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Foundation Update August 2023

New School Year Means Exciting New Initiatives

Welcome back! As we start off the 2023-24 academic year, we’re thrilled to share news about some of our exciting new scholarships, programs and partnerships including:

The Nina Mason Pulliam Trust Legacy Scholars Program: This 5-year grant totaling $1.5 million will support foster youth attending the Maricopa Community Colleges.  Funding provides scholarships and emergency funds, course fees, books, uniforms, supplies, and a living allowance to qualified students who meet at least one of the following criteria: an adult with dependents in the family unit; an adult with a physical disability; or a young adult with a history of abuse, neglect, or a lack of effective family support or has experience in the state foster care system. For the first time, funding will also include qualified students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree through the Maricopa Community Colleges and who have experienced significant adversities in their lives and are seeking to build a better future for themselves and/or their families through higher education.

Please click here to watch a video featuring heartfelt stories of these students. To learn more, contact Leona Morales, Program Manager Senior – Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars at [email protected].edu

The Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Expansion: This 3-year grant totaling $2,250,000 funded by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will be used to expand the LPN program in the West Valley (Glendale Community College) and East Valley (Mesa Community College) along with Central Valley (GateWay Community College) to expand the number of students in the LPN program and address the critical shortage for licensed nursing practitioners. The expansion will create more equitable opportunities for students to enter the nursing and healthcare fields and for current nursing assistants to upskill and advance their careers, secure financial stability and fill gaps in the workforce.

The Foundation is seeking to secure an additional $750,000 to match this grant with the support of community partners. To learn more about matching contributions, please contact Judy Sanchez, Chief Development Officer at  Donations can also be made at by specifying the LPN Expansion Program.

EmpowerED for Student Success:  The Maricopa Community Colleges, through the Foundation, are embarking on a bold plan for the future, one in which a quality college education and innovative workforce development programs will have a meaningful  impact on our economy, our community and our quality of life. EmpowerED for Student Success reinforces Maricopa Community Colleges’ commitment to student achievement through increased access, educational completion, and workforce readiness.

This initiative centers philanthropy, student success and workforce preparedness with a focused 3-year fundraising initiative to raise $20 million to support projects and programs that directly supports students.  Contact Charisse Soderman, Development Officer, Senior at for more information.

Partnership Supports Key Programs
Across Maricopa Community Colleges District

Our community partners’ support is invaluable and has a substantial impact on our students. Amazon is one such partner helping to strengthen Arizona’s economy and change the lives of students through education, as they support multiple programs across our District. Here are just a few:

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy: We’ve partnered with AWS to be the first in the country to offer students an opportunity to gain real world understanding of AWS Cloud practices by accredited instructors.  This unique program brings together AWS with the Maricopa IT Institute-East Valley (MITI-EV) and the Garcia Family Foundation to increase IT talent pipelines through student recruitment, employment pathways, scholarships, company branded institutional certificates of completion, and employability skills training. Click here to read more about scholarship opportunities.

The Education Concierge Program:  The Maricopa Corporate College has partnered with Amazon to provide a dedicated advising team and streamlined access to credit-bearing college classes that support Amazon employees to assist with pursuing a college education. Over the past 3 years, Amazon has contributed close to $1.3 million to the Amazon Career Choice Program to cover employee tuition and fees.

Heroes of Education: As a Gold sponsor of the 2023 Heroes of Education, Amazon’s contribution will support up to 200 students with food gift cards, stipends and scholarships.

To learn more about community partnerships like this, click here or contact Nilam Patel Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Workforce & Industry Development Officer Senior at 623-451-6873 or [email protected].edu.

Take The Dreamer Promise Matching Gift Challenge

An opportunity to make college accessible and affordable for Dreamer, DACA and undocumented students has emerged with the advent of the Phoenix Promise and other Maricopa college promise programs. Working closely with Aliento, a non-profit focusing on building equity for undocumented and mixed immigrant status students, the Foundation has committed to developing a Promise Pathway for undocumented students who want to enroll in a Maricopa Community College.

Through the Dreamer Promise Program, qualified students can receive tuition for up to 12 credit hours per semester for two years.  In addition, students are provided with a cost-of-living stipend to help remove financial barriers and obstacles to persisting and completing their education.

We are asking your support to meet the matching gift challenge and join our partners, Arizona Community Foundation and Chicanos Por La Causa to reach the remaining $100,000 of a $400,000 goal to meet the needs of the first cohort.  To learn more and donate, click here.

SRP Grant To Advance Education And Workforce Development Opportunities Across Multiple Maricopa Community Colleges

The Foundation has been awarded $52,520 from Salt River Project (SRP).  The award is part of the community based not-for-profit water and energy company’s commitment to support nonprofit organizations. These awards provide programs and services that meet the needs and enhance quality of life for SRP customers.

