The Brookdale Community College Foundation broke all-time records for fundraising and scholarship awards during the 2016-17 school year, supporting more than 600 students with a total of $553,000 in scholarships and grants. The awards exceeded the previous year’s record by nearly $125,000.
“We are tremendously grateful for the outstanding generosity of the individuals, organizations and businesses who support our mission of helping students to achieve their dream of earning a college degree,” said Timothy Zeiss, executive director, Brookdale Foundation and Alumni Affairs.
“As a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of trustees, it is gratifying to know that we play a critical role in helping students achieve their educational and occupational goals.”
Key initiatives for the foundation during the 2016-17 school year included the new Asbury Park College Promise program, which provides last-dollar college scholarships to eligible graduates of Asbury Park High School. The program, sponsored by the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation and run in partnership with the Asbury Park School District, essentially allows qualifying students to earn a Brookdale associate degree at no cost.
The Foundation also once again received a $50,000 donation from the OceanFirst Foundation to award 50, $1,000 scholarships to Brookdale students.
Other milestones included a record-breaking Education Open Golf Tournament, held in September 2016, and a historically successful Brookdale Foundation Scholarship Ball, held in June 2017.
The two events, both held at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale, raised a combined $192,000 for the foundation’s “Building Minds, Building Futures” Scholarship Fund. The fund, which supports working-class students who do not qualify for traditional financial aid, has provided more than $5 million in scholarships to more than 7,000 local students with financial need over the past 17 years. The majority of the those scholarships are awarded to middle class students who don’t qualify for federal or state education grants.
“We are proud to report back to our donors that their support is filling a need and making a difference,” said Zeiss. “Their financial support is enabling hard-working students to continue their education and achieve their dreams. Their support is leading the way for students to build better futures for themselves, their families and our communities.”
That impact was on full display last spring, when more than 200 Brookdale scholarship recipients and dozens of donors were publicly recognized during the college’s annual Scholarship Recognition Ceremony in the Collins Area.
“It’s not easy to get scholarships in today’s world, so to be told that you earned something like this is inspiring,” said second-year nursing major and Brookdale scholarship recipient Mardly Pierre-Jerome. “It shows you that people here believe in you, they see something in you, and it makes you want to work that much harder.”
For more information about the Brookdale Foundation and available scholarships at Brookdale, click here.