WCC Receives $100,000 Grant From the James R. Johnston Fund

by Renae Morgan


WCC has unveiled yet another scholarship opportunity, the James R. Johnston fund. According to a press release, issued on August 17, 2017, WCC received a $100,000 grant from the Westchester Community Foundation to establish the James R. Johnston scholarship fund.

The donor, the late James R. Johnston, wanted to ensure that there was no monetary hindrance for students who wished to matriculate from community college. Scholarships will be given to full-time students who are in need of financial assistance, according to the press release.

Recipients of this award will have half of their tuition paid and will receive additional funds to cover half the cost of textbooks.

Preference for this award will be given to students who originate from Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, and Ossining. However, all applicants affiliated with Westchester County are eligible for this award. This financial opportunity will be automatically renewable so that students can graduate in a timely manner, according to the press release.

Ilene Lieberman, Director of Development and Leadership Giving, is very enthusiastic about this scholarship and how it can be beneficial to WCC students.

“Our mission is that we recognize that public education is a public responsibility, and the Foundation raises private support to strengthen and enrich the educational life of the college,” Lieberman said. “For the past almost fifty years the Foundation has been raising money for scholarships for students and this is above and beyond what you get for financial aid.”

Lieberman encourages students to apply for scholarships like these by emphasizing the important opportunity that these awards provide for WCC students.

“We are very pleased that this year we will be giving out two million dollars in scholarships to students like you,” Lieberman said. “So you have to apply. You can only get these scholarships if you do the application and do the application on time.”

Kelly Riggins, a WCC student, is in support of this scholarship and how students can profit from it.

“I think this is a great idea, especially being that books and tuition are expensive all together,” Riggins said. “Students should be able to have help not knowing what type of situations they are in. I will definitely apply.”

Another WCC student, Krissy Dankwa, disapproves of the scholarship as she feels the funds are inadequate to cover students’ entire college expenses.

“I feel that the scholarship should not only cover half of your tuition because you will end up having to pay the remaining balance,” Dankwa said. “I believe the whole point of a scholarship is for someone to get their education for free, no charge whatsoever.”

Lieberman and her entire scholarship team are passionate about giving back to students so that they can excel educationally to build themselves and, by extension, the community of Westchester.

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