Publish Date:

The Crafton Hills College Foundation recently received a $10,000 award from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for its work to support students in need.

CHC officials were notified of the award by email on May 15. The award will support students in the Yucaipa-based college’s public safety and allied health programs.

“The very best training can only be accomplished by providing quality education with the equipment, gear and supplies that the industry demands, along with the support services needed to ensure our students our successful,” stated Crafton Hills Director of Institutional Advancement Michelle Riggs.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation works with charities across the country that are “working to advance economic mobility and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities.” The organization’s focus includes food and housing needs as well as workforce development and education.

Last year, Bank of America invested $350 million in the communities it serves, and saw its employees donate more than a million hours of volunteer work. The Crafton Hills College Foundation raises funds to support the institution’s programs and students’ needs. This new award will help continue the Foundation’s efforts and help limit the financial barriers for some Roadrunners. “These funds are especially important as we continue to move forward following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted CHC students, who had to learn to navigate courses and services online, many while facing financial hardships,” Riggs continued.

According to a recent survey conducted at the college, 63 percent of students have reported a reduction in employment, which includes reduced hours or a complete loss of employment.

This grant is allocated to support public safety and allied health programs through Crafton’s Training First Responders Project and will help train more than 300 future first responders in fields like emergency medical technician, paramedic, firefighting, and respiratory care.

“Students who train to become first responders at CHC take on a strenuous workload, and this grant will alleviate some of the financial burden students face,” stated Riggs.“The bulk of our students are working outside of school to cover the cost of tuition, supplies, books, uniforms, equipment, testing, and certifications while juggling studying and internships.”

“What wea re finding from cohort research is that some students fail to sit for the state and national certification exams at the end of their programs because they cannot afford it,” stated Riggs. “This has a negative impact on the career success of our students and is a major factor with the current public health issue as it reduces the number of qualified first responders available to meet the needs of our community.”

“Providing funding for students who need help covering the certification process so that they can move forward to a career is imperative,” Riggs continued. “Thank you so much to Bank of America. This funding will pave the way for employability for our graduates.”

The Foundation relies on grants and public funding to support its year-round needs. To learn more about the nonprofit and its work, or to donate to the cause, visit craftonhills.edu.