Thu, April 25, 2024

Scholarship students meet their benefactors

Students who receive scholarships through the Aiken Technical College Foundation had the opportunity to meet with the businesses and private citizens who help finance their education.

After suspending the gathering for a few years because of the pandemic, the annual breakfast bringing together Foundation donors and scholarship students was held on February 27.

“Often, it’s one of the most fun events that we do. Because it’s a time of celebration of philanthropy and making a difference in students’ lives,” Foundation Director, Beth LaClair told ABD.

Aiken Technical College Foundation Director, Beth LaClair, PhD, talks about the foundation during the annual Scholarship Breakfast.


The benefits of the breakfast meeting are two-fold.

For business leaders, it gives them the opportunity to meet with the students who will ultimately become part of the workforce.

“We do our best to seat them with their donor. So, it really does create an impact,” LeClair explained.

Jordan Leon-Guerrero was one of the scholarship recipients who spoke during the event. He received the Nancy Moore Thurmond Endowed Scholarship during the 2023-2024 academic year.

For students, it is an opportunity to meet potential employers.

“One young lady studying radiation protection got to sit with someone from Savannah River Mission Completion,” LaClair explained. “That was a point of contact for her, a company that she might end up working at.”

Donors to the Aiken Tech Foundation run the gamut from some of the largest employers in the county, such as Aiken Regional Medical Centers, to private citizens supporting the college. Even some alumni are donors, giving back to help future students achieve their educational goals.

In the academic year 2022-2023, the Foundation awarded 278 scholarships totaling just over $172,000. LaClair said, for some students, receiving a scholarship can mean staying in school.

Venitta Walker was one of the scholarship recipients who spoke during the event. She received the ATC Presidential Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“That happens all the time with students. If a partner or spouse loses a job, do they continue to pay their mortgage and medical bills and all those things?”

She added there are multiple ways to contribute to the Foundation.

“Everything from a one-time, online credit card donation, or if someone wants to gift us stocks or securities or leave them in their estate plan,” she said.

To access Aiken Tech’s Community Benefit Report and a complete list of business and individual donors, click here.

The link to the Foundation is on the Aiken Tech website at:

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