Donor gives $50K to COA Foundaton


From staff reports

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Thanks to a donor with an unconventional request, College of The Albemarle Foundation has received a gift of $50,000 to establish a new scholarship endowment for students enrolled in career and technical education programs.

Lisa Johnson, executive director of the foundation, announced the donation in a press release earlier this week. Johnson didn’t identify the donor but said she is someone “who has been a partner with us for many years — in a variety of ways.”

The foundation is “thrilled” by the donation, Johnson said, calling the new endowed scholarship fund it creates a “win-win opportunity for the college’s students.” The foundation is particularly excited because the donor “thought outside of the box” in how she wants the money used, Johnson said.

According to Johnson, the donor “wants her gift used for scholarships immediately and at a higher drawdown percentage than most” endowment funds.

COA’s career and technical education programs of study include aviation systems technology, computer aided drafting technology, computer integrated machining, electrical systems technology, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) technology, medical laboratory technology, phlebotomy, practical nursing and welding technology. As programs of study are added in the future at the college, the list may grow, Johnson said.

The donor wanted to focus on the CTE programs, Johnson said, because currently there’s little specific scholarship money for students enrolled in these programs.

The donor’s wish was to support students enrolled in a short-term program, usually of one year, that would enable them to enter the workforce into good-paying jobs.

Several of the CTE programs include a work-based learning component where students are connected with local employers to receive on-the-job training. Foundation staff pointed out that many employers who partner with COA and its work-based learning students hire those students when they graduate.

The COA Foundation said it encourages businesses in COA’s seven-county service area to consider donating to this new fund, giving an in-kind gift of equipment for any of the CTE programs of study, or volunteering time and expertise to these programs.

Additional information about COA Foundation scholarships is available online at www.albemarle.edu/scholarships.