Gateway Community College Foundation awarded $120,000 to 140 students at its 15th Annual Donor Scholar Reception

Thomas Beirne, III, Foundation board chair presided over the ceremony which featured two donors. Maria Goode of Branford is today a member of the Gateway nursing faculty and a Gateway alum. She said she had been inspired to give back after she benefited from a scholarship.

LindyLee Gold, a member of the Foundation’s board and a loyal donor who said she has contributed nearly one million dollars to Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, talked about her commitment to CT State Community College Gateway students.

“Our investments in the students will reap dividends for them, their families and generations to come,” said Lindy. “Listening to their journeys and hearing about their goals provided inspiration and confidence in their futures. Education is critical to breaking cycles of poverty and assures that we can enjoy inclusive economic growth and prosperity. I am grateful for the opportunity to support their efforts and participate in their success. Our college is the Gateway to attainment of The American Dream.”

Franck Ette, a student who immigrated from Côte d’Ivoire to walk across the stage at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater to receive his associate degree in business on May 23rd, said he came to Gateway because it was affordable. And it had a division 3 basketball team. Gateway allowed him the opportunity to be a scholar athlete. Franck received a laptop provided by Foundation donors.

Cristian Montanez, Gateway’s 2024 Student of the Year received the Melton McAvay Equity and Social Justice fellowship and spoke about the vital role of the community in community college. “Community is not instinctual,” he said, “we must educate ourselves on how to be in community with one another.”

“Today’s donor scholar brunch was phenomenal. Hearing our students’ personal stories of determination and success was truly inspiring. My heart melted as they shared how the scholarship opened doors that will forever change their lives. It made me even prouder to be a board member of Gateway Foundation. Knowing that our work is helping students in need is incredibly fulfilling. And of course, the food was great!” said Foundation board member and Gateway Alumni Network leader Dr. Roberta A. Hoskie.

Dr. Wilson Luna, Dean of Students Emeritus and Foundation board member agreed it was, “An excellent opportunity to celebrate student achievements.”

Ruby H. Melton, the Foundation’s scholarship committee co-chair told the audience of more than 100 donors, students, family, friends, and Gateway faculty and staff that in 2024, 227 students applied for scholarship assistance.

The students who applied were diverse racially and culturally and representative of the Gateway population overall: 76 identified as Hispanic, 17 students identified as Asian, 61 identified as Black, non-Hispanic, and 48 identified as non-Hispanic white. The top three towns of residence were: New Haven, West Haven, and Hamden, but scholarship applicants came from all over the state. One lives in East Haddam, one in Windsor Locks, one in Danbury, and 10 in Bridgeport.

She said, “Our scholarship applicants were serious about their academics. 73 were pursuing an Associate of Arts degree and 147 an associate in science. Five were in a certificate program. 177 had a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0. 130 had completed more than 25 credits toward their degrees.”

The Gateway Community College Foundation is a volunteer-led organization whose mission is to support students and academic programming at the CT State Community College Gateway campus. The Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization. For more information, please contact Heidi Green, Gateway’s Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement who is the campus/foundation liaison hgreen@gwcc.commnet.edu, 203.715.3185 or give online.

A list of scholarships and fellowships awarded and the students who received them is below.

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