The Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges has received a $1 million gift from Kaiser Permanente to create the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Equity Scholarship Fund.
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The gift will create a 15-year endowed scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to Colorado community college students who are African American, Black, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latino, Hispanic, Native American, LGBTQI, people with disabilities, or U.S. veterans who are seeking careers in the health care sector.
The Colorado Community College System is the largest provider of higher education in Colorado, with more than 125,000 students on 38 campuses.
“Education can be the great equalizer, but only if all students have the same chance at success,” Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System, said in a written statement. “With the establishment of this scholarship fund, Kaiser Permanente has made it clear that investing in equitable opportunity for community college students is critical to not only their success, but our state’s success as well. Now, our students with diverse perspectives and strengths will be able to achieve their goals and move into health-care careers with fewer obstacles in their way.”
Applications for the Kaiser Permanente Equity Scholarships in Colorado will open in 2022, with at least 28 scholarships set to be awarded each year, the community college system said in a news release. Students enrolled in a health sciences degree program at schools in the Colorado Community College System are eligible to apply. Scholarships will be awarded statewide, with a preference given to students from underrepresented communities who have demonstrated financial need.
“Inclusive economic growth is imperative to both individual and community health,” said Mike Ramseier, Kaiser Permanente regional president in Colorado. “By looking to the future and expanding access to education, we can model the way toward a health-care system that reflects the diversity of our communities and prioritizes equal access to care.”