Need a scholarship? Grossmont College Foundation is raising the money for them

Story by William Dudley and Brennan Wasan
Videos by Felipe Oliveira and Xavier Green
Photos by Robert Sanchez


Ernie Ewin (Photo: Robert Sanchez)

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Imagine yourself in this student’s situation.

After some detours and setbacks after high school, this student has finally gotten her act together at Grossmont College. She has applied for and received financial aid, and despite juggling jobs and classes, is academically on track to transfer to SDSU. But a sudden emergency — say, an unexpected auto breakdown, a rent increase, or a job layoff or reduced hours — prevents her from attending class and forces her to consider dropping out of college entirely.

It is just this kind of scenario that is tailor-made for Dreamkeepers — a new program funded in part by the Grossmont College Foundation (GCF).  What the GCF does for Grossmont students was the main focus of a press conference that the organization’s executive director, Ernie Ewin, held for MCom132 students on December 7.

The GCF is a 501/C3 nonprofit program that is legally separate from Grossmont College and the district. Founded in 1997, its main purpose is to interact and solicit from the larger community support and grants “primarily to augment deficits in budgets,”according to Ewin. Its fundraising activities include an annual fundraising gala and golf tournament

Funds raised by the Foundation from the community then are awarded to meet college needs as envisioned by Grossmont President Sunita Cooke and Grossmont faculty, including  Funds that have been allocated for such expenses as general supplies, equipment, and travel support for events that augment students’ experiences at college.

Ewin stated that the Foundation is  “more or less trying to do the things that normally you see colleges doing that you do not see because of budget constraints” due to California’s fiscal crisis.

Part of the Foundation’s fundraising will go towards a $20,000 pool of money each semester that is meant to help students in short-term emergency situations.  Grossmont is one of four colleges in that the state of California that are participating in the nationwide Dreamkeepers program, which is funded in part by the Kresge, Lumina and Wal-Mart foundations.

Some Grossmont students were helped this semester by Dreamkeepers grants, which can be $500 or less. Information and application forms for these grants is available at the Grossmont financial aid office, according to Ewin.

The Grossmont College Foundation is also engaged in aggressive fundraising to increase the number of Bernard Osher Foundation  scholarships awarded to Grossmont students. Currently the college awards thirteen $1000 scholarships to Grossmont students; the goal is to raise this number to 42.

The Grossmont College Foundation is also working to improve its community outreach and alumni networking, Ewin stated. These changes include a major revamping of its website to make it more interactive and social; the new web site will launch sometime early in 2011.

As a former student body president of Grossmont College, Ewin  says he wants students to succeed in their school endeavors, and to help them  hurdle the road blocks they may encounter on the way to success. Discussing his own life experiences, Ewin, currently a member of the La Mesa City Council,  said he knows there are times in a student’s life when paying for school is difficult and could thus cause a student to drop out.

Dudley, Green, Oliveira, Sanchez and Wasan are students in Media Comm 132

One response to this post.

  1. […] Summit Magazine « Need a scholarship? Grossmont College Foundation is raising the money for them […]


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