Lots of students here at Community College of Philadelphia often feel there was a professor, faculty or staff member who helped them in some special way. For those students, the school recently created the Colonial Spirit Scholarship, or I-Pledge Project: a student-giving campaign in which students donate in honor of a professor, faculty or staff member they feel have inspired them and helped them along their way.
This year, CCP is trying to collect as much as $5,000 from students from all of the campuses. Also, an anonymous donor has promised to contribute $5,000 to the I-Pledge Project if the students at CCP are able to attain that goal.
“It’s a scholarship that would do a lot of people good if more people knew about it,” says Patti Conroy, Associate Director, of Scholarship Programs at CCP. “The students have really embraced it. One thing I didn’t expect is how much the faculty and staff appreciates being honored with a donation as well.”
Christina Atkinson, a student at CCP going to school to receive a Creative Writing Certificate and majoring in Early Childhood education- birth to age 9, donated in honor of English Professor Elizabeth Catanese and student tutor J.C. Petit- Homme. “I contributed to it because I liked the idea of a scholarship funded by students” she says.
“I’m grateful to be honored through the I-Pledge campaign. I like the campaign because it’s all about gratitude,” adds Catanese. “If a student feels that I’ve made a difference in their life in some way, I can guarantee that they’ve made a difference in mine, that I am already extremely grateful for. Hearing that someone has pledged in my honor reminds me of my gratitude. Hearing that a student has pledged in honor of a colleague also makes me happy, and the scholarship that the money goes to is wonderful. Every day I’m grateful to work at CCP.”
Nichelle Keith, who was the I-Pledge recipient of the scholarship last year, was granted $500 this spring semester.
“It couldn’t have come to me at a better time,” Keith says. “I was really grateful. It’s something that lets me know that people really give back, and it’s important to give back, because people are always in need.”
Keith will be graduating from CCP this summer. Once she is finished, she will be transferring to Chestnut Hill College studying behavioral health and human services.
This year, CCP is also trying something new, introducing the “Battle of the Regional Centers,” where the Northeast, Northwest and West Regional Center compete against one another to gain the most donations. The winner of the competition will be treated to a tailgate party.
To make sure the competition is fairly judged for all of the regional campuses; the winner is selected based on the highest percentage of donors per total enrollment at their location.
If every student at CCP donated $1 to the I-Pledge Project, then the scholarship would be as large as $38,000. If the amount of donations were higher more students would be able to win the scholarship.
CCP will be having the I-Pledge Bash on Tuesday March 31st, 2015 from 4-7 p.m. in the Winnet Student Life Building Room S2-19. All the students who donated will have access to the VIP area, featuring special surprises reserves exclusively for donors.