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$173,000 in Mendocino College Scholarships Await Adopt A Fifth Grader Alumni

February 06, 2015

Adopt A Fifth-Grader program encourages graduation from high school and enrollment in college

Upper Lake AAFG

In 2007 the Mendocino College Foundation took over the administration of the Adopt A Fifth-Grader Program created by Wade and MaryLou Koeninger. The philanthropic couple created the program to help children reach their potential by offering an incentive to graduate from high school and attend college. 

Last years’ 45 recipients bring the total number of alumni in Lake and Mendocino counties to 173 area fifth-graders. The generosity of our donors means that 173 students have a financial incentive and tangible reason to stay in school. Each carefully chosen student will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon high school graduation and enrollment at Mendocino College.   

The first recipient of the program was selected in 2007 while a fifth-grader at Hopland Elementary. “She enrolled at Mendocino College last fall and completed her first semester of college with a 3.7 grade point average having completed 12.5 units.  Simply put, the program is working as demonstrated in our first recipient’s academic success,” stated Richard Cooper, Foundation President.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of our donors who provide a gift of $700 per student which is invested over a seven-year period.  Numerous individuals, businesses and service clubs contribute annually to this program because they understand how important it is for a person to obtain a college education. 

The benefits of having a college education are various and range from financial to cultural.  Many students build life-long friendships with other students and have inspirational mentorship relationships with college faculty. Receiving a college education basically leads to richer and more fulfilled life.  

To our 2014 program donors, Wade and Marylou Koeninger, George & Ruth Bradford Foundation, Claudia Smith-Hill, Kelseyville Sunrise Rotary, Mendo Lake Credit Union, Willits Rotary, Mendocino College Management/Supervisory/Confidential Group, David & Christy Scollin, Leslie Banta, Ken & Brenda Hoek, Mark & Kathy Smith, Lakeport Rotary, Tom & Angie Herman, Mendocino College Board of Trustees (Joel Clark, Janet Chaniot, Joan Ericksen, Edward Haynes, Paul Ubelhart, Dave Geck, John Tompkins), Tommy & Ann Thornhill, Bob & Marlys Blanc, Ed Haynes, Katie Fairbairn, Jane Kesey, Lynda Myers, Stephanie Carullo, Gary Ross, Mendocino College Full Time Faculty, Lake County Friends of Mendocino College, Kiwanis Club of Ukiah, Mendocino College Foundation, Rotary Club of South Ukiah, Dick Eschenbach, Doug Boswell and Family, Stephen & Elisabeth Pasternak, The Law Offices of Judy Conard & Mary Heare Amodio, Charles & Wanda Mannon, MaryAnne Landis & Howie Hawkes, Solid Wastes of Willits, Joe & Diane Mayfield, and Mark & Wendy DeMeulenaere, we extend a heartfelt thank you!

Donor recruitment for 2015 is underway with over 20 donor commitments to date. Individuals wishing to participate in this program are asked to contact the Foundation Office at 707-468-3164 for more information about this program.

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