Tag Archives: empowering

The Amarillo Area Foundation Awards over $475,000 in Scholarships

7/18/17

Contact: Broc Carter | 806.376.4521 | broc@aaf-hf.org

AMARILLO – The Amarillo Area Foundation has awarded 312 scholarships totaling $479,400 to Panhandle area students for the 2017-2018 school year.

Of the 312 scholarship awarded, 180 are for new scholarship recipients and 132 are for recipients that are continuing to receive previously awarded scholarships.  The Foundation received 3,136 applications from high school students and 108 applications from college students.  The scholarship recipients represent 23 Panhandle counties and will attend 32 different universities.

The Foundation administers 101 scholarship funds in addition to the Achievement through Commitment to Education (ACE) Scholarship program.  The Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee recommends recipients for 58 of the 101 non-ACE funds and local selection committees outside the Foundation recommend recipients for the remaining funds.  The Foundation manages many unique scholarships that are not only for graduating high school seniors but are also for individuals who are already college students.

”Now that the application is online, more students from the Panhandle area are accessing and applying for scholarships that are managed by the Foundation. We are proud to be investing in the future of many young Panhandle residents, both local and rural,” said Amarillo Area Foundation Vice President of Community Investment, Katharyn Wiegand.

For more information on Amarillo Area Foundation Scholarships contact scholarships@aaf-hf.org or 806-376-4521. You can also visit amarilloareafoundation.org/scholarships.

To donate or to establish a scholarship fund contact Amy Lovell, Director of Development at amy@aaf-hf.org or 806-376-4521.

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver.

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About the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver

NLNE The Partners: Amarillo College

In this edition of “The Partners,” we sit down with Amarillo College’s Presidents, Russell Lowery-Hart.  

No Limits No Excuses: How did Amarillo College originally get involved with No Limits No Excuses?

Amarillo College: When Partners for Postsecondary Success (PPS) first came out with the Gates Grant, the Foundation pulled people together, and Amarillo College was in that room. I remember vividly seeing all the organizations in the room, talking about educational attainment, and I’m thinking, this is the opportunity for Amarillo College to integrate itself into the community more fully. I felt like people supported the College but didn’t understand it because I wasn’t sure the college had been truly responsive to all of our partners. To have a unifying goal as a community gave me great clarity where I could come back to Amarillo College and immediately start linking things that we wanted to do to the goal or redesign things to fulfill that goal.

 

It was a natural fit, immediately, and it gave a framework for our work internally, not just for the partnership. Our PPS coaches gave us a framework that we started evaluating all of our interventions against. It gave us the context of a living wage. And now, we won’t entertain starting a program that doesn’t start with a living wage or won’t lead to a living wage and a pathway.

 

NLNE: What has kept AC’s involvement through this five-year process?

AC: Because it’s made us better. It helped us understand our students more fully so that we could serve the students we have, not the students we wish we had or thought we had. It’s integrated us with other partners like AISD, Workforce Solutions, and the ACE program.

I feel like we’re all unified because we’re all working toward the same goal.  Before No Limits, No Excuses, we all had individual goals that weren’t aligned. So, we keep coming back because the partnerships generate new approaches and more effective outcomes for our students.

 

NLNE: How has the partnership increased your relationships with other institutions, and what do those look like now?

AC: Well, in some really tangible ways. Workforce Solutions now has an employee that they pay that is housed in our career center and we share their software.  We can take someone that Workforce Solutions is serving, find them a job and put them in an academic or certificate program simultaneously. So, it’s integrating effort, and that’s the best example of what’s happened through this partnership.

NLNE: I always say this when I’m talking about NLNE, it’s obvious that Amarillo College, Amarillo ISD, and WT had a relationship prior to NLNE.  However, It seems like the intentionality of the relationships brought on by NLNE, and sitting in the same room and having conversations, is really the genesis of success and culture change for No Limits, No Excuses.

