The latest news from the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation


Foundation Update
June 2019

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Foundation Update, featuring the latest news from the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. We are excited to share with you, our passion for education and the work we are doing in partnership with our donors, board, community and the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges, all in support of our vision that everyone has the opportunity to improve their lives through education.

We hope you enjoy reading this first edition and look forward to sharing many successes with you well into the future.

Thank you for your support.

Brian F. Spicker
Interim President and CEO, Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation

We make post secondary education accessible and affordable.

Heroes image

More than 500 Attend Heroes of Education - Over $102,000 Raised

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation awards a Hero of Education each year to a champion of higher education in Arizona.  This year's recognition dinner honoring Steven G. Seleznow, was held April 3rd at the JW Mariiott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa, and raised more than $102,000 in scholarship funds, a $25,000 increase over the previous year.  Additionally, 13 Maricopa Community College students provided centerpiece artwork which was auctioned off, raising $2,300 that went directly back to the students.

Since its inception in 2006, Heroes of Education has raised more than $1.8 million in scholarships.  Read more

To see photos from the 2019 Recognition Dinner, click here.

Albert and Lola Chatinsky

Sons Establish Endowment in Parents Memory

In memory of their parents, Mark and Steve Chatinsky established an endowment for the Albert and Lola Chatinsky Scholarship Fund through the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation to support students in the Artist of Promise Program. The purpose of the fund is to support the aspirations and talents of Maricopa Community College students as they pursue careers in the performing arts, specifically in theater and music.

Al and Lola loved the arts and travel. They had season tickets to the opera, symphony and theater for over 40 years. Together they traveled throughout Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and the Oregon coast as some of their favorite places to enjoy music, theater and overall the world of the Arts.

They had great appreciation for the talented artists that brought great joy into their lives and their hope is this scholarship will help Maricopa Community College students achieve their dreams and bring much happiness into the lives of many throughout the world.   Learn More About Establishing An Endowment

Katherine Alcaza

CPLC Scholarship Recipient Follows in Sister's Footsteps

South Mountain Community College’s (SMCC) Katherine Alcazar is majoring in Biomedical Engineering, with the eventual goal of transferring to ASU to continue studying in that field, and one day earning her doctorate degree. Born and raised in Arizona, she initially chose SMCC as her first step – and for her, “the right step” – because she wanted to become better prepared and more confident before attending ASU. Alcazar has thrived in SMCC’s easily navigable campus setting and smaller class sizes, while also complimenting the level of support from the college’s “amazing faculty.”

Besides being an honors student and honors award recipient, and an All Arizona nominee, Alcazar has also received the Chicanos Por La Causa scholarship for the past two years, which is awarded to outstanding Latino students attending Arizona colleges and universities who have demonstrated commitment to making positive changes to their communities and their selected fields of study. Academic excellence also seems to run in the Alcazar family, as Katie follows her sisters Isabel, who was the All Arizona nominee in 2017, and Emily, who was the All Arizona nominee in 2015. Read More Student Stories

Helios Excel

Helios Education Foundation Awards $1 million for EXCEL 2.0 Program

Thanks to a generous award from the Helios Education Foundation, Phase 2 of the EXCEL Program has been launched and will provide an intensive success program for first generation and/or low-income students.

EXCEL assists students with academic preparation, encourages parental/familial involvement, and practices intrusive advising and intensive peer mentoring. Participants receive academic planning, transfer processes and holistic support services in an effort to minimize or completely remove cultural, academic, and/or financial barriers that would impede a student’s academic and personal success.

This is the second grant awarded by the Helios Education Foundation in support of the EXCEL program.  In 2015,  $1.5 million was awarded by Helios  to establish the EXCEL program serving students at Estrella Mountain Community College and Glendale Community College which are both federally recognized as Hispanic Serving Institutions, with a full-time equivalent student enrollment of 53% Hispanic at EMCC and 37% Hispanic at GCC.

