What sparked the initiation of the Champions of Diversity Scholarship Program?
Between 1990 and 2000, Skagit Valley College offered full-tuition scholarships to ten multicultural students each year with funding from the SVC Foundation. High school students routinely did not apply for these funds. To encourage high school student participation, the Champions of Diversity Awards ceremony was founded in 2000 by Anita Ordóñez, SVC; Rita Ordóñez, UW; and Rafael Gomez, WWU. Each year, over 100 high school students are presented with a "Champions" award at this ceremony, and selected seniors receive scholarships from eight colleges/universities and other donors. Over 400 community and family members come together at this event to honor and recognize these young people.
How many students are nominated for Champions of Diversity Awards each year?
We receive an average of over one hundred nominees each year. Of these nominees an average of 85 have been seniors eligible for scholarships.
What are the scholarship eligibility requirements?
- High school senior
- Resident of Skagit, Island, or San Juan County?
- Contributor to diversity through leadership or community service.
- Minimum Grade Point Average of 2.0
What is the selection process?
A selection committee, comprised of representatives from all contributing institutions of higher education, reviews the nominations of seniors and determines scholarship winners.
What is our goal?
To award as many nominated seniors a scholarship to attend college in the state of Washington. Some students selected for scholarships through Champions of Diversity are not eligible for federal financial aid. Our scholarships support them in furthering their education.
How many scholarships are presented at the COD event?
An average of 35 seniors is awarded scholarships annually.
What is the dollar amount of the individual awards presented?
Scholarships vary each year ranging from $1,000-$18,000.
Which educational institutions award scholarships?
Skagit Valley College, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, University of Washington - Seattle, University of Washington - Bothell, Washington State University, and Western Washington University.
In addition to colleges and universities, what entities have donated to the Champions of Diversity Scholarship fund?
- Allstate/Aseguranza-Sylvia Cuevas
- America Wide Mortgage, Inc.
- American Association of University Women
- Ameriprise Financial - James Goodrow
- Benike Family
- Laura Cailloux
- Calling All Colors Club of SVC
- Catholic Community Services
- Community Wellness Council - MV
- Fiesta in America Contributors
- Fiestas Patrias Committee of Skagit County
- Fiestas Unidos
- First Horizon Home Loans
- Alix Foster
- El Gitano Restaurant
- Emi and Craig Fredlund
- Hawaiian Concert Community Supporters
- Hawthorne Funeral Home
- Head Start-Latino Service Partnership Grant
- HRI, Inc.
- Carol Iwamoto
- Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon
- KSVR Radio Bilingüe
- Kulshan Creek Neighborhood
- Jere LaFollette
- The Language Exchange, Inc.
- Latino Advisory Committee
- Libertadores Soccer League
- Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation
- Bob Malphrus
- MEChA of SVC
- Mercado del Mundo
- NCOSP/National Science Foundation
- Drs. Deborah North and Bob Coffey
- North Cascades Institute
- North Cascade National Park
- Northwest Latino Youth Arts Foundation
- Ordóñez Family
- Suzette Richards
- Rotary Club of Mount Vernon
- Sea Mar Physicians
- Skagit County Community Action Agency Board of Directors and Staff
- Skagit Valley College Foundation
- Brad Smith & SVC Science Faculty
- Soroptomist International of Burlington
- Soroptomist International of Mount Vernon
- SBCTC Opportunity Grant
- Student Conservation Association
- Swinomish Northern Lights Casino
- Valentines' Dance Contributors
- US Dept of Education Bilingual Paraeducator Grant
What type of publicity is there for the Champions of Diversity winners?
Over 100 students get their pictures in the local Skagit Valley Herald Newspaper and announcement made on local and regional radio stations.