RVC Strong Campaign Meets Million Dollar Goal For Student Success

In July of 2021, the Rock Valley College Foundation launched the RVC Strong Campaign for Student Success and Scholarships.

“If you spend any amount of time with Dr. Spearman, it is obvious that student success is at the forefront of his mind, administration, and heart,” said Brittany Freiberg, RVC’s Foundation Chief Development Officer. “We developed a student-focused campaign with a goal of raising 1 million dollars in student scholarship funds for our region’s high-priority occupations.”

In just nine months, Brittany Freiberg, RVC President Dr. Howard Spearman, and campaign co-chairs John Wolf and Barry Kramer have met this million-dollar goal thanks to the generosity of over 80 donors.

Lead donors to the campaign include Robert and Norma J. Trojan, Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), Comcast, Hennig, Rockford Ministers Fellowship, and the Woodward Charitable Trust.

“Comcast is proud to support the RVC Strong Campaign and its students as they continue their educational journeys,” said Joan Sage, Comcast’s Regional Manager of Community Relations. “Investing in students’ futures through education helps to prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow, advance economic mobility, and grow our local economies.”

Through this campaign, the RVC Foundation has been able to create the following new funds: the RVC Strong Advanced Technology Scholarship, RVC Strong Health Career Scholarship, and the RVC Strong fund for Student Success which is the new emergency relief fund for students facing a financial crisis. Not only are students' tuitions being covered, but financial barriers to their education are being removed.

Even before the goal was met, students began to benefit from the RVC Strong Scholarship. Fourteen students have been kept enrolled already this academic year thanks to the emergency relief funds.

“One of the first recipients of the RVC Strong Fund for Student Success is a current student worker. Although they have many odds stacked against them and zero family support, they continued to persist and remain strong with a 3.391 GPA,” explained Brittany Freiberg. “Through teamwork across our campus, we were able to help cover their current tuition, connect them with the Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry, and our athletic department had offered to allow this student access to their laundry facility. The RVC Strong Fund for Student Success is a powerful tool for the College to care for the whole student and not just their academic needs.”

Success resources can range from the fees or tools associated with particular classes to textbooks to bus passes. One student even received new eyeglasses so that they could walk into their scheduled interview as a recent Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) graduate and feel more confident knowing they could see and read any forms that were handed to them.

Education wouldn’t be possible for many of our students without the support of the RVC Foundation. Not only to cover the cost of tuition but to assist with resources that many may take for granted. These resources have the power to change lives.

“Scholarships at RVC truly are a catalyst for generational change for our local families for decades to come,” says Brittany Freiberg.

Just because the goal has been met doesn’t mean the campaign is complete. The RVC Foundation is going to continue raising money for the RVC Strong campaign to continue being a catalyst for change in as many student's lives as possible.

There are many “whys” behind why people give to this campaign. Robert Trojan, RVC Board Member, shared why he and his wife, Norma, gave. "When Norma and I learned one of the focus areas of the RVC Strong Campaign included scholarships for students attending the Advanced Technology Center, we wanted to be a part of this program,” said Robert Trojan.  “Having our donation directed at scholarships is our way of helping our community and RVC students that can lead to employment opportunities for them."

If you are interested in supporting the RVC Strong campaign to create access and opportunity for a student, please visit RockValleyCollege.edu/Give.