The report was issued to mark the fifth anniversary of the Kent Colwell Scholarship, designed for BRIDGE affordable housing residents who are pursuing degrees in business programs such as accounting, business administration, finance and marketing.
From 2017-2021, BRIDGE awarded $303,093 in Colwell scholarships to 18 residents ranging in age from 17 to 66 years old; nearly 90% of awardees were people of color. Scholars are eligible for up to four years of funding—$10,000 each year—to use toward tuition, books, childcare and other expenses that will help them with their studies.
Scholars credited the awards with reducing their anxiety about money, boosting their confidence and paving the way for them to take on internships and on-campus leadership opportunities.
Ulises Olvera Grant, a Business Administration student who aims to be the first in his family to earn a university degree, described in one word what the scholarship means to him: “Hope.”
“The program’s flexibility helps residents address significant barriers to education,” said Ken Lombard, President & CEO of BRIDGE. In fact, 92% of scholars surveyed allocated part of their awards to books and supplies, and for three out of four, the scholarships defrayed the cost of transportation to and from classes. “Our scholarships support residents as they realize their educational goals and build greater economic security for themselves and their families,” he said.
BRIDGE, a leading nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable housing in California, Oregon and Washington, created the Kent Colwell Scholarship to honor a longtime friend and Board member who passed away in 2016.