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The Madera Tribune

Let’s start increasing scholarships

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webmaster | 09/28/12

On Monday evening, Sept. 24, a fantastic event was held at our Madera Community College Center. At this 2012 Scholarship Ceremony, 47 scholarships were awarded to approximately 35 individual students from the Madera and Oakhurst Community College campuses of State Center Community College District (SCCCD).

The scholarship program is sponsored by the State Center Community College Foundation, of which Madera’s own Jill Cholewa is president. Rochelle Noblett of Madera also serves on the foundation Board of Directors. The CocaCola Foundation was also a cosponsor of the event.

Scholarships were presented from local service clubs, individual families and businesses, organizations and corporations. Several groups such as the Cholewa family, Noblett/Burchfield families, Madera Evening Lions, Madera Kiwanis, and Briscoe family awarded multiple scholarships. For the second consecutive year my wife and I awarded two Elizabeth & Ron Manfredi Scholarships.

We were extremely impressed with the organization of the event by SCCCD Foundation staff, Madera and Oakhurst staffs and the participation from the district office and Reedley College (Madera and Oakhurst are under the academic administration of Reedley College/SCCCD). However, what was the most impressive were the individual students and their stories.

Many of these students have overcome tremendous obstacles to pursue their educational and career dreams.

While we left the campus with a wonderful glow regarding the achievements of these students and the generosity of the scholarship donors, we also wondered why more businesses, clubs and organizations were not involved in scholarship giving with our local community college campuses.

Those of us who have been around for a while remember how desperately hard we fought to locate community college campuses in Madera and Oakhurst. We were successful in bringing the community college to Madera; it is now time to more fully support it.

We are confident that with a little more information and exposure to our local institutions of higher learning, many more businesses, organizations and residents of Madera County will participate as donors in this very worthy scholarship program.

The communities of Madera should aim for 100 of these scholarships.

For more information contact: State Center Community College Foundation at www. (Go to Foundation at top of HOME page) or (559) 244-5991; gurdeep.sihota (at)

Ron Manfredi


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