The amount of Truckee Meadows Community College students receiving privately funded scholarships, and the money donated to these scholarships has reached a noteworthy new record this academic year.
“This year, the TMCC Foundation has awarded 539 scholarships to date totaling nearly $586,000—and this deserves a round of applause,” said Executive Director Gretchen Sawyer. “Our donors provided a generous amount of financial support to all of our students here this afternoon, making it possible for many of you to attend college and pursue your goals and dreams. Donors are providing the opportunity for us to be here this afternoon enabling students to pursue academic achievement.”
Sawyer introduced and led the Eighth Annual Legacy Scholarship Reception on Oct. 6. She thanked scholarship contributors, her staff and volunteers who made the festive event possible.
Every year, students receiving scholarships walk across the stage with their award certificates, are recognized and applauded, enjoy a catered reception, and listen to inspiring speeches.
Speakers Acknowledge Both Givers and Students
The first of two featured speakers at TMCC’s Legacy Scholarship Reception was College President Karin Hilgersom, PhD.
“When I first became the President of TMCC a little over a year ago, I immediately saw firsthand the struggles that some of our TMCC students encounter, and I’m very fortunate in my position to be able to interact with many students,” President Hilgersom said. “I’ve been deeply impacted by the stories of students.”
She added that the stories are far-reaching.
“I want to tell you that some of our students have to work multiple jobs to keep food on the table for their families and to keep the mortgage payments or rent payments in line, and so this scholarship is huge for these students,” she said. “Some of our students have medical challenges and health issues. Some of our students are parents going to school, who in addition to school are working and raising their families. The scholarship is extremely helpful to them. Donors make a tremendous impact on the lives of students.”
President Hilgersom also celebrated students and their energy to succeed.
“I know that you work hard and you’ve earned every credit that ends up on your transcript, so I want to thank the students, too, because you are the models, and you make this college strong,” she said.
Radiologic Technology major Claryssa McIntyre was the second featured speaker.
She is a determined student who has been supporting her children as a divorced mother while taking classes. She will graduate in May, and hopes to inspire other students with her story of rising above academic challenges (full story).
“The future is bright and I know that I am capable of anything I set my mind to,” she said.
Students Say Scholarships Increase Time for Study
Scholarship awardees at the Legacy Reception said that financial support is making it possible for them to work less hours while they are in school, therefore having more time to do coursework.
“For me it’s an opportunity to make it through the school year easier, money is pretty tight—it opens up more time for school,” said Randy Greene, recipient of the Dale Donathan Scholarship and the Follett TMCC Bookstore Scholarship.
He added that school is an investment a person makes in oneself.
"You have your goal, and every day your goal gets closer,” Greene added.
Michelle Bailey is a Graphic Communications (GRC) major at TMCC. She was awarded the LSC Communications Scholarship.
“I work here on campus as a work-study and take 15 credits right now, so having the scholarship really helps me focus on my studies,” she said.
Bailey works as a student technical assistant in the GRC labs on the second floor of the Sierra Building.
“The scholarship lets me take many classes and not worry about my finances as much, and still put out quality graphics work,” she added.
“I’m the only person in my house that’s able to work right now, and I’m working full time, so the scholarship helps me devote more of my paycheck to bills,” Farias said. “It has made a big difference.”
He plans to transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno and major in electrical engineering.
Inspiration for Future Students
Both Bailey and Farias said that the scholarship helps to keep them motivated too, because someone has cared enough to invest in their education.
“If you do well, then the donor is inspired to keep donating,” Bailey said.
The well-attended Legacy Scholarship Reception was planned and produced by Rebecca Josten, Interim Scholarship Manager, Tara Hawkins, Senior Accountant, and Amber Burroughs, Student Outreach Manager.
For more information about scholarships, please contact the TMCC Foundation at 775-674-7648.