Join us for EmpowerEd for Student Success...a bold new campaign!

Foundation Update April 2024




Celebrate The Spirit Of National Community Colleges Month
With Maricopa Community Colleges

April marks National Community College Month, with this year’s theme “Cultivating Skills for the Future.” Community colleges exemplify flexibility and practicality, providing accessible, cost-effective, and high-quality education to students across America. From a là carte training and professional certificates to associate and bachelor’s degrees, community colleges offer diverse academic opportunities for individuals looking to further their higher education goals.

The concept of community college dates back to 1901 when Joliet Junior College became the first institution of its kind in America. William Rainey Harper, president of the University of Chicago, and J. Stanley Brown, superintendent of Joliet Township High School, championed this innovative idea of two-year junior colleges as an alternative to traditional four-year higher education institutions.

Maricopa Community Colleges have been instrumental in bringing neighborhoods together through education. Since 1920, ten colleges and 31 satellite locations have been established, making Maricopa County a hub for lifelong learning. As one of America’s largest community college systems, Maricopa Community Colleges offers a wide range of programs and services that not only meet the needs of its diverse student population but also cultivate the skills of Arizona’s future workforce.

Read the full story, here.


4th Annual Be A Student’s Hero
Day Of Giving Aims To Raise $205,000 In Support Of Students

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is hosting Be a Student’s Hero Day of Giving on May 3, 2024. This special day, now in its fourth year, was created to share student stories, highlight college programs, increase awareness, and raise money to support students’ educational journeys. The fundraising effort is led by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF) in partnership with the system’s ten colleges.

This year, the ten-college system and MCCF hope to raise $205,000 district-wide. Funds raised will directly support students where they need help the most including basic living expenses, emergency funds, campus food pantries, as well as traditional school-related fees including tuition, textbooks, and supplies.

One such student who has benefited from emergency funds raised through Be a Student’s Hero is Dilpreet K., who is currently studying phlebotomy at one of MCCCD’s ten colleges. “I cannot express how thankful I am to be gifted this chance to afford school. With this funding, I can now pay for books and supplies needed for my studies,” shared Dilpreet. “I had to abruptly quit my job due to the mental and physical stress it gave me. I have always been interested in entering the medical field and this opportunity spoke out to me. Within just a few months, I will be able to get my certificate and enter the workforce. Having this funding will allow me to focus on school without worrying about making ends meet.”

To increase awareness of Be a Student’s Hero, MCCF is working with community partners such as Swire Coca-Cola and Sodexo on various marketing efforts including a drawing and in-store displays at select Fry’s Food Stores.

To learn more and to contribute, please visit  Sponsorships are also available here.


Annual Report Highlights Making Dreams Come True

There’s no better way to celebrate Community College Month than by looking back at what we’ve achieved this past year and our annual report does just that by sharing how, together, we’ve been making Dreams Come True for more than 46 years.

By positively impacting the more than 92,200 students across all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges through scholarship, program support, innovation and community, together we empower students by removing what stands in their way of turning their higher education dreams into reality.

We are excited to share our accomplishments, honor our supporters and community partners and celebrate our students. Check out the annual report here.


GWCC President Shares Why Legacy Gift Is A Strategic Investment In Education and Arizona

Community College month is the perfect time to think about planned giving.  That’s why we asked Dr. Amy Diaz, President, GateWay Community College (GWCC) to share why she and her husband David made the decision to create a legacy gift.

I am thrilled to share that my husband, David, and I have decided to join the Gecko Legacy Society by putting GateWay Community College in our Diaz Family Trust. There are several reasons why we want to do this:

1. Supporting Education: Education is a powerful tool for social and economic mobility.  Community colleges provide affordable and accessible education to a wide range of students, including those from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Donating to a community college helps to support this mission of providing education to all who seek it, regardless of financial means.

2. Student Access and Success are Vital Interests: By making a legacy gift, we can help open doors for students who are seeking to improve their lives through education but may face barriers such as financial constraints or lack of academic preparation.

3. Investing in Workforce Development: Community colleges are essential for workforce development, providing vocational training, certification programs, and skills development courses that prepare students for careers in various industries. We are excited to contribute to the development of skilled workers who are essential for driving economic growth and innovation.

4. Personal Connection to GWCC and Phoenix: After living in Illinois for almost 50 years, GWCC is the place that has afforded me an opportunity to learn, grow, and lead. Creating a legacy gift is a way to give back to an institution that has played a significant role in my professional and personal life with my husband.

5. Finally, we want to leave a Lasting Legacy: Our legacy gift has the potential to create a lasting impact that extends far into the future. As well as potentially inspire others in our family, GateWay community, and society to create their legacy. We have given GWCC the opportunity to use our gift in whatever way necessary – by endowing scholarships, funding programs, or supporting campus infrastructure. What is most important is that the funding goes to the greatest need at the time.

