With the support of a $100,000 grant from the Leonhardt Scholarship Program through Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Naugatuck Valley Community College is expanding its Student Jobs on Campus program to Danbury. The grant, which will flow through the NVCC Foundation, will sustain student worker positions at the College’s Danbury Campus and its main campus in Waterbury for the next five academic years.
“We are so very grateful for the support of the Leonhardt Scholarship Program and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to expand this important program to our growing Danbury Campus,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. “I can say without a doubt that the Student Jobs on Campus program has enhanced the college experience for its beneficiaries. Now, more students will be able to share in its success.”
First opened for credit courses in 2009, NVCC’s Danbury Campus has now grown to more than 1,100 students. In 2013, the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education approved NVCC’s proposal to offer credit certificates and degrees in Danbury. A year later, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges officially designated the location a campus.
Now, planning is underway to relocate to a 20,000-square-foot facility at 190 Main Street, nearly tripling the size of the Danbury Campus. This expansion will allow the College to offer lab science courses along with an expanded selection of other credit and non-credit offerings. Classes in the new space are scheduled to begin for the spring 2016 semester.
“This grant will allow us to provide additional opportunities for our students as we expand into new space in Danbury,” said Sarah Gager, Dean of Student Services. “We know that having students work on campus is a tremendous benefit to them.” On-campus workers are mentored by NVCC staff and often perform roles which align with their studies including marketing, communication, event planning and office administration.
The Student Jobs on Campus initiative began during the 2014-15 academic year to serve students with documented financial need (asset limited/income constrained) but who do not otherwise qualify for traditional financial aid programs. Each student must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible for employment.
Of the eight students who benefitted from the program this past spring, three graduated in May and will continue their studies at universities; the remaining five intend to continue at NVCC this fall, resources permitting. The new funding will permit the College to work with the NVCC Foundation to support not only the continuation of the program for these five students but to expand it to include ten additional students each year.
The Leonhardt Scholarship Program was established in 2003 with a grant from The Frederick H. Leonhardt Fund, recommended by longtime supporter Anne. S. Leonhardt. Anne passionately believes that our cities’ young people should have access to a college education, regardless of their income. As a committed and longstanding local philanthropist, Anne has seen firsthand the way in which college scholarships and other direct financial assistance transform young people’s lives.
“The Leonhardt Scholarship Program has enabled bright, talented yet financially disadvantaged high school students a valuable opportunity to achieve their educational goals, and we are thrilled, in partnership with Anne Leonhardt, to now lend vital financial support to community college students,” said Juanita James, Community Foundation president and CEO. “Enabling young people in Fairfield County to Thrive by 25 is a goal at the Community Foundation, and scholarship funds such as the Leonhardt Program offer incredible support to this goal.”
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation manages one of the largest scholarship programs in the region for both graduating high school seniors and full-time students already enrolled in college. Since 2006, $3.6 million in scholarships have benefitted 1,600 students in Fairfield County and throughout the state.