Champions for Education are Celebrated by the TCC Foundation

Donors to the Tarrant County College Foundation are used to hearing the College’s academic and technical program were praised at the “Champions for Education” thank-you reception on Nov. 10 and with good reason.

This year was different. It was SHOWTIME!

Students displaying their talents and the various tools of the trade used in their respective educational programs lined TCC Trinity River’s halls. Guests could see dancers from Northeast, sign language interpretation from Trinity River, sample glasses of bubbly from the Mixology students from Southeast, admire artists from South, listen to a jazz band from Northwest and marvel at x-ray equipment from Trinity River East.

“It’s a great opportunity to really showcase our students,” said Lydia Rickard, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “There’s just a litany of activity that lets us show our donors where their money is actually going.”

TCC Chancellor Elva LeBlanc told attendees that the displays had a definite purpose. “I hope you have had time to learn more about our students and their success stories,” she said. “And, of course, I hope you’re connecting the dots between your contributions and their success.”

Laure O’Neal, the Foundation’s executive director, added that the layout was intended to show the breadth of the College’s offerings in a way that might not have been possible by visiting only one campus. Most people, she said, don’t understand the impact TCC has on the community.

“We want to get the word out,” she said. “We want people here tonight to share it with their friends because I think fundraising is a team sport and we can all be involved.”

The impact of TCC, LeBlanc said, is considerable. For every dollar spent on their education, students reap $9.20 in lifetime earnings and Tarrant County taxpayers get $1.30 in additional tax revenue. “That 30 percent increase is a whole lot better than the stock market,” she said.

But perhaps the most important impact, LeBlanc said, can’t be measured in dollars and cents, but in how it affects each student, and the scholarship recipients at the event were happy to share their stories.

Victoria Cardona is studying accounting and plans, after graduation, to transfer to TCU. “The scholarship means everything to me,” she said. “It’s given me the ability to study and do something with my life.”

Reynaldo Zamora, a radiological technology student, talked about the time taken up by classroom and clinical obligations and how they prevented him from being employed as much as he would like. “So, being on the scholarship really helps me get through the financial stress you have to undertake by entering the program,” he said.

Nursing student Roxanna Renteria’s father had been paying her tuition, but his recent retirement cut deeply into the family budget. “So, the scholarship means that he is able, in retirement, to think about himself and at the same time feel secure that his only child is getting a degree that can make her a life.”

And people’s lives, LeBlanc told foundation donors, are what their generosity is “changing for the better every single day.”

More information about the Tarrant County College Foundation can be found at