Valley College Foundation raises $16,000 for students

The Foundation has raised thousands of dollars in aid for students financially hurting due to the coronavirus.

By Gabriel Arizon, Editor-in-Chief

The LAVC Foundation has raised more than $16,000 in donations to fund an emergency stipend for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting on March 30, the Foundation began gathering donations to aid students facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. The money — collected from numerous sources — will be used in a one-time stipend of up to $500, depending on the student’s needs. As of April 8, the Foundation has collected $16,000, all of which will go towards the stipend, with more money trickling in.

“The monies were raised from donors that were made up of alumni, faculty and staff and other college friends,” said Foundation Executive Director Raul Castillo. “I don’t have the number [of] donors, but it is many and the Foundation is so grateful for the tremendous response in the last two weeks.”

The Foundation is looking to begin distributing the stipends sometime next week. To be eligible for one, students must be enrolled in Valley during the spring semester, have a minimum of three units at the school and have a financial emergency due to COVID-19 — which includes a loss of income and healthcare costs. The deadline to submit an application is midnight on April 10. Recipients of the stipend will be alerted of their award via email no later than April 20.

The Foundation has also extended the deadline for scholarship applications from April 10 to April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are 116 available scholarships in total while, according to President Barry Gribbons in last week’s Town Hall meeting, only 70 applications have been completed.

“Many Valley College students have started their applications, but have yet to complete [them],” Castillo said. “At this point in time, I would encourage students who have started their applications to complete and submit their application. Many are so close to completing and just need to finish an essay or upload their unofficial transcript.”

The Foundation is still accepting donations for the emergency stipend fund. To donate, go to the Foundation website and enter the amount in the designated box.