The Big Bend Community College Foundation brought together scholarship recipients and their benefactors Thursday (Oct. 13) during its Annual Star Night event.
Nearly 200 attendees filled the Masto Conference Center to show appreciation to the community of supporters that donate generously to help ease the financial burden for deserving BBCC students. A total of 73 scholarships were facilitated through the foundation for a total $158,264.00 for the 2016-17 year.
Another $10,000 in scholarships will also be awarded for the winter and spring quarters.
“We desire only one outcome tonight: to say “thank you.” Student recipients of scholarships sit with their respective donors, so they may tell donors what a difference their gifts make,” said BBCC President Dr. Terry Leas. “We at the college thank the foundation for its support, which is possible only because of donors like you. Thank you for giving so much to help so many.”
BBCC graduate, TRiO SSS Senior Academic Advisor, and new scholarship donor Luis Alvarez served as the evening’s keynote speaker. Stressing the importance of perseverance, he spoke on the hectic schedules and overwhelming obstacles that a lot of students face each day.
“I know as a college student, a lot of times you feel like your back is against the wall, your anxiety builds up, and you sometimes want to quit,” Alvarez said. “But there’s always a way out … it’s OK to feel this way, just take a deep breath … just breathe. There are people here that will help.”
Alvarez, who along with his brother Victor (also a BBCC graduate) started the Promoting Positive Change Scholarship, also thanked the many donors attending the event and encouraged others to give back.
“Our students have a lot of dreams and aspirations, and as donors you are helping to make the dreams and aspirations of our students come true,” he said. “I am proud to have started this scholarship with my brother to try and promote positive change, I graduated from right here at Big Bend, went on to graduate from Washington State (University), and I am proud to be back here working and giving back.”
The event also included an address from Phi Theta Kappa member and scholarship recipient Plasido Lindsey who shared his own story of redemption and perseverance as a non-traditional student.
Guests enjoyed dinner and fellowship, and the evening concluded with the introduction and recognition of all of the year’s scholarship winners and representatives of each scholarship.