First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The Pasadena City College Foundation recently announced its Ann Peppers Scholars Program, a grant established by the Ann Peppers Foundation, to provide students from the Pasadena Unified School District with a comprehensive hands-on program.
The goal of its enhanced financial, academic, mentoring and career-related services is to increase the students’ retention, persistence and degree/certificate completion at PCC. In addition, it will prepare students for a career after graduation from PCC and/or for a four-year college.
A relatively small group of students — 16 in the first year — will obtain direct student aid. In addition, the students will receive personalized and integrated wrap-around services through a team of caring individuals at PCC. The team of professionals will guide students through the complexities and confusion of the college, assist them with the financial aid application process, enrollment, orientation, counseling, career selection and preparation, opportunities for internships, and the practical aspects of job readiness.
“PCC is such an amazing community college,” said Jennifer DeVoll, a member of the Ann Peppers Foundation board of directors and executive director of the Pasadena Community Foundation. “I feel good knowing that we will encourage and support PUSD students in getting access to resources that will propel them to great careers. Navigating the resources is hard. It requires extra care, and that is what we want to provide.”
Applications for PUSD students enrolling at PCC in September 2022 will be accepted beginning Nov. 1. There will be scheduled open houses/information sessions and financial aid workshops for students and parents in the fall.
According to PUSD data, more than 1,885 PUSD students enrolled at PCC between 2015 and 2020. The program will serve an estimated 50 PUSD students per year once the program is running at capacity, providing tuition, books and additional academic, career and other support resources. As a result, the foundation anticipates that participating students will have higher persistence/graduation rates and lower dropout rates than nonparticipants given the services.
“I’m very excited to partner with Pasadena City College given its proactive approach towards Pasadena students,” said Mary Machado Schammel, a board member of the Ann Peppers Foundation and co-founder/CEO of M&A Advisory Firm. “I value the holistic approach the foundation is taking with academic, career and personal needs.”
The Ann Peppers Foundation supports education, health and social services, and the arts.
The Pasadena City College Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable, public-benefit corporation that develops funding and community support to enhance teaching and learning at PCC.