State Farm Emergency Funds Help Veteran in Need

"My son is in the hospital on life support and my fiancé and I have missed work and school due to his critical status. We're struggling and need help paying bills, gas to get back and forth from the hospital, and food for our family."   

Veteran Steven R., who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom,  was awarded State Farm Emergency Funds, helping him through this difficult time.  He was referred to the Foundation by a Maricopa Community Colleges District employee, who was touched by his story. He said, "A few weeks ago, Steven came in to discuss his situation. He told me his son was in critical condition and mentioned how he does not want to give up on his education and wants complete the term. We discussed how nervous and slightly intimidated he was when he enrolled into courses last Fall. He wasn’t sure that he would be able to make it. He's been doing outstanding, but the condition of his son has placed a strain on things. Steven's family is surviving on funds he receives from the VA, but the income doesn't cover all expenses. His fiancé doesn't work so she can be at the hospital. They're having difficulties with bills and paying for gas. Steven has been doing the best he can to provide for his family. However, limited finances make things difficult and frustrating." 

To help others like Steven, click here.

Foster Care Awarenss Month

Maricopa Community Colleges District Supports Foster Care Awareness Month

For students who were in foster care, college can be a path to earning a living wage and breaking the cycle of poverty and system involvement for their families. Unfortunately, less than 3% of youth who were in foster care ever make it to college graduation.  Through Bridging Success, the Maricopa Community Colleges have been working for four years to support these youth as they attempt to defy that statistic and reach their educational dreams, but they face many barriers.  Unexpected expenses and emergency situations often take them out of the classroom and derail their plans.  Your donation will go to support an emergency fund that can help them stay on course to their goals. Support Here

Genie Zavaleta

Scholarship Fund Established in Honor of Influential Activist Genie Zavaleta

Genie Zavaleta was an educator and counselor who worked with and advocated for undocumented students and their families. Genie and her life mate, Hector were the Pioneers of the Dream Act, working with students wishing to graduate from college, preventing deportations, supporting students raising funds for scholarships, finding pro bono lawyers, advocating to community groups and churches on their behalf, and helping them seek a pathway to citizenship. 

To read more about Genie Zalveta's journey to helping others, click here. To contribute to the Genie Zavaleta Scholarship Fund, please visit our website.

Foundation Board of Directors Update

Ashley KasarjianA tremendous thank you to our outgoing Chair, Ashley Kasarjian, Senior Corporate Council, Republic Services.  Ashley has served on the Foundation's Board of Directors since 2011, and has been an integral part of our growth.  In her role as Chair, Ashley led a driven team committed to seeking out opportunities and partnerships, ensuring Foundation resources are secure and worked with her previous firm, Snell & Wilmer to establish an endowed scholarship fund to benefit women who attend any of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges. Ashley's dedication and passion for education also contributed significantly to the successful completion of the Campaign for Student Success, which raised more than $50 million to directly support students and programs at the Maricopa Community Colleges.  Thank you Ashley, for your support and generosity.

Rudy PargaWe are pleased to announce that Rudy Parga, Owner/President of Imagine Technology Group, has begun his term as Chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors. Acknowledged throughout the community for his leadership roles with many nonprofit organizations, Rudy has served on the Foundation's Board for five years on numerous committees, special projects and most recently as Vice Chair.  Rudy has a passion for scholarship and strongly believes that education is the key to success, and that access is the critical starting point in that process.

And in Other News

Check out the new! Launched in early April, our site features student, donor and partnership stories along with scholarship information, financial data, links to our social media and photo pages as well as easy ways to support the Foundation.

Rosalie Johnson, Senior Accountant, recently received a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, jointly awarded by the Society for Nonprofits & Learning Institute and Michigan State University Extension. This training covers topics such as strategic planning, resource development, board governance, marketing, mission based management, social entrepreneurship, volunteer management and strategic alliances. 


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