Crafton Hills College (CHC) students looking for an extra boost in support can thank Valorie and Forrest Greek, a CHC alumnus, for answering the call.
Forrest and Valorie recently signed an agreement with the Yucaipa-based college to create The Greek Endowed Fund. Combining an annual pledge and a bequest, the fund will help current and future students enrolled in three on-campus programs: Child Development, Fire Academy and Respiratory Therapy.
Forrest has always valued higher education and planned to attend college following his graduation from high school. With a lack of family support, his dreams to pursue higher education were replaced with joining the U.S. Army where he served three years as a military police officer. Forrest married Adella during his military career and, although he had planned to become a California Highway Patrol officer once discharged, his new bride encouraged him toward a career that would not keep her awake with worry. Forrest pursued other interests and through the years he became a successful hairdresser, real estate investor and savvy small business owner when he and Adella opened their own medical transcription business.
Or – in his words – his job was to “cut hair, fix rental properties, and get contracts signed.”
Forrest’s aunt owned a hair salon where he spent time as a child, first using a magnet to pick up bobby pins and by the age of six learning to cut hair. This was a career he chose to stay in because he loved it.
Also, from a very young age, Forrest was interested in owning properties. He would search the classified ads in the newspapers. One day, he came across a piece of land in the desert that he could afford, and although he didn’t end up buying it, that is where he realized his passion for real estate investing. Later Forrest convinced Adella to take some classes in Real Estate beginning in 1968 at San Bernardino Valley College and at CHC in the early 1970s. Shortly after, they began buying properties. Forrest and Adella were married for 53 years and had two children: a son, Ken, born in 1963 and a daughter, Kirsten, born in 1965, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Forrest and his second wife, Valorie McLaughlin established scholarships through this agreement that will support the Adella E. Greek Memorial Scholarship for students in the Child Development program, the Kirsten Greek Memorial Scholarship for students in the Respiratory Therapy program, and the Forrest Greek Scholarship for students in the Fire Academy.
“Working with Forrest and Valorie has been such a rewarding experience,” shared Michelle Riggs, director of institutional advancement at CHC. “Their philanthropic vision is to allow the College to use the funds to support students in these programs where the most impact can be achieved.” “The entirety of the gift will be used to establish the Greek Fund,” shared Riggs, adding, “Any gifts above the expendable scholarships will begin to create an endowment which will remain with the Foundation to support students at Crafton Hills College in perpetuity.”
The recently established fund is similar to an agreement signed by Forrest’s wife Valorie and University of Redlands, a neighboring four-year university of which she is a graduate.
“Supporting Respiratory Care students in memory of my daughter, Kirsten, will create a legacy for her in a program and profession that she loved so much,” Forrest said. “The Child Development scholarship is being established in memory of my wife of 53 years, Adella. This scholarship will provide help to students who want to work with children and continue their education, both of which she was passionate about.”
“The more I learn about the needs of the cadets in the Fire Academy and the fantastic program they have here, the more I want to help students in this program overcome financial barriers to enter the field as first responders.” “I feel lucky to be able to help. It is truly my privilege to provide this level of support to Crafton Hills College,” Forrest concluded.