AC: We have a shared goal and have developed more trust.  We’re sharing data to support that shared goal, and when you have that, you don’t see yourselves as competitors. We’ve worked together before NLNE, but I don’t think we worked together as effectively. We saw each other as competition, and I think that has completely subsided.  NLNE partner employees are working at the same table to design programs and in NLNE work groups to better serve our community. You build relationships that build trust that build integrated services.  I love the partnership that we have, and I love the relationship that the three most important educational entities in our community have as a result of NLNE.

 

NLNE: What changes in culture in regards to universal achievement have you seen?

AC: One is a complete focus on data. We used to worship the anecdotal, and take the anecdotal as the gospel for every student. So, if we had one student from Palo Duro High School that came to AC and transferred to WT, and then got a job on Wall Street, then it proved how amazing we were when we had a whole swath of students that didn’t have that same experience.

Universal achievement forced us to focus on the “universal” part of achievement and not cherry-pick the stories we liked. We needed to own the stories we didn’t like, and then to put data to it and do system analysis of it – this process has truly been transformative for us. But if you want to take credit for that person’s success, you also have to take the blame for a student’s failure. Before the No Excuses approach to our work as an institution and as a community, we didn’t want to take ownership of our students’ failures.

Our big marketing push right now is “Success IS …” , and we’re trying to highlight students that have gone through Amarillo College, maybe went on to WT and then worked in this community. If we’re going to change the future of the community,

we have got to stop talking about success as getting out. Success is not defined by getting out. Success is defined by getting a degree and a job and staying in.

 

NLNE: What role does Amarillo College play in or serve as a partner?

AC: I’m probably not the person to ask that question. I think in a lot of ways, we can help the partnership glue things together. We are the glue between the ISD high school graduate and the bachelor’s degree. We’re the glue between the ISD and the workforce, and I feel that pressure, and I need my colleagues in Amarillo College to feel that pressure. We say Amarillo is only as strong as its college because if we can serve this partnership with this community successfully, everybody is going to be successful.  But if we can’t, then the whole community loses and that keeps me up at night.

NLNE: What does the future look like for education, post-secondary education in the workforce?

AC: It has to look different than it does now. It has to be… more seamless. There will be more focused on giving students pathways to options. But for a community college, we need to be a gateway for opportunity, and so, we need to give students a foundational understanding of what their options are, but they don’t necessarily have to define those options here. They need to find them at WT or at Tech, or wherever they go.

 

NLNE: What impact has NLNE had on your organization, culturally and physically?

AC: Culturally, I think it’s given us more confidence in our place in the community. We understand our role more fully and have embraced it and are excited about it. Structurally and philosophically, it’s had an enormous impact on Amarillo College. It gave us a no excuses philosophy; it connected us to the No Excuses University.

 

NLNE:    Define “no excuses”.

AC: For me, that means that at Amarillo College, every student has the opportunity to succeed because we’ve built systems for them to be successful. But when they’re not successful, we don’t have any excuses for that failure. It means we didn’t have the right person, the right policy, the right support or the right process in place to ensure that success. We have to give students opportunity without limits. But we can’t have excuses for lack of achievement, and we used to swim in those excuses: demographics, first-generation status, income level, test scores. Those are influences that are essential to understanding, but they’re not excuses anymore.

So, for us, that’s changed our philosophy but it’s structurally changed us as well.  Without No Limits, No Excuses, we wouldn’t have a Career Center, food pantries, clothing closets and an entire systemic approach to social services.  We wouldn’t have a coach’s champions program, a Money Management Center, the Texas Workforce Commission, and a Workforce Solutions office on our campus, jointly serving students.

We would just be a typical community college without the partnerships, and now we’re a place that’s really special.

 

NLNE: What impact have you seen No Limits, No Excuses have on the community?

AC: Here’s what I love – I think that it’s had a real impact on understanding what our education attainment levels are, and why everyone should care about them.  Why it affects everyone on a personal level, and that, instead of memorializing the demographic shifts that are happening, and the growth of poverty, we can make a collective impact and redefine and redirect the future of this community, and we can do it together, and only together.

 

NLNE: How would you characterize success for No Limits, No Excuses?

