Kennebec Valley Community College Foundation’s total awards over past decade now stand at $1.075 million

FAIRFIELD — The Kennebec Valley Community College Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to students since 2005, and these awards are now reaching more than 200 students annually.

The nonprofit foundation exceeded the $1 million milestone at the close of the spring 2015 semester; total awards over the past decade now stand at $1.075 million, according to a news release from the foundation.

The demand for scholarship support for KVCC students is greater than ever, as the number of applications for assistance from students with financial need continues to rise each year.

“Scholarships provide tremendous opportunity for students and open the doors to education for many,” said Michelle Webb, executive director of the foundation, in the release. “The increasing need for student support affirms the need to continue to raise funds for scholarships. Currently, the majority of scholarship funds come from private and corporate donations as well as our annual golf tournament.”

More than 75 percent of KVCC students demonstrate financial need, and scholarships help students to fill the gap between financial aid awards and the total cost of college including tuition, books, tools, transportation and childcare. A scholarship increases a student’s ability to enroll in and complete a college program, often shortening the time from enrollment to degree, particularly for low-income students. Scholarships can often make the difference in empowering a student to attend college full or part-time, reduce student loan debt, and decrease the likelihood of a student leaving school due to financial hardship.

Student Anthony Cennamo is enrolled in the new Culinary Arts programs at KVCC and a recipient of a scholarship, and is grateful for the generosity of supporters and the work the Foundation does.

“The Chef is knowledgeable and passionate and pushes me to learn, the equipment is state-of-the-art and everything is brand new,” Cennamo said in the release. “It is exciting to be a part of the growing success of KVCC and to watch everything around me transform.”

“Earlier on, I had questions and the KVCC Foundation was there to help. KVCC is a very student-based college which is awesome. They provide all necessary things like tutoring, paper-writing assistance, financial aid, and career-furthering opportunities. I applied for a scholarship because, despite the fact that I work very hard, I receive very little income. If it were not for this scholarship, I would not be able to afford to pay for my education. I truly appreciate the opportunity to receive a scholarship from the KVCC Foundation,” Cennamo added.

Last year, as a result of many generous gifts, the KVCC Foundation awarded $153,977 in scholarship funds to reduce the financial burden of college enrollment for more than 210 financially needy students. The foundation is anticipating continued strong demand for scholarships in the upcoming academic year. To help meet the growing need, the golf tournament planning committee is actively recruiting new players and sponsors for the July 20 KVCC Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament to be held at the Waterville Country Club. Details are available online at kvcc.me.edu/pages/foundation/golf.

The Kennebec Valley Community College Foundation was established in 1991 with the goal of supporting both the college and its students. The mission of the foundation is to provide area citizens with an accessible and affordable quality education. The KVCC Foundation Board of Trustees achieves this goal by raising funds to promote and support all educational programs; to provide state-of-the art equipment and facilities; and to ensure access through scholarship funds for needy students.

KVCC is one of seven community colleges in Maine that operate under the authority of the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. KVCC is a public, nonprofit, post-secondary institution supported in part by State legislative appropriations and federal funds.

The college offers more than 35 programs of study ranging from two-year associate degrees to certificates, as well as a comprehensive schedule of continuing education courses and business and industry outreach programs.

For more information on KVCC go to kvcc.me.edu.