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VCCF Donors Invest in Local Students

Carol and Tony DiRaimondo pose with Russell Skinner of Agoura, who won the Michael A. DiRaimondo Foundation Scholarship for aspiring paramedics. Memorializing their son, Spc. Michael DiRaimondo who died in Iraq in 2004, the DiRaimondos established the fund to give to train medical personnel, which was Michael's calling. (Photo Credit: Navarre Sisler)

The Ventura County Community Foundation awarded nearly $1.2 million in scholarships to local students at the recent Scholarship Awards Reception attended by close to 400 students, their families and donors who made the awards possible.

The Community Foundation gave just under 300 awards to 238 students bound for college or career training. This included the new Michael Gordon Burgos Memorial Scholarship, honoring the late Ventura County counselor who believed in the power of education to change lives.

“These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of people who believe in investing in the future of Ventura County,” said Hugh J. Ralston, president and CEO of the community foundation. “The opportunity for just one student to attend college can transform that person, a family and a community.”

In honor of its 25th anniversary, VCCF created a new scholarship to help local students pursue a graduate degree.

Since its founding in 1987, the Ventura County Community Foundation has awarded more than $9.6 million in scholarships and is the local leader in granting financial aid to Ventura County youth.

The scope of this annual undertaking would not be possible without dozens of unsung volunteers who have worked behind the scenes since the January application deadline, Ralston noted. A team of 19 volunteers processed the more than 1,900 applications received; screening the applications to make sure they complied with the guidelines set by donors. Several committees with a total of 81 volunteers reviewed and rated the 1,156 eligible applications and made recommendations, which were approved by the VCCF board of directors in early May.

For more information on VCCF’s scholarship programs, go to vccf.org/scholarship or contact Virginia Weber, program officer scholarships, at (805) 988-0196, Ext. 119.

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