Funding education

By: Joel Gilleland, Staff Reporter

Instructors give record amount to CNM Foundation

The CNM Foundation has raised more donations than ever thanks to the Leading the Way Campaign, said Executive Director Lisa McCulloch.

The Foundation raised a total of $122,000 in contribu­tions; $70,000 went to CNM programs and the rest went to community organizations, said McCulloch.

The Leading the Way Campaign is an opportunity for employees to make dona­tions to the United Way, said foundation Development Associate Daysha Trujillo.

“It’s a testament to how our employees feel about the CNM community and the community in general. In a difficult economy when there are many retirees, we still have employees from many departments contributing. It really demonstrates the type of person that works at CNM,” said McCulloch.

Even though 104 employees retired this year, the foundation still received a record amount of donations, said Vice President of Student Services, Phillip Bustos.

“The majority of our givers are some of our lowest paid staff. They’re just incredibly generous. They open their wallets and give to students and the departments. It’s really neat,” said Bustos.

Every maintenance and operations employee, the lowest paid department on campus, gave to the United Way in order to help some­one else in need, said CNM President Dr. Kathie Winograd.

“People here understand that people are having a tough time. Most of the money that we get from our employees goes to our students, which is really great,” she said.

Jennifer Sullivan, a groundskeeper at the Rio Rancho campus, said she has been donating money for eight years. She is also a stu­dent and a full time mother, she said.

“I just like that we all get together and get to give money to a good cause,” said Sullivan.

A lot of the money goes to emergency scholarships like the Rust Scholarship, which helps students with non-aca­demic financial problems that could keep them from going to school, said Achievement Coach Michelle Renteria.

“So many of the students we see do have emergencies that come up. The foundation strongly believes that if stu­dents could just have that one emergency taken care of, they can continue on and not have to drop out,” said Renteria.

Students can use the money to pay for minor things like glasses, books and car tires, or for critical expenses such as rent, or medical bills, said Winograd.

“The Rust Scholarship is not based on whether you have money or not. It’s not based on your age. It’s just based on the fact that you are a student here, and we love you enough to want you to stay,” said Winograd.

Other beneficiaries of the money raised through the Lead the Way cam­paign include the Success Scholarship, which helps students with transitional costs and graduation, and the Milestone Fund, which is per­formance based and can help support low-income students, said McCulloch.

“We are really grateful to our contributors. This shows the United Way and the community how civi­cally minded and compas­sionate our employees are,” said McCulloch.

Edited on 5/22/12 to adjust a copy error.

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