As I’ve shared before, our students and employees at Treasure Valley Community College have been incredibly resilient in responding to the challenges we all faced this past year due to COVID-19.

We have redesigned classes to allow for more online options, reconfigured classroom space to provide social distancing and reimagined campus events to include creative student activities like outdoor yoga, make-and-take activities and grab-and-go treats. But admittedly, we are anxious for the return of concerts, dances and group gatherings.

One of the events we especially missed again this year is our annual TVCC Foundation Donor Recognition & Scholarship Recipient event. Instead of an in-person event complete with delicious desserts as we’ve enjoyed in the past, we held a virtual recognition on Thursday night. Complete with an online tour of the new Career & Technical Education Building, the evening was a great way to virtually showcase our campus, students and donors.

As president, one of the best parts of my job is the chance I’ve had to meet with scholarship donors who generously support our students. Hearing the passion each of donor has for education – and the commitment to opening doors for students – truly makes me proud of the work we do at the college.

It is impossible to overestimate the many ways in which these scholarship gifts have and will continue to make TVCC a better place. And, given the importance that education continues to play in our nation and world today, by making our college and our students’ experiences better and more fulfilling, these scholarship funds are directly improving our region, our nation, and our world.

Donor support of Treasure Valley Community College is critical to our ability to help students achieve even more tomorrow than today.

Our donors inspire me. And their gifts inspire our students.

As we heard on Thursday evening, these scholarships represent so much more than financial support. Earning a scholarship is an acknowledgement of hard work that has paid off. Of barriers overcome. Of dreams that are being fulfilled. Of childhood wishes coming true. It’s an encouragement and a message of “I believe in you” and “You can do it!”

Each TVCC scholarship recipient has an incredible story. Stories of success, of perseverance and of accomplishments.

These students are truly some of the best and brightest — and we are expecting even greater things from them in the future.

I am also so grateful to our Foundation Board.

Under the direction of Executive Director Cathy Yasuda, each year the Treasure Valley Community College Foundation takes on more challenges. This year is no exception. During the past few months alone, TVCC has already received several new scholarships.

Just a few weeks ago we were thrilled to open our newest building on campus – the Career & Technical Education Center. The Foundation was integral in helping raise money for equipment and other building needs. We plan to invite you all to tour this new building and celebrate our grand opening when it’s safe and permissible for us to gather together in person. Hopefully, that will be soon!

In addition, the TVCC Foundation is taking the lead on raising funds for a new Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center.

If you’re not already involved with the TVCC Foundation, I welcome a chance to share more information about how you can invest in our students and their futures. I have no doubt that after meeting our students, you’ll be inspired and re-invigorated with optimism, not only about the future of TVCC, but the future of our world with these students leading the way.

Dana Young is president of Treasure Valley Community College. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of The Argus Observer.

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