Cerro Coso Graduates Big Class

Cerro Coso College Graduation held

May 24, 2016
submitted by Julie Faber, Eastern Sierra Foundation

A vibrant future has been granted with the help of the Eastern Sierra Foundation Scholarship to 21 local students who have chosen to create a better life for themselves

On May 6th, 2016, Cerro Coso Community College’s Eastern Sierra College Center celebrated the graduation of the class of 2016. The ceremony was one of the largest ever held at the Bishop campus; over 450 friends and family members were in the audience to show support for the graduates. There were 55 students in the graduating class, 21 of these success stories were on an enrollment and book scholarship from Eastern Sierra Foundation. Graduates not only earned degrees and certificates from 17 different fields, they also boasted transfer destinations such as Stanford, Cal Poly SLO, University of Nevada, Reno, Arizona State, Whitworth, Oregon State, Chico State, Sonoma State, UC San Diego.

Deanna Campbell, Director of ESCC said, “We believe that our community’s future depends on education.”  Eastern Sierra College Center (ESCC) has nearly 600 students split evenly between Bishop and Mammoth campuses. Deanna said, “We have been able to increase the base of the student body by supporting those underrepresented in higher education. Of those that graduated this May, more than half were supported by local scholarships. Each semester, approximately 50 students are fully supported by the Owens Valley Career Development Center, 60 are fully funded by the Eastern Sierra Foundation Scholarship, and nearly 30 are fully funded by the Mammoth Lakes Foundation. Handled strategically, scholarships can make a better life possible for those who live in our community, or want to further their education, so they can come back and thrive.”

This year’s graduating class (both Bishop and Mammoth) is 55% White, 32% Latino, and 13% Native American. However, in Bishop, while Native Americans comprise 13% of the student body, they represent 21% of the Bishop graduating class.

Jeff Griffiths, the current President of Eastern Sierra Foundation expressed, “We’re proud to have 21 graduates this year on the Eastern Sierra Foundation Scholarship.  It is our goal to support successful transitions from high school through college. It is through the ES Foundation support that has allowed more than 1000 Inyo County students to attain higher education and enhance their technical skills. It is our strategy to serve students from all backgrounds and all ages.”

“We are pleased to not only offer these annual scholarships to Inyo County high school students, but also those seeking higher education later in life,” said Executive Board Member, Kim Kost “We are committed to ensuring ESCC students succeed, meet community needs and enhance the prosperity of the County. By offering these scholarships, we provide new students an opportunity to successfully launch their careers at home.”

For over 20 years the Eastern Sierra Foundation (ESF) has been serving potential and current students in Inyo County. Founded with the intention of building the Eastern Sierra College Center, ESF has evolved to pursue and continuously realize its current and exclusive goal: providing full-tuition scholarships for Inyo County residents who wish to pursue a college education. As ESF congratulates the class of 2016 and the achievements of its scholarship recipients, the executive board looks forward to celebrating better outcomes for all our students.

Prospective students may obtain scholarship applications at the Bishop campus in the Admissions and Records Office or at the Counseling Office.  The Scholarship covers all course enrollment fees and up to a maximum of $300 for required text book fees. Applicants must be full-time (enrolled in 12 or more credits) and attend the Bishop Campus of Cerro Coso Community College.

ESF and its scholarships are completely volunteer supported and 100% donation-funded. All contributions go to support scholarships available to any California resident who resides in Inyo County. Anyone wishing to make a donation can make their check payable to the “Eastern Sierra Foundation”, and note “Scholarships” on the memo line.  Checks can be delivered to any member the Eastern Sierra Foundation Board, or checks can be delivered c/o ESF P.O. Box 1145, Bishop, CA 93514

Please contact Jeff Griffiths, ESF President at 760 937-0072 for more information.