The Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor this week presented the Washtenaw Community College Foundation over $88,000 for scholarships for Ann Arbor Public Schools and other local graduates to continue their education. WCC students that have received scholarships were also honored at the Annual Kiwanis Scholarship Luncheon.
Over the last several years, 73 WCC students have earned Kiwanis Scholarships. Each scholarship can be renewed for up to three years if the student maintains good grades, and are worth approximately $3500 annually.
Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor President Steve Hiller says the scholarships fit the Kiwanis mission which is focused on children. “We also look at the fact that a lot of community college students are working to better their families, which means that their kids are affected by what we do in the community as far as scholarships are concerned,” Hiller says. “It’s very congruent with what Kiwanis International does and what the Kiwanis club of Ann Arbor does and we’re just really proud to be associated with Washtenaw Community College, it’s a great institution.”
According to Washtenaw Community College President Rose Bellanca philanthropy, like the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, makes a big difference, with 83 percent of WCC students that received scholarships graduating. “A scholarship can make all the difference in the world in helping a student complete their educational journey and supporting their path to a new job, to advance in their profession or to transfer to a four-year university to continue their education, and we are so grateful for the long-standing partnership that we have had with the Kiwanis Club,” Bellanca says.
AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the Kiwanis Club understands the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. She knows personally that a community college education can lead to great success. “I am a proud junior college graduate,” Swift says. “I wasn’t fortunate to be in Washtenaw County, but I believe in that step of community college. I’m so delighted to join together to congratulate our students today.”
Approximately one-quarter of the Kiwanis donation came from funds raised during the weekly sales at the Kiwanis thrift store. Additional funds were donated by a host of individuals and families in the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor.