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South Suburban College providing unprecedented opportunities

The following article is from Oak Forest Patch

July 23, 2021

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It's not too late to get registered and take advantage of a significant range of free resources at South Suburban College (SSC) this fall. In fact, returning to school or pursing one's college dream for the first time is a "no-brainer," according to college promotions.

"This is truly a unique time in our College history when most students literally are debt free, and in many cases plus direct financial assistance, and plus free laptops," said Dr. Lynette Stokes, SSC President. "SSC has long provided comprehensive scholarship and tuition waiver packages to students, but this is much more and we want residents of our community to know they have an opportunity. We have worked really hard to secure and thoughtfully distribute multiple sources of funding to help our students manage this difficult year and be successful."

Those additional funding sources available to students include CARES Act stimulus, several new grant initiatives, and Foundation-sponsored COVID-19 Impact Awards among others. In total, SSC has provided over $3,400,000 in tuition relief, personal checks and technology grants to students last fiscal year, and more is available.

Shanika Mack is a South Suburban College student who has made the best out of the challenges of the past year. "Losing my job forced me to step away and think about what's important, like pursuing my bigger dreams," said Mack, a 31-year old returning adult student who previously attended SSC immediately after graduating from Thornton High School. "The pandemic can take away my job but it can't take away my education."

Mack received a free laptop, free books, and will have her entire tuition balance waived at the end of the 2021 Summer Semester if she stays on track to receive a "C" or better. She is already enrolled for fall classes with plans to graduate with an Associate's Degree in General Studies next spring. Mack hopes to pursue a Business Degree at Governor's State University upon graduation.

According to SSC's Business Office, 1,219 students have received $1,283,556 in tuition balances waived to date, and another 3,415 students received direct payments of $2,124,600 through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). An additional 141 students received $145,579 in debt relief and 415 students received $133,836 in technology – primarily laptops – through the CARES Act for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF). The SSC Foundation awarded $66,221.17 in COVID-19 funding for tuition, books, technology, and living expenses in addition to its traditional annual scholarship awards. Most recently, SSC initiated a new Student Emergency Aid Program through the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) to provide financial support up to $500 per student for short-term, nonrecurring emergencies.

New South Suburban College Student Trustee, Dion Rubin, wants to encourage more students to come back to school. Rubin received a free laptop, hotspot and $950 in direct aid to date. "I have complete confidence in South Suburban College – the faculty have done an amazing job and I have felt extremely safe returning to campus." Rubin received his High School Equivalency (HSE) before pursuing his college education in the Fall 2020 Semester during the height of the pandemic. "My goal is to make the student experience the best it can be and to promote a positive educational culture. Positivity can do great things."

Other opportunities for career program funding at SSC include the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant, and the One Workforce Grant through the Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC). The WEI grant provides wrap-around services including comprehensive financial assistance and academic support to participating students within a variety of program areas providing stackable credentials. Funding for the H-1B One Workforce Grant is provided by the US Department of Labor for tuition, fees and books in short-term advanced manufacturing programs with industry recognized credentials.

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54 Connecticut high school students receive $324K in college scholarships

The following article is from Fairfield Daily Voice

July 12, 2021

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More than 50 Connecticut students have each received thousands of dollars in scholarships after participating in a college preparation program.

The ECMC Scholars Program has awarded a total of $324,000 in scholarships to 54 students eight Connecticut high schools, according to a news release from the organization. The Scholars Program is a two-year mentoring program that helps prepare students for college.

Each of the 54 students is set to receive $6,000 in scholarship funds.

Participating schools include:

  • Ansonia High School
  • Bristol Eastern High School
  • Capital Preparatory Harbor Upper School
  • East Hartford High School
  • Emmett O'Brien Technical High School
  • Frank Scott Bunnell High School
  • Stamford High School
  • Windham High School

ECMC said the funds can be used "for enrollment in a degree or certificate program at an accredited college, university or career, and technical education institution."

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Milwaukie high school seniors win four $6,000 scholarships

The following article is from Pamplin Media Group

July 1, 2021

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Four students from Milwaukie are among 56 high school graduates from the class of 2021 each receiving $6,000 scholarships as ECMC Scholars.