SRP’s contribution recognizes the value of multiple programs offered by MCCF and will be disbursed as follows: $25,500 in support of the Fast Track Certificate Program, $15,000 in operating support for the Girls Get IT program, a $5,000 sponsorship of the Heroes of Education event and a $5,000 sponsorship of Be A Student’s Hero day of giving.

“As a MCCF Board Member, I have the unique opportunity to see firsthand what the Foundation and the Maricopa Community Colleges are doing to advance opportunities through higher education,” said Geri Mingura, SRP General Associate Manager and Chief Human Resources Manager. “These community investments benefit us all by caring for those in need, educating the next generation of Arizonans, and creating a diverse economy.”

Read the full story.


College Students Change The Lives Of People With Dementia

A Mesa Community College foreign exchange student discovered the perfect way to feel at home in a new city. Buhari Abdulai signed up for the College Partners Program
offered by Hospice of the Valley.  The innovative program matches college students with older adults living with dementia.

“I found the vision of hospice so intriguing, and I wanted to be part of a great team that provides beautiful care to people living with dementia. There is nothing like that in my country,” the 24-year-old Ghana native said.

For the next seven months, Buhari offered socialization and companionship to 80-year-old Bill Harris and his family.

“Buhari became a part of our extended family,” said Bill’s wife, Myra. “For two semesters, he faithfully visited on a weekly basis and his visits were eagerly anticipated by all of us. Buhari brought laughter and joy into our home. He conversed with my husband, sampled new foods with us and even allowed my grandson David to introduce him to red licorice. He played games with our grandson and graciously joined us for David’s sixth birthday party — it just made his day!”  Read more.


Foundation Welcomes Tribal Council Member Scabby As New Board Member

Deanna Scabby, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member, has joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors. 

Elected by the people of District II to serve on the Community Council, Scabby’s responsibilities include governance of the Community by creating laws, authorizing the annual budget and protecting the land base. She also authorizes trust programs and services to meet the overall needs of the people.

Ms. Scabby also serves as a Salt River Schools Education Board Member the Scottsdale Advisory and Action Team and the Westwood High School Advisory Council.

To learn more about the Foundation Board, click here.



New Ways To Give From Your IRA

The SECURE Act 2.0 has introduced new provisions allowing individuals to give from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) with more flexibly. These changes aim to encourage charitable giving and provide additional options for retirees to support causes that are important to them. Here are some of the new ways to give from your IRA under the SECURE Act 2.0:

1. Charitable IRA rollovers: One provision in the SECURE Act 2.0 is the extension of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) rules. Previously, individuals aged 70½ or older could make tax-free charitable donations of up to $100,000 per year directly from their IRAs. The SECURE Act 2.0 indexed this amount to be adjusted for inflation. Since IRA distributions are taxed to the owner and their heirs at ordinary income tax rates, it is a smart and tax-efficient way to give.

2. SECURE Act 2.0 also provides the opportunity for donors to receive income for life with a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from their IRA through a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). A donor can allocate up to $50,000 of their QCD to a CGA that will provide a steady income stream for life, and the remainder will benefit charities like Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation.

Overall, the SECURE Act 2.0 offers retirees enhanced opportunities to donate from their IRAs, making it easier to change lives through education while taking advantage of tax benefits and potentially lifetime income. These new provisions enable individuals to leave a lasting legacy through their retirement savings.

Learn more about planned giving here.

From College Dreams To Career Success: Unleashing Potential With HSI EXCELlence

Navigating the college experience can be challenging, but with HSI EXCELlence, students are not alone. HSI EXCELlence offers the opportunity forLatino/a students to have additional guidance and support at six Maricopa Community Colleges Hispanic Serving Institutions while working towards earning a certificate to go straight to work or transferring to a four-year university.

This program is made possible by a grant from Helios Education Foundation.

Check out this video to learn more or click here for program information.

Get Discounted D-Backs Tickets and
Support The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation

The Arizona Diamondbacks, in collaboration with the Maricopa Community Colleges, are excited to offer exclusive discounted pricing for students, staff, and faculty for the game at Chase Field on Sunday, August 27th, when they take on the Cincinnati Reds.

Participating in this fantastic event allows you to witness a thrilling match and contribute to a meaningful cause, as a portion of every ticket purchased will be donated to the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, helping empower education and enrich lives

Click here to purchase tickets.  More information can be found here.

Thank you to our Gold sponsors:


Click here to sponsor Heroes of Education

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

Fry’s Community Rewards is a program 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 now accept 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 contact Janet Smail at Flexco Fleet Services at [email protected] or fill out the vehicle donation form, here.