Meet Our Donors
Making a Difference
Dr. Anita L. Smith Memorial Scholarship
Dr. Smith graduated from Oklahoma State University, earning her bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. in Entomology. She taught entomology and biology at AWC until the time of her passing. She served as a role model for the women in her classroom, setting an example through her actions, dress, and demeanor. She strongly believed in the power of education and strove to support women as they furthered their education within the sciences.
Meet Dave Riek
Sometimes extracurricular involvement can be highly influential in helping us find our path in life, and that statement couldn’t be any truer for Dave Riek, the general manager for the KAWC radio station.
Mr. Riek initially had an interest in politics and law and he had the opportunity to exercise examining and discussing these subjects in his high school debate team, but it wasn’t until he got into debate in college that his plans changed.
“I got my scholarship to NAU because I was involved with the debate team [at college] and at NAU, I continued to do that,” said Mr. Riek, “. . . A friend of mine said, ‘Hey, you should check out this radio thing’ and when I tried it, I was doing the exact same stuff but on a radio and it was a lot more fun. So I decided I wasn’t going to become a lawyer, I was going to become a radio guy, and it’s been a natural fit and I’ve really enjoyed it ever since.”
For Mr. Riek, that discovery and involvement wouldn’t have been possible without his degree, which he was able to finish thanks to his scholarship. Today, he remains thankful for the help he’s received and pays it forward by having $10 from each of his paychecks sent to the AWC Foundation and assisting in the yearly “Radio Active Variety Show” fundraiser in addition to the La Cosecha scholarship that he and his wife, Dr. Ellen Riek, currently fund.
“The main thing is that, especially as somebody who’s been through college and knows how much it’s affected your life and improved your life,” he said, “to be able to pass that on to other people, I think that makes you feel good.”
Mr. Riek is the KAWC general manager and has a bachelor’s of science degree from NAU.
Austin Vaughan Memorial Scholarship
Austin Fred Vaughan….there were so many qualities about this young man and the way he decided his future. Austin started in his junior year at Antelope Union High School researching careers and calling the schools he was interested in attending. When he narrowed down his choice, nothing held him back. Austin spoke to the instructor at Chandler-Gilbert Electrical Utility Technology (EUT) Program and was given the outline of what he needed to do to get a spot in the course. Austin did not waste time, he met with Josie Uriarte, Center Assistant of the Wellton Learning Center, and with her help he completed the requirements needed. Because of his determination, Austin landed a spot at the Chandler-Gilbert EUT Program for August of 2013.
At the same time Austin was completing the courses for the EUT Program, he had become interested in the Volunteer Fire Department in Tacna, Arizona. There was an instant love and desire born in him to help his community, he took this very seriously and did not miss his meetings or training sessions. On the night of Austin’s high school graduation in May of 2012, Joe Rivera, Chief of the Tacna Fire Department and Gary Shaw, Assistant Chief, presented him with his fireman badge. Austin was so proud and a part of him matured that night. He had worked hard and his reward now was taking care of his community and being able to stand with his “band of brothers”.
We miss him so much.
Robert, Marjorie, Shepard, Prestin and Aja Vaughan
Austin's family established this scholarship in honor of their son to help students are not Pell Eligible, have attended Yuma County Public Schools, and are pursuing a Fire Science or Electrical Technicial degree or certificate.
Jacque Dampier Memorial Scholarship for Culinary Students
Jacque retired from the US Army after serving his country for 27 years. After his retirement, he spent many years as a computer analyst. He eventually found that he loved to bake and went to school in San Diego, earning a certificate in Baking and Pastry. His bread making skills were amazing. When a position came available at Arizona Western College for a baking instructor, he jumped at it. Eventually he also taught basic culinary skills. His students respected him and considered him a friend. When he became too ill to teach, it devastated him. He loved what he did. He passed away on July 8, 2014 from cancer. He would be thrilled to know that scholarships in his name are being awarded to students interested in pursuing a career in something so close to his heart.
What do our donors have to say?
Olivia Zepeda tells us the importance of community colleges.
Frequently Asked Questions
The minimum to establish an endowed scholarship fund is $10,000.
An endowment is way of investing that ensures your gift is a permanent source of funding that makes fulfilling the scholarship’s purpose possible, forever. The principal of the endowment is never spent and can grow over time. Interest earnings are used to make annual scholarship awards.
The average award is $500/semester. Scholarship award amounts vary depending on the size of the fund, the number of qualified applicants, and the criteria of the fund.
Any other questions?