The Crafton Hills College (CHC) Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from Bank of America to support the community college’s public safety and allied health program. The funds will go to help train more than 300 future first responders in the fields of emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighting, and respiratory care givers as well as provide financial support for more students impacted economically by the pandemic.
“The very best training can only be accomplished by providing quality education with the equipment, gear and supplies that the industry demands, along with the support services needed to ensure our students are successful,” said Michelle Riggs, Director of Institutional Advancement, CHC. “These funds are especially important as we continue to move forward following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted our students who have had to learn to navigate courses and services online, many while facing financial hardships.”
According to a recent survey conducted at the College, 63 percent of students have reported a
reduction in employment, which includes reduced hours or a complete loss of employment.
The CHC Foundation raises funds to support the institution’s programs and students’ needs. This new grant will help continue the Foundation’s efforts and address the financial barriers for some Roadrunners.
“Our community colleges play a critical role in creating pathways to economic and professional
success in low- and moderate-income communities, especially in high demand fields with long-term careers,” said Bansree Parikh, president, Bank of America Inland Empire. “The need for qualified first-responders for our communities is more important now than ever, and CHC’s program will make a real and meaningful impact on our communities in need of this profession now and for the years ahead.”
“Students who train to become first responders at CHC take on a strenuous workload, and this grant will alleviate some of the financial burden students face,” Riggs said. “The bulk of our students are working outside of school to cover the cost of tuition, supplies, books, uniforms, equipment, testing, and certifications while juggling studying and internships.”
“What we are finding from cohort research is that some students fail to sit for the state and national exams at the end of their programs because they cannot afford it,” Riggs said. “This has a negative impact on the career success of our students and is a major factor with the current public health issue as it reduces the number of qualified first responders available to meet the needs of our community.”
“Providing funding for students who need help covering the certification process so that they can move forward to a career is imperative,” Riggs added. “Thank you so much to Bank of America. This funding will pave the way for employability for our graduates.”
The Foundation relies on grants and public funding to support its year-round needs. To learn more about the nonprofit and its work, or to donate to the cause, visit craftonhills.edu/foundation.