MHS students and scholarship winners Savana Ramirez, Kiara Burris, Kairi Reyes and Nayzeth Herrera all have college plans and will be attending the University of Oregon, University of Montana and Clackamas Community College.

For the past two years, these students participated in a comprehensive mentoring program designed to help build academic and life skills. Unlike a traditional academic scholarship, students were selected to participate in the program based on their potential — not solely on their academic merit. Working in collaboration with school staff and the ECMC Scholars Program team, students spent their junior and senior years of high school actively preparing for postsecondary education.

"The class of 2021 ECMC Scholars are amazing. Their world was turned upside down with the pandemic and virtual learning during their senior year of high school. I'm so proud of each of these students," said Jan Smith, ECMC Scholars program manager.

Each scholarship recipient has been given the opportunity to receive personalized near-peer college coaching services provided by Beyond 12, which provides academic, social and emotional support students need to persist in postsecondary education.

"Now more than ever, it is important to provide students with a holistic approach to helping them get to and through postsecondary education," said Paula Craw, vice president of outreach for ECMC. "The ECMC Scholars Program is designed to help students with challenges that may prevent them from reaching their education goals."

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ECMC awards $930,000 in college scholarships to 155 students in Connecticut, Oregon and Virginia

ECMC press releases

June 28, 2021

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ECMC is proud to recognize 155 high school graduates from the class of 2021 who completed the ECMC Scholars Program. These students come from select high schools across Connecticut, Oregon and Virginia, and each earned a $6,000 scholarship.

For the past two years, these students participated in a comprehensive mentoring program designed to help build academic and life skills. Unlike a traditional academic scholarship, students were selected to participate in the program based on their potential—not solely on their academic merit. Working in collaboration with school staff and the ECMC Scholars Program team, students spent their junior and senior years of high school actively preparing for postsecondary education.

"The class of 2021 Scholars are amazing. Their world was turned upside down with the pandemic and virtual learning during their senior year of high school. I'm so proud of each of these students," said Jan Smith, ECMC Scholars program manager.

The scholarship funds can be used for enrollment in a degree or certificate program at an accredited college, university or career and technical education institution. In addition, each scholarship recipient has been given the opportunity to receive personalized near-peer college coaching services provided by Beyond 12, which provides academic, social and emotional support students need to persist in postsecondary education.

"Now more than ever, it is important to provide students with a holistic approach to helping them get to and through postsecondary education," said Paula Craw, vice president of outreach for ECMC. "The ECMC Scholars Program is designed to help students with challenges that may prevent them from reaching their education goals."

Over the past 17 years, ECMC has awarded $19.4 million in scholarships to 3,174 students in Virginia, Oregon and Connecticut.

Connecticut press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ecmc-awards-324-000-in-college-scholarships-to-54-students-in-connecticut-301320346.html

Oregon press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ecmc-awards-336-000-in-college-scholarships-to-56-students-in-oregon-301320345.html

Virginia press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ecmc-awards-270-000-in-college-scholarships-to-45-students-in-virginia-301320349.html

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W&L seniors win ECMC scholarship

The following article is from News on the Neck

June 4, 2021

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Two Washington & Lee High School seniors, Kanasia Garner and Ashaunti Redmond, were awarded with a $6,000 scholarship from ECMC Scholars program. This program is a two-year mentoring program that focuses on education and career goals. Students begin the program in their junior year and finish with the opportunity for a scholarship. This is the first time that two W&L students have been awarded the $6,000 scholarship.

The program is currently seeking fifteen 10th graders who meet the eligibility requirements for the ECMC program. Students must demonstrate individual determination to succeed; plan to pursue a college education; be entering the eleventh grade and plan to graduate in 2023; demonstrate financial need; submit required ECMC forms, be a first generation student, be a minority, qualify for free or reduced lunch, and have a 2.0 minimum GPA.

This is a free program for selected students. The program is designed so you can complete a series of activities and events throughout the two-year period. The deadline of the program has been extended to June 4.

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