Los Rios Colleges Foundation
The Los Rios Colleges Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides financial support to keep students in school and on the path to a better life. We also provide resources to our four colleges that are not otherwise available through government and tax sources.
$5.4 Millionin scholarships given to 10,329 students since 2004
$900,000in mini-grants given to employees since 2003
$9.9 Millionin endowments to serve current & future students
$203,000in Student Emergency Fund grants given since 2008
9,500donors investing in Los Rios
70,000students enrolled annually
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Bria-Marie Tennyson dreamed of being the first in her family to go to college. She was thrilled when she discovered that Sacramento City College was more affordable than a 4-year university and would give her a top-notch education. Her plans for the future were set. But, life has a way of derailing even the best-laid plans.
When Bria-Marie’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she had to help care for her and support the family. She could no longer afford classes, so she dropped out. As time passed, Bria-Marie forgot about her educational dreams, but she never forgot Sacramento City College.
“I’d seen myself as a caregiver for ten years. I thought, ‘I’ll just take a class or two.’” Bria-Marie wanted to return to school, but her confidence was low, and she couldn’t afford much. That might have been the end of her story, but thankfully, Sacramento City College’s dedicated faculty and staff met her with individual care and support.
“I saw opportunities that were available to me, so I grabbed every one. I got involved in student leadership and I started visiting my professors during their office hours. They’ve become my mentors. I call them my campus parents.”
Bria-Marie got involved with the Student Success and Support Program, which provides one-on-one success coaching to help students stay on track. Doing so kept Bria-Marie connected to her professors, who saw just how much potential she had. This support was just what she needed to soar – and soar she did.
Now, Bria-Marie is majoring in history and minoring in education at UC Berkeley. She plans to become a history professor to empower a new generation of students the way her professors at Sacramento City College empowered her. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those professors. I only hope I can do that for someone else someday.”
I give because…
I believe in the crucial work that Los Rios is doing in our region. Each of the district’s four colleges provides exceptional academic programs and technical training, creating a stronger workforce and more informed public. Los Rios provides pathways to success for people from all walks of life, as demonstrated by alumni luminaries such as Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court chief justice. The Los Rios Colleges Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund makes a profound difference in students’ lives, helping them to overcome unforeseen hardships, stay in school, and pursue their dreams.
At Cosumnes River College, the MESA program provides math, engineering, and science academic development to underrepresented community college students. The goal is to help them excel academically and transfer to four-year institutions as science, engineering, and math majors. This support is crucial in helping students from low-performing high schools reach their academic potential and become technical professionals.
Thanks to generous donors, the MESA Program received a mini-grant from the Los Rios Colleges Foundation to help them attend the Student Leadership Retreat (SLR). The SLR is chance for community college students to interact, network, and build leadership skills with other MESA students. This leadership and skill-building conference features hands-on STEM sessions, including chemistry study, engineering design, and coding.
CRC student Jun Li says, "The MESA Student Leadership Retreat provided us a platform to expand our network beyond just our own community. I befriended students all over California. We collaborated to solve problems and learned about interesting subjects that we would otherwise not be able to learn. But most importantly, my fellow MESA members shared stories that resonated with my experience and motivated me to be a better leader."
I give because…
It allows me to give back to an organization that has made a huge impact in my life. When I was first beginning my career in architecture, many of my first projects came from the Los Rios Community College District. I give because it allows me the opportunity to make a difference in an organization that has given me so much, both personally and professionally. I've been lucky enough to watch first-hand the growth that has happened across the Los Rios Community College District over the last 20 years, and I want to help continue the trend of opening doors to more and more students.
Navjot (Navi) Kaur is a math superstar who will generously tutor anyone who thinks they can’t be one too. That’s Navi in a nutshell, but that fails to include her immigrant upbringing where English had to be learned, her amazing work ethic that netted her a 4.0 GPA, or her incredible contribution to Folsom Lake College.
Despite her heavy class load and difficult course choices, Navi managed to serve as president of the FLC Math and Engineering Club, participated as a student representative on the hiring committee for the math, science, and engineering dean, was the director of finance for the FLC Clubs and Events Board, and was a student representative for the Folsom Lake College Technology Club.
Her instructors at FLC agree that Navi is indeed a singular sensation. Whip smart, humble, and helpful, she not only believes in herself, but also believes everyone has the potential to learn and do something great.
The first-generation college student’s parents think she’s special too. Although they live in India and did not complete high school, they have emotionally supported and encouraged Navi’s choices and are very proud (Navi’s sister also lives here and is studying computer science).
Now Navi is off to UC Davis to obtain her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in communication controls and signal processing. “I’m becoming a leading woman in tech, my way," Navi shares. She still tutors at FLC. According to Navi, if she can be an electric engineering major and a research scholar because of her academic experience at FLC, then the other students there can reach their dreams, too.
Brittany Tipton didn’t believe she was cut out for college. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to go to college, I didn’t think I would be able to get through college, so I joined the Marine Corps, ended up blowing out my knee and came home. [The Marine Corps] changed the way I thought about the world, the way I thought about myself as a person.”
After Brittany returned home, she decided to enroll in American River College, in large part because of the large veteran population. She credits much of her success so far at ARC to Mike Robinson and the Veterans Resource Center. “Mike Robinson is a huge support at ARC. I wouldn’t still be in school without him. [The] Veterans Resource Center helps students all the way through. Not many colleges have that.”
Despite the support she received from the Veterans Resource Center, Brittany unexpectedly found herself homeless and faced with the choice of paying bills or buying food. She applied for a grant from the Veteran Student Emergency Fund and was awarded $450 to help her buy food and move into safe housing. It allowed her to stop stressing and be able to focus on school.
“I encourage anyone who needs it to apply. Without that boost, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in school full-time and work full-time,” says Brittany. “I can get through the day because I know I have somewhere safe to sleep at night.”
Brittany expects to finish her degrees in Paramedics and Fire Technology in a few years, and then hopes to get hired at a Fire Department. With a few years of experience under her belt, she then plans to take the investigators exam.
I give because...
I know that giving to the Los Rios District will benefit the entire Sacramento region. An education can mean a better job, a more stable financial situation, or fulfillment of a dream to the many students served by our four colleges. Whenever and however I donate, I want to know that my time and resources are benefiting my neighbors, coworkers and peers in our communities. The Los Rios colleges make a difference for individuals and all of us who call the Sacramento region our home.