AC: I think success for No Limits, No Excuses is when Amarillo Colleges gets to a 70 percent completion rate, because it’ll take the community to make that happen. Success is when there is a more diversified economy because we have an educated workforce to support it. Success is when poverty rates go down and more of our citizens are in a living wage. Success is when our property values go up because there is a broader part of this community that’s supporting the infrastructure that we need to grow.

 

NLNE: What other thoughts do you have about No Limits, No Excuses?

AC: The shift for me in NLNE from 2009 when we started talking about this collective impact to 2017 is that, when I think about the organizations that are a part of the partnership, before I just thought about them as organizations in our community that we either had to work through or work around, and now, I see friends that are trying to help me fulfil my mission

 

 

Foundations Invest Over $8.7 Million in the Health of Panhandle Communities

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Honoring its mission to improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents, the Amarillo Area Foundation announces annual distributions totaling $8.7 million for 2016. With more than 450 grants, the Foundation is helping to continue the important work of nonprofit organizations in the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. The Harrington Regional Medical Campus had its first-ever grant cycle after joining the Amarillo Area Foundation in 2015.  Because of the collaborative and meaningful work of various community stakeholders, the Foundation and its public supporting organization – the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation – will invest:

$4.6 million into area communities through community fund, agency fund, and donor advised distributions;

$2 million in discretionary grants;

$1.2 million in scholarship distributions from the ACE and General Scholarship programs;

$676,000 in competitive grant programs including, CNS Pantex, Pattern Panhandle Wind, the Women’s Philanthropy Fund, the AAF Catalyst grant program, and the Kathy Ryan Memorial Fund;

$83,000 in grants from the Harrington Regional Medical Campus.

“The Amarillo Area Foundation and its supporting organizations are proud of what was accomplished by our staff and partners in 2016,” Clay Stribling, AAF CEO said. “We look forward to building on these accomplishments moving forward.”

In 2017, the Amarillo Area Foundation begins its 60th year and will continue supporting efforts that improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents. The strength and health of area communities continues to be the benchmark of success, and together with community support, this mission will be realized annually.

Toolbox for Fundraisers Class Recognized as an Asset by Local Nonprofits and Foundations

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For more than 20 years the Foundation has provided a platform for local fundraising professionals to share their expertise through a course originally titled “The Art of Fundraising”.  This year our 2016 “Toolbox for Fundraiser’s” cohort consists of 26 students from nonprofits across the Panhandle, six of which are sponsored to attend the 11-week course because of its dynamism and quality.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Texas Plains Chapter sponsored two students representing Habit for Humanity and Word at Work. Teresa Hillman, current AFP President believes sponsoring professionals to take the class “is a natural fit” for AFP’s mission.  “Most of us in the nonprofit world understand that a fee for a class of this caliber is not always in our budget, especially if it is a small organization.  To help alleviate that cost, AFP is glad to help with scholarships. The Toolbox for Fundraisers class provides top quality fundraising advice and an upholds standards we adhere to as a profession,” says Hillman.

The Mary E. Bivins Foundation also sponsored Toolbox training for staff members from the Wesley Community Center as a component of a capacity building grant. Susan Severn, the Grants and Scholarships Program Officer at the Bivins Foundation says, “There are several ways to help a nonprofit move forward and make long-term sustainability plans. Whether that be board and staff training, or identifying and diversifying new sources of fundraising.” She states the reason they specifically provided funding for the Wesley Community Center is so that they can think creatively about how to cover the costs for their senior citizens’ program expenses. “The Wesley actually has quite a solid revenue model,” says Severn, “the challenge is that the population the Wesley serves through their senior program is often limited in terms of financial resources which makes covering those program costs more difficult.”

Students in this year’s Toolbox class are the recipients of over 88 years of combined fundraising knowledge from veteran fundraisers Charlotte Rhodes, Patricia A. Ward, and Katharyn Wiegand. Topics covered include: essential tools to be an effective fundraiser; establishing a development office; creating a case for support; constructing a development plan; marketing your organization; making the ask; stewarding donors; and preparing for the CFRE certification.

