by Diane VanDyke
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $65,000 through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program to support the Gateway to College program at Montgomery County Community College , as part of the bank’s commitment to giving back to the community.
Gateway to College is a national initiative that helps students who are at risk of not completing or have disengaged from their high school education. Through the program, students complete the requirements to earn their high school diplomas while earning college credits at MCCC.
“Montgomery County Community College is committed to helping students succeed, and the Gateway to College program provides students with a supportive learning environment where they can thrive,” said College President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “We greatly appreciate TD Bank’s generous investment to assist our students and this vital program, as well as the donations we received from The Maguire Foundation, PECO and Waste Management.”
The donation will be used for operational support for the Gateway program. Regional Vice President for TD Bank Geoffrey Brandon attended the graduation ceremony, where he presented the ceremonial check to the students and director of the program, Keima Sheriff.
“This program gives young people who may have gone off course, a second chance,” said Geoffrey D. Brandon, Regional Vice President, TD Bank. “We are extremely proud to support an organization that strives to improve the quality of life for our community and provides the tools necessary to achieve success.”
In addition, The Maguire Foundation has provided $30,000 for student scholarships. These funds will be used to provide support to students from Pottstown and Norristown school districts and will target students who will graduate with a high school diploma in one year. These students will have the opportunity to compete for Maguire Scholarships to continue their education at Montgomery County Community College and into other participating colleges
Earlier in 2014, PECO donated $10,000 through the EITC program to assist students with these expenses for the 2014-15 school year. Similarly, in 2013, Waste Management donated $5,000 through EITC to cover these expenses for students in the prior school year.
Montgomery County Community College is one of only 43 colleges in the country and only the second college in Pennsylvania selected to participate in the Gateway to College National Network. Seventeen school districts and the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board currently partner with MCCC and refer students for the program, which is held at campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown. Fifty-eight students were enrolled in the fall 2014 semester, and 11 students graduated with their high school diplomas on Dec. 19.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development approved MCCC’s Gateway Program as an innovative educational program that is eligible to receive funding through EITC. State-approved businesses are eligible for tax credits when they make donations through EITC.