Cecil College Foundation celebrates donors, scholarship recipients at annual breakfast
RISING SUN, Md.: The Cecil College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Breakfast at the Rising Sun Banquet Hall this past week to introduce its generous contributors to those students benefiting from scholarships this academic year.
“You are making a difference in the lives of these young people,” said Dr. Mary Way Bolt, president of Cecil College. “Look around this room at the students and those students who are sitting with you. I encourage you to talk to them and hear their stories. You have made it possible for them to have a brighter future.”
More than 260 donors and students attended the Cecil College Foundation’s annual Scholarship Breakfast. This year, the Foundation assisted 308 students totaling $421,230.
One of those 308 students benefiting was James Brindley, a Physical Therapist Assistant major and recipient of the Sean M. McCormick Memorial Scholarship. Attending Cecil College starts a new life for Brindley as a non-traditional student. Married with two children, the Sean M. McCormick Memorial Scholarship opened doors he felt would never have opened for him.
“As a second career student later in life, with a wife and two young children, school has come with many additional challenges from finances to time management. This scholarship helped to alleviate some of the financial burden that school can carry. I want to personally thank those who have contributed to the scholarship fund, as well as those have awarded me the scholarship. It has truly contributed to my education, and I look forward to being able to care for others and give back to my patients in the future,” said Brindley.
Community colleges have recently been in the national spotlight as the viable solution to the ever-mounting issue of student debt. Since 2003, the cost of an education at a four-year public university has increased 175 percent from an average of $6,505 to more than $11,541. According to Forbes, the average student coming out of college finds themselves with $28,950 in debt.
“The Cecil College PTA program serves the needs of the county and surrounding region by educating the next generation of rehabilitation professionals who improve the quality of life for residents. We appreciate the support of all the donors and the Foundation, who make it possible,” said Assistant Professor Deanna Smith, director of the PTA Program.
The Cecil College PTA Program has achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate for six of the past eight years on the national licensing exam. Also experiencing a 100 percent certification pass rate were the nursing and medical assistant programs. Many of these students benefited from the generous donations made to the scholarship fund.
“I thank you personally for your support and on behalf of all those students you support. Your generosity is impactful and will make a difference for generations to come,” said Dr. Bolt, who was joined by Cecil College Board of Trustees members Sarah Colenda, Mark Mortenson, and Kathleen Kunda in honoring donors and students.
For Tromarri Neal of Elkton, attending Cecil College was a game changer as it allowed her to learn more about herself while proving she has the drive and ability to be successful on the collegiate level. It allowed her to assimilate from a high school mindset to college life.
Also, as the recipient of the Collegium de Vinum Gala Scholarship, Neal will be the first person in her family to earn a college degree. She is on track to graduate in May with a degree in sports management.
“Growing up in a single-parent home was hard as I watched my mom struggle to raise my siblings and me so that we could reach our full potential. Earning a college degree is not just for me but for her, to show all her hard work has led to this moment,” said Neal.
The Cecil College Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of 25 community leaders who work to develop financial and other resources to support Cecil College students.
Francis Mita, Chairman of the Foundation Board, presented the Mary Maloney Distinguished Service Award at the Breakfast to Jacqueline and Hiram C. Brown, Jr, who were recognized for the outstanding public service work. For more than a decade, the Browns have been raising funds to support The Hiram C. Brown, Sr. Memorial Scholarship, which supports students who wish to pursue their talents in the Arts or who have a passion for social service.
“The scholarship breakfast is one of my favorite Foundation events because it brings together our donors and student recipients. This is a great opportunity to celebrate our Cecil College students and many of the donors who support them,” said Karen Uricoli, executive director of the Cecil College Foundation.
The breakfast concluded with the presentation of the Health Education Lift Program (HELP) Fund Awards to incoming nursing students. These awards included blood pressure cuffs and other instruments the students need in their lessons.
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