Participants who successfully complete the 33 hour course will receive 3.30 continuing education credits (CEUs) through Amarillo College.  This course also meets the requirements for those seeking credit hours for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Upon successful completion of the course, each participant will have developed a case for support and a development plan for the organization of his/her choice.

The course fee is $250 for members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and $295 for all others.

Fundraising can be a daunting task if you are not sure where to start or how to stay on track, especially as the number of nonprofit organizations competing for funding increases each year. Let us help put you on the track.

Contact Roxann Ball by phone at 806-376-4521 or by email at roxann@aaf-hf.org to ask about enrollment for next year’s course.

The New Face of ACE

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ACE students have completed more than 1,374 certificates and degrees and are a projected to return $2.6 billion in lifetime earnings to Amarillo’s economy.

One of the most powerful features of the ACE Scholarship Program is its ability to leverage outside sources of financial aid.  Since ACE assists students in obtaining federal, state, and local grants and scholarships, we are able to send students to college for an average cost of $1,200 per year. The ability to leverage outside aid makes ACE an excellent educational investment in Amarillo students.

As we look forward to another 20 years of assisting ACE scholars, we are asking for your help in supporting the educational aspirations of our students.  Your $100 a month actually sends a child to college through the ACE program. Will you be a face of ACE?

Meet our current ACE supporters.

Meet Christopher, an ACE student.

Visit https://www.amarilloareafoundation.org/face-of-ace to become a face of ACE today.

 

Dugger Legacy Continues Through Scholarship Fund

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AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Area Foundation is the benefactor of a major gift from Bus and Freda Dugger in the amount of $1 million. The gift, finalized after Bus Dugger’s passing in April of this year, will establish an endowed scholarship fund for juniors and seniors attending West Texas A&M University. It is the largest principal scholarship gift designated specifically for high school students from the Texas Panhandle the Foundation has ever received.

Born, raised, and originally educated in Oklahoma, Dugger’s career in sales brought him to Amarillo where he met Cal Farley. Dugger and Farley formed Kids Inc., Amarillo’s youth sports organization, in 1945.  While garnering support for Kids Inc. from Glenwood Elementary’s PTA, Bus met his wife, Freda – an Amarillo native and music teacher. They married in March of the same year.

The Dugger’s were strongly connected to our local Panhandle postsecondary institutions. Freda began her education at Amarillo Junior College and finished with a Master’s in Education from West Texas State University. Bus completed his Bachelor’s and Masters at West Texas A&M University in 1955 and 1956, respectively.

Both Freda and Bus were educators themselves. Freda taught in Enid and Shallowater as well Humphrey’s Highland and Forest Hill once she and Bus returned to Amarillo. Bus was the Supervisor of Adult Education at Amarillo College from 1961-1966 until Cal Farley convinced Bus to take a position at Boy’s Ranch. Bus stayed at Boys Ranch until his retirement in 1982.

Bus was inducted as the 137th member to the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame for his work with Kids Inc. and his role as a basketball and football official for high school, college, and the NIBL for 33 years.

Kids Inc. President & CEO Jimmy Lackey, a close friend of the Duggers, had this to say about the intent behind their gift to AAF: “Mr. and Mrs. Dugger were unable to have children of their own. This scholarship endowment is their way of extending their genuine care for young people that will provide educational opportunities for students from the Texas Panhandle from now on. What a gift.”

College juniors and seniors with a 3.0 GPA attending or planning to attend West Texas A&M University who completed high school in the 26 northernmost counties of the Texas Panhandle are eligible to apply for the $2,000 annual scholarship. The scholarship is renewable for two consecutive semesters for college juniors.

To apply for the Dugger Scholarship please visit www.amarilloareafoundation.org/scholarships. Our general scholarship application for the 2017-2018 academic year will open on November 1, 2016 and close on February 10, 2017 at 12:00pm.

To donate to the CC “Bus” and Freda Dugger Endowed Scholarship Fund please contact Kasey Long, Director of Development, by email kasey@aaf-hf.org or phone 806-476-4521.