In summary, David and I feel that donating to GateWay Community College is a strategic investment in the next generation of Arizonans through access to education, creating opportunities, fostering workforce development, making a positive impact on local communities, promoting innovation, and contributing to the long-term success of individuals and society.

We are grateful to Dr. Amy and David Diaz for making such a lasting impact on our community.  To learn more about including the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation in your estate plan, click here or contact Judy Sanchez, Chief Development Officer, MCCF at [email protected].edu or (480) 731-8739.

NXP Semiconductors Establishes Scholarships For Students At Two Community Colleges

NXP Semiconductors has donated $100,000 to provide scholarships and establish an endowment for Automated Industrial Technology (AIT) students at Mesa Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College.

Based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, NXP has a strong, decades-long history in Arizona, and most recently opened its newest fabrication site in Chandler in 2020. The 150 mm (6-inch) Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler is one of the most advanced RF fabs in the world and one of the few that is solely dedicated to 5G communications infrastructure RF power amplifiers.

NXP designs purpose-built, rigorously tested technologies for the automotive, industrial and IoT, mobile and communication infrastructure markets that enable devices to sense, think, connect and act intelligently to improve people’s daily lives.

“With Arizona remaining an important focal point in the future of semiconductor manufacturing, the need for technical talent in our industry has never been more vital,” Geno Fallico, Vice President of Chandler Operations at NXP. “This donation will help support Valley college students with the training and tools necessary to one day pursue a rewarding career in manufacturing, helping to foster growth, innovation and technological advancements in our local semiconductor community.”

Administered through the Maricopa County Community Colleges Foundation, the first scholarships were awarded to 13 students in Fall 2023.

Read the full story, here.

Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

It is with great pleasure that we announce two additions to the MCCF Board of Directors:

Traci Stooks-Dermer, Vice President, Operations Support at APS, leads the team responsible for supporting the functions of core operations business units. The facilities, transportation, environmental, water resources, corporate security and safety teams report to her. For over 20 years, she has held roles across finance, power and fuels procurement, sustainability and more. Most recently, she served two years as director of facilities, transportation, environmental and water services. Prior to joining APS, Stooks-Dermer was an investment banker.

John Pombier, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at Amazon, leads community engagement policy for the Phoenix region, working closely with local community shareholders to provide impactful community investments that support Amazon policy objectives. A veteran of both the courtroom and city government, Pombier spent almost 20 years working for the City of Mesa, the last 12 as the Assistant City Manager.

EMCC Student’s Educational Journey Takes Him All The Way To Yale

This month we’re pleased to share a thank you note we received from Tristan, an Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) student who was awarded a State Farm Cyber/AI Scholarship.

“I am writing to say thank you for awarding me the State Farm Insurance Cyber/AI Scholarship. This scholarship is deeply appreciated and will help me in my educational journey. I am a student at EMCC obtaining an AAS in Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML). I am studying AI & ML to complement my educational background spanning pre-law and technology. I aspire to become a technology lawyer contributing to the legal and regulatory landscape surrounding emerging technologies like AI, hopefully serving as an informed counsel on emerging tech-law issues. As a first-generation college student from a low-income background, this scholarship helps finance my educational goals. This scholarship helps me pursue a passion of mine. A notable accomplishment of mine is my acceptance as one of 25 students nationwide into Yale Law School’s Launchpad Scholars pre-law program. In this program, I am part of a cohort of aspiring legal professionals gaining peer-to-peer support, professional mentorship, LSAT preparation, and various additional resources to assist with the law school admissions process. Thank you so much for investing in my future.“

Click here to read more student stories and thank you notes. There’s also no better time than Community College Month to become a volunteer scholarship reviewer to help students like Tristan succeed. Visit for more information and remember, scholarships for Fall 2024 are being accepted until April 30, 2024, here.


Have you signed up to support the Foundation through a loyalty program? 

Fry’s Community Rewards is a program that supports our students with every eligible purchase you make with your Fry’s VIP card.  Simply log-in to your Fry’s account and search for the Maricopa Community College District Foundation either by name or LV566 and click ENROLL.

We are accepting vehicle donations!

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has partnered with Flexco Fleet Services to provide a vehicle donation program giving you another way to make a charitable gift and help students along the way.  Your old car may have seen “better days” but when you donate it to the Foundation, you will have a direct impact on students and receive a 100% tax deductible donation. This is a convenient alternative to selling or trading in your old vehicle and Flexco will do all the work! To learn more, or if you have a vehicle you would like to donate, please  fill out the vehicle donation form, here.