Each year billions of dollars in grants and scholarships are awarded to hard-working students, but some communities still have less access to those resources.
The Kennedy-King Scholarship honors the memories of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and
Senator Robert F. Kennedy and awards students with $5,000 to help their academic career.
The award was founded in 1969 and is geared towards supporting students from underrepresented groups.
“The Kennedy-King Scholarship is an annual external scholarship that is offered at each of our Contra Costa College campuses,” Scholarship coordinator Mia Henderson-Bonilla said.
The deadline to submit an application for the scholarship is fast approaching on Feb. 8th Henderson-Bonilla said.
Students from all three community colleges in the district are encouraged to apply.
Since the first two scholarships given in 1969, the Kennedy-King scholarship has been an integral part of the community. The fund is a direct result of ever-increasing support from residents and businesses.
The fund’s goal is to support equal opportunity in all aspects of education and is an all-volunteer effort. 816 scholarships worth almost $4.800,000 have been awarded according to the group’s history page.
Multiple opportunities are waiting for students to apply on campus. The Contra Costa College Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fundraises scholarships for students at CCC specifically.
Sara Marcellino, the Foundation development officer, coordinates support for the program. “The process is easy now, students just need to go to contracosta.edu/scholarships,” Marcellino said. On the page students have access to the Kennedy King Scholarship, the foundation’s and other external scholarships.
Marcellino said the website has been redesigned to ease student’s effort when applying.
“This year there is $185,000 via 85 scholarships,” she said.
There were 52 scholarships offered totaling $90,000 available in the 2018-2019 season. Less than 10 scholarships were missed out on last year Marcellino said.
Hopefully more students take advantage of the larger cash pool this year.
The boost in funding is always welcomed as an opportunity for students gain more financial support.
More importantly, applications for one scholarship from the Contra Costa College Foundation now apply towards all scholarships available to students at once.
Any funds that were not awarded are rolled over into the following school year.
The foundation is supported by the generosity of tax-deductible gifts. Between the Kennedy-King Scholarship, the Contra Costa College Foundation and external scholarships students have multiple streams of support waiting for them.
“The scholarship is a great resource that all students should know about,” speech team captain Shreejal Lytel said.
He had never heard of the scholarship before but has confidence that the college is trying to spread the word.
“I’ve been here for two years and have seen the campus improve over time,” Lytel said. “Programs like these would entice students to consider a future here.”
As the campus community grows, such resources may attract even more people.
“I think it’s important that all students know what resources are available to them,” Lytel said. Scholarship fliers have been posted around campus on bulletin boards on campus.
CCC could do more to ensure that students know about all their opportunities he said.