More than 300 students gathered Thursday at College of the Canyons for the annual Scholarship Reception to meet face-to-face with those who donated money towards their scholarships.
“You might think, as a donor, that $100 isn’t going to matter,” said Dianne Van Hook, chancellor of COC. “$100 is a battery for a car that doesn’t work, that doesn’t let them get to school, take care of children and child care or get to work. It matters and it matters in a very, very large way.”
For the 2022-23 year, 416 scholarships were awarded, 84 of which were funded by the college’s Associated Student Government.
“This year, more than four hundred scholarships, totaling more than $335,000 have been awarded to more than 380 students,” said Steve Corn, a member of the COC Foundation board of directors.
Donors had the opportunity to set guidelines, requirements and qualifications for the recipients to meet for the scholarships.
“You are the reason why we are committed to College of the Canyons,” said Leticia Meza-Guerrero, a Logix Federal Credit Union employee. “We hope that you decide to build your lives here in this local community, but if you choose to go away, we encourage you to take your COC experience wherever you go and remember that this is where you decided to invest in your own success.”
Jesse McClure spoke to the volumes that a scholarship provides, as he was one of the recipients.
McClure attended COC in 2004, but put a halt on his educational journey as his grades were low because he saw no point in college.
Throughout his 19-year break from his education, he got married, had a child, traveled the world and was diagnosed with cancer twice.
“I was a guy on TV,” said McClure. “I had a No. 1 TV show in England and all of a sudden, I had no hair, no energy and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life.”
McClure’s wife suggested he start his education journey back again. With the want to be selfless and not selfish, he did.
“I went for it,” said McClure, “and I took one class, and it turned into three.”
He spoke as a recipient of three scholarships and was brought to tears announcing his wife was also a recipient.
The money they received will go toward furthering McClure’s educational journey at the University of New England to become a human rights lawyer and start out his child’s college fund.
“We need the support of people,” said Van Hook. “It’s our privilege to be able to help you do that.”