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, review the nominations of seniors and determine 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 $1,500-$6,000
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- College of Engineering, University of Washington - Bothell, Washington State University, and Western Washington University.