With the Santa Clarita Valley serving as a hotspot for brush fires in and around the city, College of the Canyons has attempted to support present and future fire personnel through its fire technology program.
Following a grant from Edison International, the college and its program will now be able to further assist in the development of fire personnel after it was selected as one of five California community colleges that will receive a $25,000 grant.
The grant was offered to COC, Santa Ana College, Victor Valley College, Crafton Hills College and Mt. San Antonio College after they were selected for the pilot program because of their successful fire technology programs and their service to a wide demographic of students, COC officials said.
“Edison’s generous contribution to our fire technology program creates increased opportunities for those who want to pursue a career in fire service,” Keith Kawamoto, COC fire technology department chair, said in a prepared statement. “These funds also enable us to purchase the valuable equipment that lend to interactive learning experiences. Structural firefighter coats, helmets, axes and (other equipment pieces) are not cheap, but they afford our students a better glimpse into fire service.”
This year’s grant is new to Edison International’s philanthropic efforts, but has already benefited 10 COC students, who were each awarded $1,000 scholarships that can be used for tuition, books and school-related fees, according to school officials. Recipients also responded to four essay questions about their fire service career goals, had to have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher and be enrolled in the college’s fire technology program.
Kiera Coblentz, Joseph Cortez, Danielle Desch, Trina Duncan, Lyndsee Little, Christian Meza, Hunter Mills, Jesus Perez, Jonathan Scarano and Jack Tuszynski were the COC students chosen to receive scholarships for the fall 2018 semester, according to school officials. Ten more students will be chosen for the spring 2019 semester.
For more information about COC’s fire technology program, visit the program’s webpage or contact the school of mathematics, sciences and health professions, school leaders said. The fire technology program offers certificate and degree opportunities both for individuals without service and for the professionals who seek career advancement.