LaGuardia Community College Raises Record $15 Million
to Support Students Impacted by Covid
Long Island City, NY (April 4, 2022)—LaGuardia Community College has raised $15 million to assist students whose educational progress was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The college foundation surpassed its $10 million goal for the Tomorrow Campaign in late March, unlocking a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor and setting a fundraising record for the institution.
LaGuardia will deploy the $15 million to help students stay in school and complete their degrees. Many LaGuardia students come from low-income, immigrant families in Queens that were particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Proceeds of the campaign will benefit as many as 20,000 degree-seeking and workforce-training students through scholarships, paid internships, emergency aid, and other awards.
LaGuardia is among the few community colleges in the country that provide scholarships to students in non-credit workforce-training programs. Campaign funds will enable NYC residents who lost their jobs during the pandemic to take industry certification courses in construction, healthcare, and technology.
“With $15 million in new resources, LaGuardia Community College can help lead an equitable economic recovery in Queens. For students whose college dreams were derailed by the pandemic, LaGuardia is the place to get back on track,” said LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams.
“We launched this campaign to help our students reap the benefits of earning a college degree or professional certificate, which is more important than ever during these difficult times,” said LaGuardia Community College Foundation Chair Suzie Scanlon Rabinowitz, Esq.
Students who receive aid from the LaGuardia Community College Foundation are three times more likely to graduate. The Foundation supports students regardless of immigration or citizenship status, full-time or part-time enrollment, or if they’re in a degree or non-degree program. This broad accessibility bridges gaps in federal and state financial aid programs.
“After I was laid off from my waitressing job during the pandemic, I wanted to get trained as an EMT but didn’t know how I could afford tuition. Thankfully, I qualified for a scholarship that covered 80 percent of my tuition for LaGuardia’s four-month EMT training program,” said Jennifer Rufrano, a Foundation scholarship recipient now working as an EMT.
“I’ve watched LaGuardia students struggle and persevere. I’m so happy to be able to support them and help them stay in school,” said Priscilla Alexander, a LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board member since 2016.
Many Tomorrow Campaign supporters include people who see their personal histories reflected in LaGuardia students, a majority of whom are low-income, first in their family to go to college, or recent immigrant. In addition to financial support, a good number give their time as well—meeting with students to provide career advice and motivation.
“I was raised by immigrant parents in Queens and saw first-hand what resiliency means,” said Dipak Patel, founder and CEO of Alight Capital Management LP. “My family and I have been fortunate to spend time with LaGuardia students and we’ve been impressed by their grit and intellectual curiosity. It’s clear that President Adams and the LaGuardia team are doing everything they can to set up their students for success. We are very proud to support LaGuardia students through the Tomorrow Campaign.”
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About LaGuardia Community College
LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education.
About the LaGuardia Community College Foundation
The LaGuardia Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising and distributing funds for LaGuardia Community College students. Founded in 2003, more than 25,000 students to date have received support from the foundation in the form of scholarships, gap grants, emergency funds, technology resources, paid internships, and more. Ninety-five percent of funds raised go directly to meeting LaGuardia students’ most pressing needs. Outcomes show the impact of this support on students—foundation recipients are three times more likely to graduate than general students.