If someone called offering to pay for your college education, would you believe it?
Monroe Community College freshman Camille Ball of Penfield, N.Y. received such a call and wondered if there was a catch. “I was in shock,” said Ball. “At first I thought the call was from a telemarketer; it was too good to be true.”
Ball is MCC’s first Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation First in Family Scholarship recipient. Before receiving the scholarship, she wasn’t sure how she would pay her college bills, especially with her mother being out of work. Now she can graduate debt free from college—from MCC and beyond—and pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. This will also allow her mother to make ends meet at home with her two other children.
The Farash Foundation launched the scholarship program in January for students entering college in fall 2012, 2013 and 2014 at colleges and universities in Monroe and Ontario counties. Each college—including Finger Lakes Community College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, MCC, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, the College at Brockport and the University of Rochester—will designate one student each year to receive a First in Family Scholarship. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, textbooks and mandatory fees throughout the students’ college careers—up to five years.
The MCC Foundation recommended Ball for the scholarship because she excelled academically and overcame personal health and family issues in order to go to college. As a Farash Scholar, she will make connections with the other scholars and community leaders. An added bonus: Farash Scholars are expected to volunteer at local nonprofit organizations instead of working part time so that community service becomes a lifetime pursuit.
Ball chose MCC because of its prestigious nursing program and proximity to her family home. She credits her mother for giving her the strength to push forward and pursue her dream of a college education.
“This scholarship is my fresh start,” she said. “I can experience college without stress and be happy.”
Ball will move into MCC’s residence halls later this month and begin her educational journey, knowing that her community is fully invested in her success.