When Camille Ball of Penfield applied to Monroe Community College last spring, she and her mother were not sure how their family would pay the college bills. As MCC’s first Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation First in Family Scholarship recipient, Ball can now graduate debt free from college—from MCC and beyond—and pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
“There’s never been a time I thought I wasn’t going to college,” said Ball a Penfield High School/Monroe #1 BOCES graduate and community volunteer. “I was in shock when I received the call and thought this isn’t happening. At first I thought the call was from a telemarketer; it was too good to be true.”
The Farash Foundation launched the scholarship program this year for students entering college in fall 2012, 2013 and 2014 at colleges and universities in Monroe and Ontario counties. Each college—including Finger Lakes Community College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, MCC, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, the College at Brockport and the University of Rochester—will designate one student each year to receive a First in Family Scholarship. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, textbooks and mandatory fees throughout the students’ college careers—up to five years. Students are expected to complement their studies by undertaking community service at local nonprofit organizations instead of working part time.
According to Farash Foundation Executive Director Hollis S. Budd, Farash Scholars will also benefit from programming that connects them with one another, community leaders and Foundation trustees. The interactions are designed to inspire the scholars to make community service a lifetime pursuit.
“The Farash Foundation’s First in Family Scholarship isn’t changing just Camille’s life, it’s changing the future of her entire family,” said Diane L. Shoger, executive director of the Monroe Community College Foundation, who notified Ball of the scholarship. “When her family faced difficult challenges, Camille found the strength to commit to her education, work hard and prove them all wrong. She now has a scholarship that allows her to be the first in her family to graduate from college and to make important community connections through leadership and volunteer opportunities along the way.”
Ball toured MCC earlier this year, enjoyed the people she met and learned more about the college’s prestigious nursing program. She likes the fact that MCC is close to home so she can stay involved in the lives of her mother, sister and younger brother. She credits her mother for giving her the strength to push forward and pursue her dream of a college education. “We weren’t sure how we would afford college; we just took things day by day,” Ball said.
“This scholarship is my fresh start,” she said. “I can experience college without the stress and be happy. Thank you for changing my life.”
Established in 1988, the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation offers grants to nonprofit organizations in Monroe and Ontario Counties in the categories of education, Jewish life, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and human services.
The Monroe Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit corporation that seeks and secures private funds to supplement Monroe Community College’s traditional revenue sources. Through its ongoing efforts, it provides scholarship assistance, faculty enrichment programs, funding for educational equipment and seed money for innovative programs. To learn more, visit www.monroecc.edu.