Fire Protection Program student Robert Williams II’s road to becoming a first responder is much easier to travel thanks to receiving a scholarship through the PCC Foundation.
“I’ve enjoyed the classes and the instructors who have put more time into making sure I succeed than anything else,” Williams II said. “My goals at PCC are to obtain my degree in fire protection, while also obtaining a degree in paramedic and emergency management, where I can help others in whatever crisis they are facing.”
Williams II is the oldest of two siblings and was raised in a military household. He took part in a Navy youth program for four years, reaching the rank of petty officer, and is an active member of the college’s Student Fire Fighting Association. He currently is the association’s newly elected secretary for the year, helping to run the club and recruit members. All pursuits that have been made easier by earning the W.H. Cravens Fire Science Scholarship for this year.
“This scholarship means a lot to me,” he added. “It shows that people have faith in me that I’ll be a fine firefighter, who helps others and gives back to community. I can only hope that one day, that I too will be able to inspire someone to dedicate their lives to helping others wherever they can. I’ll continue to strive to obtain my dreams and reach my goals of becoming a firefighter who will be there to help others. This is another reason why I’ll continue to give back to community.”
His path to the opportunity to make a difference wouldn’t have been so clear without the support of the annual Faculty, Staff and Retiree Campaign, which is currently underway and taking donations. Every year PCC faculty, staff and retirees contribute more than $200,000 to help students like Robert Williams II succeed. In 2012-13, the PCC Foundation provided students and academic programs with $1.6 million in scholarships and program support, the highest amount ever.
“At the same time, there remains a wide gap between students’ needs and available funding; the PCC Foundation is able to support only 40 percent of students who apply for scholarships, with demand continuing to grow,” said Chris Neilsen, former PCC Foundation board president. “The PCC Foundation is not only committed to providing scholarships to get students into college; we are also funding critical student supports that ensure they stay in college and finish their degrees.”
By donating, you can help students like 38-year-old single mother Anne Toomey, who decided that she needed to go back to school to not only find employment, but set a positive example for her two children. She earned a Beaverton Woman’s Club Scholarship through the PCC Foundation to help her work toward her associate’s degree in the Criminal Justice Program. She is hoping to find employment in the loss prevention field as an investigator for an insurance company or an attorney’s office.
“I am thankful that I get to show my children that anything is possible and that an education is something that is to be worked toward and never, ever taken for granted,” Toomey said.
To give to the campaign, visit its 2014 giving webpage.