April 2, 2014, Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s annual Salute to Excellence Scholarship event exemplifies the College’s longstanding commitment to access to higher education, student success and community engagement.
At this year’s event at Normandy Farms in Blue Bell on March 18, the College’s Foundation honored more than 300 donors and students. The evening provides an opportunity for scholarship recipients to share their experiences and personally thank the donors who helped them achieve their education goals. For donors, it was a time to meet students and see firsthand the results of their support.
This year, the College’s Foundation awarded 243 students with more than $365,796 from 87 donor-funded scholarships. This includes more than 19 new scholarship funds established since July 1, 2013, and is the most money and largest number of recipients in the Foundation’s history.
For students like Manuel Rivera of Hatfield, scholarships provide the second chance they need to achieve success. As one of the student speakers at the dinner, Rivera shared how he overcame personal obstacles to start his college education.
“Receiving a scholarship and knowing someone believed in me when all others doubted me was a huge part of why I am standing here tonight speaking with all of you,” he said. “I am so very grateful for my scholarships and for the investment in me. Tonight, we honor those investments by acknowledging the generous donors who realize the importance of education. On behalf of all scholarship recipients, thank you. You truly make dreams come true. I hope one day I can follow in your footsteps and give back to my community.”
Following his graduation from MCCC, Rivera plans to continue his education, majoring in psychology. He is the recipient of the 2013-14 Steady and Kelly Moono Scholarship.
Similarly, nursing student Merissa Dimino of Perkiomenville acknowledged how important the 2013-14 Community Service Scholarship was to her academic success.
“Like many of my fellow nursing classmates, I had to adjust my schedule to work part-time instead of full time. As my course work increased and clinicals started, I had to transition from working part time to being a full-time student,” she said. “The Community Service Scholarship has given me the chance to pursue my passion without having to stress about where the money will come to pay for my education.”
- Diane VanDyke
PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College Foundation scholarship recipients Manuel Rivera, a psychology major from Hatfield, and Merissa Dimino, a nursing student from Perkiomenville, spoke about the educational journeys during the College’s annual Salute to Excellence scholarship event. Photo by Anita Jerva