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Santa Monica College Receives Gift to Help Students Falling Through Financial Cracks
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By Lookout Staff

November 29, 2016 -- A $250,000 gift to the Santa Monica College Foundation will help students who are in financial need but don't qualify for a full federal grant or other government assistance, school officials announced last week.

The gift from the William and Sue Gross Foundation will benefit students pursuing a Career Technical Education (CTE) degree or certificate at SMC in "skilled occupations for which strong employment prospects exist," officials said.

“We believe in creating change by encouraging more individuals onto pathways toward careers that will provide for them and bring self-fulfillment,” said Sue Gross, president of the William and Sue Gross Foundation.

Gross said the foundation is “particularly pleased" to partner with "a college that is equally attuned to the needs of their local economy and of their diverse student body.”

During the two-year “demonstration phase” of the scholars program, students in CTE programs -- which include broadcasting, journalism, digital media, accounting, computer science and information systems, cosmetology, animation and early childhood education -- will be eligible to apply for scholarships, SMC officials said.

“Training students in skilled occupations is a top priority for us and creates a virtuous circle where the greatest beneficiaries are our students and the regional economy,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, who is a member of the SMC Foundation board.

“This generous gift will make it possible for many students -- for whom it would otherwise be a great difficulty or even an impossibility -- to enter that circle,” Jeffery said.

Scholarships are available to Current SMC students as well as veterans, displaced workers, and emancipated foster youth who meet certain criteria. Also eligible are graduating high school seniors with a 2.5 GPA or better who have completed at least one course in a defined CTE career pathway.

Students who receive scholarships must maintain a 2.5 or better GPA and be registered in at least six units in a designated CTE program. Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree or have a discipline hold on their records do not qualify.

Jefferey said the gift will “not only impact the lives of the SMC students who will benefit from it, but also that of their families’ and future generations.”

For more information on the criteria and selection process, contact Lizzy Moore at 310-434-4215 or visit

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