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Grant Funding Helps More Women in Crisis Stay in School

Norbert Tan, executive director, Ventura College Foundation

The Ventura College Foundation received a $4,500 grant from the Julius Gius Memorial Rotary Foundation for the college’s Women’s Safety Net program. The program, which started in 2012, provides emergency funds of up to $500 to female students who are experiencing crises that threaten to derail their education.

The funds can be only used for childcare, textbooks, materials, fees, transportation and other education-related expenses. During the program’s first year, 34 women received assistance and the numbers are expected to be comparable for 2014.

“The small amount of financial support provided by the Women’s Safety Net program not only gives recipients the momentum they need to complete the semester in which the crises occur, but also to enroll again the following semester. We’ve found that 80 percent of Women’s Safety Net recipients return to school, versus 60  percent for other students,” said Norbert Tan, executive director of the Ventura College Foundation. “The generosity of the Julius Gius Memorial Rotary Foundation enables us to help more of these female students in need so that they don’t have to compromise their educational goals.”

The Women’s Safety Net program started with seed funding from the Women’s Legacy Fund in response to calls the college received from students asking for emergency assistance. While the Women’s Legacy Fund grant cycle for 2012 focused on helping female victims of domestic violence, the Ventura College Foundation program helps all women in crisis, including domestic violence victims and those who are homeless or combat veterans.

To qualify, a recipient must be a female Ventura College student who is experiencing an emergency that would cause her to drop out of school if she didn’t have financial assistance. Applications are available online at the foundation’s website at

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