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Alumni Initiative Asks Former Students to Help Current Ones

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2018-04-19T11:01:33+00:00 May 4, 2017|News|
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Alumni Initiative Asks Former Students to Help Current Ones

  • T-Bird Alumni 10 in 10 Challenge

A recent text-to-donate push brought in $610 during a 10-day span, bringing Highline College’s Alumni Relations program closer to its $12,840 fundraising goal.

Now with a total of $1,725 in contributions, the program’s leader is pushing for another $11,000 during the next four months. The money will fund 10 student scholarships as part of a 10-month initiative to increase alumni engagement at the college.

According to Laura Rosa, who heads up the program, the initiative — called the T-Bird Alumni 10 in 10 Challenge — targets Highline alumni, asking them to donate a little to make a big difference for current students.

“Even though I’ve been out of college for a number of years, I still remember what a struggle it was to pay for it. I’m sure other alums remember, too,” said Rosa, who is a Highline alum herself, having attended in the late 1980s.

Tuition runs $1,284 a quarter for Washington residents taking a full load, or 15 credits. Even when students receive financial aid to pay for tuition, there are other expenses such as books and fees, she noted.

More than 350,000 people have attended Highline during the past 55 years. Encouraging alumni to donate $10 to support current students could raise more than $3.5 million if everyone participated.

“We realized $3.5 million would be an audacious goal. So, we chose a more reasonable goal of enough to cover one quarter’s worth of tuition for 10 students, which is just under $13,000,” said Rosa.

LaTonya Brisbane

LaTonya Brisbane

The monetary goal is the first of a three-pronged goal of the 10 in 10 Challenge. Instead of donating $10, alumni can volunteer 10 hours of time in the community or provide an internship or job shadow opportunity for a Highline student or recent alum.

Practicing what she’s promoting, Rosa is offering an internship in her Alumni Relations program. Highline alumna LaTonya Brisbane has been in the paid position for nearly two quarters now.

“Being an intern has allowed me to apply academic experiences to real world issues and relationship building. I’m able to serve my community while connecting with Highline alumni and supporting current student success,” said Brisbane.

Brisbane earned her associate degree at Highline in 2015 and now is at Evergreen State College pursuing her bachelor’s degree in political economy.

Since it launched in fall of 2016, the 10 in 10 Challenge has posted seven alumni-sponsored internships and shared five volunteer opportunities. The initiative is scheduled to end in August 2017.

Despite its name, the challenge is open to all community members looking to support students, according to Rosa.

Spot Us a Ten-Spot

Highline alumnus and professor T.M. Sell, Ph.D., wrote a guest column for the Federal Way Mirror (“Education for All,” April 7, 2017), in which he said:

Even if you’re not an alumnus, please consider spotting us a ten-spot. You may not have gone to Highline or have any children or relatives who have gone to Highline, but the students of today are your clients, your customers, your employees (or, in my case, your caretakers) of tomorrow. These are your neighbors, your homies, the people from your ’hood.

Read the entire column for Dr. Sell’s take on providing opportunities for all in our community.

Learn About the 10 in 10 Challenge

Are you one of the thousands who counts Highline College as part of your educational journey? Chances are, you or someone you know is a current or former student.

Join with T-Bird alumni during this 10-month initiative, from November 2016 through August 2017, and choose how you will contribute:

  • Donate $10 to help fund 10 scholarships for students in their final quarter at Highline. Text HIGHLINE to 80077 to make a one-time $10 donation right from your cell phone. (Donation will be billed directly to your cell carrier.)
  • Volunteer 10 hours of your time in our community.
  • Provide an internship or job shadow opportunity to a current student or recent graduate. Our goal is 10 total during the 2016–17 academic year.

Collectively, these contributions could leave a lasting legacy on students and the community. How will you choose to make a difference?