by Karen Sanders, vice president of advancement and executive director, Lincoln Land Community College Foundation
I was given a gift from a friend with this quote on it a few years ago, and it has become one of my favorites: “Believe There is Good in the World. Be the Good.” In this topsy turvy world we live in today, I recently saw this good in action.
We hosted a drive-through appreciation event for our wonderful Lincoln Land Community College Foundation scholarship donors. Scholarship recipients stood on the sidewalks, masks on, six feet apart, in the pouring rain, holding signs and waving at generous community friends as they drove through campus. Not one complaint was heard from these students! It was a reminder that these students are the good … our future health care providers, teachers, welders, truck drivers, engineers, agriculture professionals and more. The support for these students is made possible by donors who believe in them, in education and a better community.
Our scholarship application period for the academic year 2021-2022 opens on Dec. 1 and closes March 1. Applying is easy. Students may get more information and apply online at www.llccfoundation.org/scholarships. Only one online application needs to be completed to apply for all scholarships for which a student qualifies.
With this wild ride of a year, some students simply need more support outside of scholarships. Our students desire a higher education to better not only themselves, but our community. We see the good in not only providing scholarships for students to start or continue their education, but also providing additional support to assist students through life’s challenges, especially the ones the pandemic has brought on. Although our students lean into and tackle challenges daily, sometimes it is more than they can overcome.
A former Foundation board member who saw students with emergency needs established the “Pay it Forward” Fund. Books, rent, tools, tuition, computers, gas cards and bus passes are just a few examples of assistance that is provided to LLCC students in emergency situations. But “Pay it Forward” isn’t really about the books, the computer, the bus pass or the rent. Those are simply the means of support. It is about the student who needs help getting back on his or her feet when a set-back occurs, to stay on course and complete their educational goals. Students like the ones I have been in contact with recently since the college moved to online and alternative methods of learning. Learners like Ashley, John, Chris and others, who either didn’t have a computer or updated equipment to handle the technology needs to complete their courses. And students like Anna and Jen who are staying in a shelter but needed funds for basic essentials, or Sheila who was furloughed from her job and found she could not afford class materials for her math class. Thanks to our wonderful donors, we were able to provide the financial assistance that these students needed in order to succeed.
During this season of giving as you look into your heart, know there is good in the world. If you have someone on your gift list who is hard to buy for, consider making a gift in their honor to the “Pay it Forward” Fund or for a scholarship. The gift of an education will have long lasting effects and a far-reaching impact.
Go to www.llccfoundation.org/donate and be assured that your gift will directly benefit students in your communities. Thank you for being the good.