HRMC Grant Cycle Now Open

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Request for Proposals

The AAF Community Health Foundation, otherwise known as the Harrington Regional Medical Campus (HRMC), is proud to announce new grant programs.

The intent of the Harrington Regional Medical Campus (HRMC) Resident Grant Program and the Harrington Regional Medical Campus (HRMC) Community Health Grant Program is to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare ultimately leading to an improved quality of life for residents of the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.

Both grant programs are competitive and proposals for healthcare related projects will be accepted from organizations that hold a current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; a recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes; a K-12 public school, community/junior college, state college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large.

HRMC Resident Grant Program: The HRMC Board will accept grant applications from Medical Campus resident nonprofit institutions and other eligible organizations located in the Medical Campus for projects and capital improvements.  Preference will be given to Ronald McDonald House, Turn Center, Amarillo Botanical Gardens, Don Harrington Discovery Center, and Coffee Memorial Blood Center.   $21,000 is available and proposals for up to $20,000 will be accepted. High priority will be given to specific project-related proposals.  Operational support is a low priority.

HRMC Community Health Grant Program: The HRMC Board will accept grant proposals from eligible organizations located throughout the 26 county region.  $42,000 is available and proposals for up to $20,000 will be accepted.  High priority will be for specific project-related proposals as well as challenge and/or matching grants.  Proposals will be accepted for capital projects, capacity building, innovative projects, and research projects.  Operational support is a low priority.

Organizations may only submit one grant application per twelve month period; however, Medical Campus Residents may submit a grant application to both the HRMC Resident Grant Program and the HRMC Community Health Grant Program in the same year

The Amarillo Area Foundation will accept applications for both the HRMC Resident Grant program and the HRMC Community Health Grant Program until noon on Thursday, September 15, 2016.  Applications for both grant programs must be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal which can be accessed on the Internet at aaf.spectrumportal.net. Applications or parts of applications submitted in any other manner (paper, e-mail, etc.) will not be accepted.  For more information regarding the online application please see www.amarilloareafoundation.org/application-2016.

Selection Process Both grant programs are competitive. Applications will be reviewed by AAF staff for eligibility and completeness. The HRMC Board of Directors will review the applications and make funding decisions.

For information on how to apply go here: http://www.amarilloareafoundation.org/hrmc-grant-programs

Contact information Contact grants@aaf-hf.org or call 806.376.4521 with any questions.

Finding Will

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I am busy. That’s my attitude most of the time. I am just too busy to solve the world’s problems. I am in the stage of life where balance between life, family, and work is key. I literally have no time. Besides, I am just me, one person, what can I do. I am sure you find yourself with the same sentiment at times.

Then, I sat through what I like to call “the indoctrination of Doug Curry.” Have you met him? Have you ever heard him talk about young people? He inspires you to put aside your own expectations or judgments. He talks about chance encounters and how to influence our young citizens. He has a plan to ensure all students are pestered until they create a plan for life after high school. So, now, wherever I go, I ask young adults, “What’s your plan?”

Doug and Dr. Dana West started this movement, and now I cannot stop asking the question. One day, an unsuspecting sacker at United, whom I will call Will, was just minding his own business. I asked him where he went to school, he said, “Tascosa, I’m a Rebel.” He said that in a way that let me know it wasn’t just his mascot, but perhaps a way of life.

Then I released the hounds, “What’s your plan after high school, Will?”

He stuttered and spurted and finally let it out: “I’m an artist, I don’t think school is for me.”

“Really? I have a ton of friends who are artists, and they all went to school,” I replied.

“Yeah, I don’t like people telling me what to do when it comes to art,” Will said back.

It was clear that I was dealing with the typical thoughts of teenagers, who today have a lot of pressure on them. “You know graphic artists are very talented, and they do really important work. The process of school will not make you lose your artistic expression, but more like unearth all the talent that’s within you. Amarillo College and WT both have great programs for artists,” I explained. Continue reading