On Monday June 6, Olympic College’s OC Foundation held its annual donor and scholars celebration in a decorated portion of the Bremer Student Center. This dinner, which was catered by OC’s own culinary program, brought together scholarship earners and their donors for an evening of food and festivity.
The OC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Olympic College established in 1993. Its purpose is to gather donations from the community and utilize their generosity to benefit students, faculty, and the community. For the students, they have dozens of scholarships to hand out to those in need of a helping hand.
The Master of Ceremonies, Kyle Broussard, led the night with entertaining and, at many times, powerful speeches. He was chosen for this position due to his charm and his past history with the OC foundation as a recipient of both the Herbert H. Goodman Scholarship and the Sound Publishing Journalism Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year.
Broussard shared his story and explained how his scholarship helped him before reading out the various hurdles that this year’s recipients faced. From drug addiction to homelessness to being the first to attend college to financial struggles, everyone had a struggle and the OC Foundation’s scholarships made a difference.
Also speaking to the crowd and celebrating the scholarship earners was Monica Blackwood, President of the OC Foundation, and Dr. David Mitchell, President of Olympic College. They expressed their sincerest congratulations to the earners and gratitude to the donors. Dezerae Hamblin, 2016-2016 Thomas Graham Endowed Scholarship earner, also shared her impressive story on how she beat the odds and came to OC.
Among the crowd, and occasionally at the podium, was Executive Director of the OC Foundation, David Emmons. He was busy making sure the dinner went perfectly, and taking the time to congratulate students and thank donors as he made his way through the dining hall. His tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the entire room was grateful.
Ricardo Silva is a student in the nursing program at Olympic College. As he sat at the crimson clothed table waiting for the three course dinner to begin, he talked with his tablemates. Like all others in the room, Ricardo had a story to tell of how he came to be a scholarship recipient. His passion for learning was electric, and he also took the time to celebrate others. Silva was only expecting one scholarship, but left the night with three.
Joshua Hemphill, Director of Public Relations at The Olympian, was in attendance and received the 2016-2017 Sound Publishing Journalism Scholarship. He rose to his position quite suddenly when the former PR director had to leave, and he worked hard to pick up the slack. His dedication to journalism earned him his scholarship, and we at The Olympian are incredibly proud.
As the recipient of the Kitsap Sun Scripps Howard Journalism Scholarship, I would personally like to send my thanks to all of the donors. Many of us, myself included, have a hard time paying for college. We all know how important education is, and we try our hardest to overcome our challenges. You all have made our burdens a little lighter and we are incredibly thankful.
To the executive committee and board of the OC Foundation, we thank you for your commitment to Olympic College. From reading over applications and selecting candidates, to finding new donors, many of us would not be able to continue our education without your help.
To all the scholarship recipients, I look forward to sharing the 2016-2017 school year with you. We earned this, and we will make Olympic College proud!