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Investing in our Future: $25,000 for AVC Scholarship Endowment

As a valued entity in the Antelope Valley, AVEK Directors and staff know the significance of connecting with other organizations in a meaningful manner.

That philosophy sets the basis for AVEK’s Community Outreach efforts, which this year proved beneficial to the Antelope Valley College Foundation when the water Agency’s Board of Directors agreed to invest $25,000 in their scholarship endowment program.

AV College Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is the fundraising arm at the college. AVEK’s investment in their endowment fund will be pooled with investments from other contributors, and the interest from that investment will provide scholarships in perpetuity to aid students studying water sciences as their career goal.

AVEK acknowledged their 60-year anniversary by “leaving a legacy” with their investment in consideration of the value higher education affords the Antelope Valley as an economic stimulator fueled by a trained and skilled workforce.

Dianne Knippel, the College Foundation’s executive director, submitted a letter requesting funding assistance to AVEK Board President Shelley Sorsabal in September 2019.

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That gesture, in turn, serves as an incentive for the college to graduate students who possess the knowledge required to fill future needs of local employers in the water industry.

Knippel appeared before AVEK Directors at a board meeting in late February, explaining the procedure for financially assisting students.

She said the money goes directly to students for water science courses available at the college. Those courses cost $47 per credit unit hour. It takes students 25 units, or a total of $1,175, to pursue certification in the water sciences program, and funds are intended for students taking three water treatment courses that prepare them to take the Department of Natural Resources certification test.

Successful completion of this certification qualifies students to work in water treatment plants like the facilities AVEK operates in Quartz Hill, Rosamond, the Valley’s Eastside near Littlerock and in Acton.

Scholarship funds attract students to the program, Knippel said. “Scholarships are key to helping students succeed.”

AVEK’s investment will assist the college in adding three more sessions of water treatment in the Fall.

Over 18,000 students attend classes at the college and about 85% of the students rely on some form of financial aid or scholarships.

AVEK has a history of hiring qualified water treatment operators from AVC and one of AVEK’s managers has taught classes in water treatment there in the past.