Ventura College Foundation Distributes Over $636,000 In Scholarships

The Ventura College Foundation presented 421 scholarships for the 2024-25 academic year totaling $636,017 during its 35th Annual Scholarship Awards ceremony, May 16, at the Ventura College Sportsplex Field.
Of the 230 scholarship recipients, many received multiple scholarships. Of the amount awarded, $583,884 went to general scholarships, $29,110 was awarded to students focusing on agriculture, advanced manufacturing, diesel mechanics or veterinary tech careers and $23,023 went to students in paramedic studies.
Continuing students received an average of $2,417 in scholarships while students transferring to four-year universities received an average of $3,557. At a minimum, each student received a $1,000 scholarship.
Each year, the Ventura College Foundation’s Scholarship Review Committee evaluates scholarship applications and scores them following a specific scoring scale. Those who meet all the application requirements and have the highest scores receive scholarships.
A recipient of three Phoenix scholarships Daniel Mendez of Fillmore, is a returning student, having first attended Ventura College almost 10 years ago. He plans to receive his associate degree in Drafting this Fall. “I became interested in drafting because of the many different drafting opportunities that can help change the world we live in,” says Mendez. “Ventura College offers tuition help, scholarships and online classes. These are super important to me. I would be forced to take out loans to pay for school. Plus, I have an 11-year-old son who I coach in baseball and football and a one-year-old daughter who needs every bit of attention I can give.”
Mendez hopes to secure a planner position with Southern California Edison after graduation. “My education at Ventura College has given me the power to get the training and experience that I need to go out and get a career that feeds my family.”
“With rising college costs, scholarships can mean the difference between students being able to continue with their education or having to drop out,” says Nicole Kreutz, chair of the Ventura College Foundation board of directors.  “Scholarship funds help offset tuition, books and other expenses. They can be a game changer.”
Gabrielle MacNeill of Simi Valley, a member of the Ventura College water polo and swim teams, is transferring to Cal State Northridge in the Fall. She received multiple scholarships including the Miriam and Henry Schwab Memorial Aquatics Scholarship given to students involved in aquatics. A swim instructor, she teaches kids with physical and cognitive disabilities. MacNeill will major in psychology and possibly obtain a master’s degree in occupational therapy to continue her work helping kids.
Her experience at Ventura College has been positive. “I always feel very welcomed whenever I walk on the Ventura College campus,” says Gabrielle. “The professors really care about their students. They take the time to know each of us. Moving on to the next chapter of my education, these scholarships will reduce the financial stress and enable me to pay for tuition and housing expenses.”
Multi-scholarship recipient Frank Smith has set his sights on owning his own business. A family emergency caused him to relocate to Florida after he had enrolled in Cal State, Channel Islands out of high school. He later returned to California and entered Ventura College. He will finish his studies in the Fall and transfer to the University of West Florida where he will major in Business Management. An avid swimmer, he works as a lifeguard with the Surf Rescue/Beach Safety Division of the Navarre Beach Fire Department. He would love to parlay his love of being an athlete to starting a company in the pain management field.
“I’ve had excellent professors and Ventura College,” says Smith. “I owe my educational success to Ventura College and the opportunities it offers. I didn’t have a college fund. Through these scholarships, I can go to school without taking loans. The financial resources are out there. You just have to find them.”
“The drive and dedication our students show is truly amazing,” says Kreutz. “They are an inspiration to all of us.”
The Ventura College Foundation is grateful for the continuing support of scholarship event sponsors. They include Edison International, Searle Creative, Bank of the Sierra, L&T Catering, Miracle Mile Advisors, Ohana Pet Hospital, LetzChat, Trinity Wheeler Photography and Luners Production Services.
Scholarship applications will be accepted for the next academic year beginning in the Fall. For more about the Ventura College Foundation and donation opportunities, go to
Ventura College Foundation
Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation transforms students’ lives through education by providing innovative and vital resources and financial support.  The Foundation collaborates with Ventura College to enhance human potential, civic engagement, careers, and academic success of students enabling their effective impact and legacy on the college, local workforce, and our community. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace; an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus. For more information, contact Julie Harvey at (805) 289-6502 or or visit