74 Law Enforcement Scholarship and the Billy Jo Dickens Memorial Scholarship. Nasher, who also recently completed the police academy, hopes to land a job as a peace officer. He will be working on some final math requirements this year to complete his Associate’s degree in administration of justice, and eventually hopes to complete a Bachelor’s degree as well.
“They are immense in helping with extra money for college fees, parking passes, books, gas, etc. More importantly, the scholarships are invaluable in the self-assurance and support they provided me in pursuing my education,” continued Nasher, who has balanced two part time jobs, along with school work and applying for law enforcement jobs, while maintaining an exceptional grade point average. “Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for Modesto Junior College, the scholarship program, and the donors.”
Scholarships are given to MJC students who have excelled in academic or technical subjects, have demonstrated a financial need, have performed community services, and/or overcome a personal challenge. Many scholarships are based only on a recipient’s academic performance in a program or major, rather than financial need, with the criteria set by the donor at the time the scholarship was established.
Monica Aguilera, a first generation college student who is entering her sophomore year as an English major, was awarded four scholarships – the Lena Peron & Orlena Hawkins, Dorothy Miller Memorial, Everett W. Linscott Memorial and the Ellen Wiltse-Thomas scholarships.
“Just opening the first scholarship award notification, I literally let out a sigh of relief and was overjoyed,” Aguilera said. “I am independent, and no longer rely on my parent’s financial support. Of course, they help when they can, but they have their own responsibilities to take care of as well. Receiving these awards means that I am able to buy the books and school materials that I need. I am grateful for all of the generous donors who make a difference in a student’s life.”
Aguilera also hopes to use some of her scholarship funds to apply for and attend a University of California to complete a Bachelor’s degree in English literature, with the a career goal of becoming a teacher.
MJC receives most of its scholarship donations from private individuals, families and trusts. There are also some community organizations that support scholarships. The smallest scholarship awarded is $200 and the largest, $2,000. Some of the donors choose to give anonymously, and some of the awards were set up by persons who are no longer living or were set up in memory of someone.
“Donors to the MJC Foundation play a critical role in helping these hardworking students to pursue and achieve their educational goals,” said George Boodrookas, Dean of Advancement and Executive Director of the MJC Foundation. “During the 2013-14 year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, $275,000 was distributed for scholarships and campus programs from the Foundation. The college as a whole was able to offer $450,000 in scholarship assistance to over 600 students last year. We are hoping to do the same this year.”
Some of the awards presented by the MJC Foundation during the recent Scholarship Ceremony included the Foundation President’s Awards of $1,000 each presented to Angelique Nguyen and Laura Valencia-Baez. Jerry Cooper, Foundation president, also presented $750 Jum Morris Awards (named for the college’s first president) to Jose Esquivel, Arcellia Huggins, Marika Rossetto, and Bart Stanhope.
Scholarship applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be available on Monday, October 6, 2014 on the MJC Scholarship page.
For more information on the MJC Foundation or how to set up a scholarship fund contact Boodrookas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-6714.