The Shoreline Community College Foundation’s mission is to help students attain success and reduce barriers in their educational and career goals. This mission was on full display at this year’s 2017-2018 Scholarship Achievement Awards. The Foundation handed out scholarships to 76 students which totaled over $140,000. Thanks in part to their fundraising efforts and their generous donors; the scholarships were awarded based upon academic excellence, areas of study, personal essays and financial need.

The venue was buzzing with proud family and friends celebrating the achievements of these hard-working students. The pride was apparent in the smiling faces and tear-filled eyes of the attendees. The diversity of the Shoreline Community College campus was clear through the stories of this year’s scholarship recipients. The recipients ranged in ages, languages, and backgrounds from graduating high school seniors to Veterans, from part-time to full-time students, and from first-time to graduating students.

Franco Patino helps greet attendees

As people arrived and mingled, I could see the support that the Foundation has for its students. Executive Director, Mary Brueggman introduced me to Desiree Carlisle and Pat Slusser.

Desiree received a nursing scholarship in memory of Pat’s daughter, Tammy O’ Brien Shanks. The Slusser family has been one of the Donor’s to the Shoreline Community College Foundation for many years. Pat said they created the scholarship because they had, “the feeling to have her [Tammy’s] legacy live on”. Desiree responded that the legacy would live on because her family and children would now benefit from this scholarship. And even though the pair had never met before, a kinship was palpable.

As it was between many of the recipients, their faculty advisors, the Foundation’s Board and the community college president, Cheryl Roberts, who spoke to the attendees after the scholarships were awarded.

President Roberts spoke of the importance of these scholarships as she remembered the feelings of receiving her first scholarship and knowing someone believes in you and your success. President Roberts’ speech and a speech given by Kehla Grow, one of the awardees, highlighted the goals of the community college foundation and the college as a whole. They stated that the scholarships awarded provide a sense of community and showed that all of the students were a part of the Shoreline family.

These scholarships provide a hope, a means, and a sense of success for students to attend college and according to Kehla, “help progress futures”.