LYNNWOOD — To mark 50 years, the Edmonds Community College Foundation gave away $50,000.
The money is for five full-ride scholarships of $10,000 each, meant to cover tuition, books and fees for two years.
The money went to local high school students. The goal was recognize their dedication and hard work, foundation director Brad Thomas said in a news release. He called the recipients future leaders.
Kimberlee Perez-Chaparro, 18, graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School in June. She’ll start at Edmonds Community College in the fall. She plans to study science. Her favorite subjects are chemistry and biology, and she aims to get certificates to work as a medical lab technician or a pharmacy assistant.
Perez-Chaparro comes from a large family, with eight siblings. Since her dad got injured a couple of years ago, neither of her parents have been able to work, she said.
She finished high school with a 3.8 GPA while helping her family. She plans to live at home while she attends college. The scholarship is life-changing, she said.
“It’s the greatest blessing I’ve had so far,” she said. “I would not have been able to go to college without it. I would have had to work three years or four just to take one quarter of classes, or two.”
Rebekah Holter, 18, is a Meadowdale High School grad and also starts college this fall. She’ll be taking the classes she needs to transfer in two years to a university for a teaching degree, she said. She’d like to teach elementary school students.
“When I was a kid, I didn’t have a huge amount of friends, I was kind of harassed, but throughout all of my education I had great teachers who always supported me,” she said. “I was inspired to be that person for kids who are like me … It’s important to teach kids to be good people, and to love on them so they can love on others.”
Her family has struggled with illnesses and financial hardship for several years, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay for college. The scholarship means she can focus on school and be excited for her education, she said. She was expecting to have to work one or more part-time jobs to keep up with tuition.
Lamija Secerbegovic of Lynnwood High School, David Robert of Mountlake Terrace High School and EmmaSariah Jensen of Scriber Lake High School also received scholarships.
The $50,000 fund was a celebration of Edmonds Community College’s 50th anniversary. The school was founded in 1967. It now averages more than 11,000 students per quarter. About a third of them receive financial aid.
The scholarship program drew 25 applicants. Applications were judged on academic achievement, financial need and essays that talked about their goals, obstacles they’ve overcome and how they hope to give back to their communities.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.