Porterville College received an amazing gift just before the holidays; a $130,000 donation from Family Housing for Education (FHE) was presented to PC President and Foundation Executive Director, Dr. Rosa Flores Carlson by Teri and Bob Ringe. The donation will fund endowed scholarships for working students who have children living at home or for those who have aged out of the foster care system.
Teri Ringe stated that one of the goals of FHE, founded in 1994, is to aid adults with children go back to school with housing assistance, but the organization wanted to do more and the Porterville College Foundation was the perfect outlet.
“When it came to donating money we raised here, we searched for nonprofit organizations located in or near Porterville that had similar goals to those of FHE,” Ringe said. “Ultimately, there was no better choice than the Porterville College Foundation. The fact that Dr. Rosa Carlson and [Foundation Administrative Secretary] Carol Bodine met with us and explained how endowed scholarships can be set up, assured us that we were donating wisely.”
The donation falls in line with FHE’s organizational mission.
“Working to support a family and going back to school is difficult to do,” Ringe said. “There are scholarships available from local organizations. There is financial aid from the Federal government, but there is no help for families with the expense of everyday life when the adults go back to school—other than more financial aid.” Ringe continued, “Our focus has been on providing a home with very low rent for a family during the period of time the head(s) of household are in school. That way, there is less need for earned income and more time for studying. Additional benefits to providing housing include keeping the adults off of Federal assistance, and showing their children that education is important.”
The generous $130,000 donation will fund endowed scholarships for years to come. When a donor establishes an endowed scholarship fund, the gift amount is retained in perpetuity and cannot be spent; the revenue from the endowed scholarship fund provides annual awards to students on a continual basis.
If a qualified student who received one of the FHE scholarships does well in the first semester and remains qualified, he or she may continue to receive the scholarship the next semester, and into the following year. If a student falls out of scholarship guidelines, the scholarship will go to the next qualified student. Under investment guidelines, one or two scholarships will be given each year in an amount covering tuition and books for both the fall and spring semesters.
“Over the years, FHE has had many friends and donors, too many to mention here, but we want to give special recognition to State Farm Insurance for helping FHE early on with a $25,000 matching grant to spur our building fund, and also Mary Barbara Price (now deceased), Union Bank, Bank of the Sierra, Ed Chambers Farm Management, AAUW members, the Porterville Art Association, and many others who contributed to FHE through monetary gifts, volunteer hours, joint fundraisers, and use of facilities,” Ringe said. “We also want to recognize two board members--Fred Landucci of Fred Landucci State Farm Insurance and Duke Dungan, retired citrus marketer, who stayed with us when we were not able to recruit their replacements. Your efforts will have an impact on the Porterville community for many years to come through the Family Housing for Education Endowed Scholarship. Thank you!”
The Porterville College Foundation: The Porterville College Foundation currently has net assets of over $6.6 million and is organized as an auxiliary nonprofit corporation for educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable purposes to promote the general welfare of Porterville College. The 21 member volunteer Board of Directors is comprised of 15 community members, three College administrators, the elected district governing Board of Members, one student and one faculty member.
Through the PC First Scholarship program, the Foundation offers local high school seniors with a 3.0 or higher grade point average an academic scholarship for continuing his/her education at Porterville College. These scholarships are funded by proceeds from the Swap Meet held each Saturday morning at the College Stadium parking lot. PC First and donor funded scholarships of approximately $218,000 provide academic support and are awarded to deserving students who are continuing their higher education at PC and other institutions.
For more information on the Porterville College Foundation call (559) 791-2319 or visit www.portervillecollege.edu.