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San Diego Scholarship Recipients Become First Generation College Students

By Allura Garis

SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, Ph.D with Chancellor's Scholarship Recipients

SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, Ph.D with Chancellor's Scholarship Recipients

Mountain View, CA -- San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) awarded over 70 students with $25,000 in scholarship awards at their annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony held in the Theater at the Educational Cultural Complex on April 19, 2017.

SDCE is the adult education and noncredit institution within the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD). Members of the SDCCD Board of Trustees and SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, Ph.D., participated in the ceremony recognizing students who excel academically and who understand the importance and value of giving back.

SDCE serves large populations who come from rural areas and inner-cities. In some cases, enrolled students have dropped out of high school as teenagers and are coming back to school for the first time, decades later. Others are immigrants, refugees, formerly incarcerated or opportunity youth.

The annual scholarship celebration is part of SDCE’s big picture to bridge the gap between minority and non-minority students leading each individual to more equitable educational opportunities.

“I am honored to work with colleagues who really care about the outcomes of our community's most needy residents. This may be the first time that some of these students are being recognized for their hard work.” shared SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D.

In addition to the Chancellor's Scholarship four beneficiaries were awarded the Board of Trustee Scholarship by the Christensen Foundation, each valued at $500.00. The financial aid and support from faculty permit students to pay for college. Last year 5,458 students transitioned to one of the three SDCCD credit colleges.

Family and friends filled the ECC foyer as they joined in celebration of their students’ transformational experience and reward.

SDCE High School Diploma/Equivalency student, Madeline Loewe-Pollock, took home the Matthew LaCaze Memorial Scholarship, valued at $1,000. “The scholarship really helps me not stress about the financial aspect of school and to just focus on the learning. It helped me have the confidence to go to college,” said Madeline.

Scholarships were funded in large part through the generosity of donors and disbursed by The San Diego Continuing Education Foundation.

City, Mesa and Miramar colleges recently gave a generous amount of scholarships. Among the recipients, Miramar College student Ishak Mahamoud, awarded a 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, a $40,000.00 per year reward, to cover educational expenses for the next two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year college or university.

SDCE’s graduating students will walk across the stage once more at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park during the San Diego Continuing Education and San Diego Unified School District joint 2017 commencement ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 2.

SDCE serves 45,000 students annually. Last year SDCE awarded 174 high school diplomas and 9,585 certificates of completion for career training. For more information or to enroll, visit SDCE.EDU

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San Diego Continuing Education is the adult education division of the San Diego Community College District. It was one of the first community college continuing education institutions in California to meet the standards for independent accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. More than 45,000 students are served per academic year at six main campuses in San Diego. Noncredit classes are available at no cost, including online options.

Classes are free because San Diego Continuing Education is part of the California system of higher education. Funding also comes from business and industry partnerships. Learn more at