Mini Grants Awarded
Helping Students thrive—Academically and Personally
In the recent Mini-Grant award cycle, the Foundation has awarded six mini-grants to enhance student outcomes at Black Hawk College. Ranging from $500 to $2,500, these grants will support innovative projects benefiting students academically and socially.
The Black Hawk College Foundation provides support for a range of student-centered initiatives. These include enhancing professional skills, ensuring equal access to education, promoting inclusivity on campus, supporting high school completion, facilitating technology integration in classes, and enhancing the college experience and success for students. (There is a rolling deadline for mini-grant applications, to learn more, contact us.)
NEW PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED
BHC Board of Trustees Appoint Dr. Jeremy Thomas
Dr. Jeremy Thomas has been appointed by the Black Hawk College Board of Trustees to serve as the next president of the college. Dr. Thomas will complete an orientation period beginning Thursday, June 1 and assume the duties of the office on Monday, June 12.
He currently serves as provost at Oklahoma City Community College and has more than 20 years in various leadership positions in higher education. “Dr. Thomas has an impressive leadership background in higher education within a multi-campus environment with demonstrated results of growing enrollment, strengthening academic programs and nurturing strategic partnerships,” said Fritz Larsen, chair of the Board of Trustees. Regarding his appointment, Dr. Thomas said, “I am excited and honored to join the Black Hawk family. The college has a rich history with tremendous potential. I appreciate the board’s confidence in choosing me to lead the institution.”)
Breaking socio-economic barriers for students
Quad City Band & Trust Creates Scholarships
Beginning the fall 2023 semester, each scholarship will cover full tuition, fees and books for two years. The scholarship will be called the ‘Quad City Bank & Trust Scholarship’ and will be open to full-time students of all majors. Recognizing that financial need can keep many students from accessing a post-secondary education, QCBT’s goal is to provide access to education to those in need.
“Too many bright, qualified students in the Quad Cities area are unable to attain their dreams of going to college due to socio-economic barriers, a perceived lack of access to college courses or may not believe they’re eligible for a scholarship,” John Anderson, CEO of Quad City Bank & Trust, said.
5k Hustle helps fund PTA Scholarships
Raising more than $75,000 since 2012
The 2022 Black Hawk College 5K Hustle raised $4,400 to provide scholarships for students in the BHC Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program.
The annual fall road race takes runners up and down the scenic, rolling hills of the BHC Quad-Cities Campus in Moline. Since 2012, the event has raised more than $75,000 to benefit the PTA program.
Pictured from left to right: Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation; Dianne Abels, PTA professor and program director; Jerry and Cathy Lack, race co-chairs; PTA scholarship recipient Christian Jacobsen of Goose Lake, Iowa; and PTA student Sally Dykstra of Clinton, Iowa.
Helping GED® Students
Reynolds Family Donation
The family of Adrianne Reynolds recently donated $2,400 to the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation to help pay for youth GED® testing for BHC students.
Adrianne's stepfather, Tony Reynolds, and stepmother, Joanna Reynolds, presented the check to Ann O'Leary, director of adult education, and Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation.
Adrianne was a 16-year-old student in the college's Optional Education GED program when she was killed in January 2005. Since her death, the Reynolds family has raised thousands of dollars to help other high school-age students pay for their GED stesting fees.
Since her death, the Reynolds family has raised thousands of dollars to help other high school-age students pay for their GED® testing fees. This year's donation was the largest to date.
"A lot of good things come out of something really bad," Tony Reynolds said.
The college has issued more than 550 GED vouchers using donations received in Adrianne's memory. A voucher covers one $30 GED test. Students may receive a scholarship for one or more of the four tests (math, language arts, social studies and science). "We appreciate all the donations," O'Leary said. "Everybody needs a little help sometimes."
Learn more about the Optional Education GED program
Investing in Black Hawk College Students
Hot Roddin' for Scholars Car Show
Organizers of the Hot Roddin' for Scholars Car Show recently donated $4,000 to the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation to create a scholarship for students with financial need.
The annual scholarship will be awarded for the first time in Fall 2023 and will benefit several students each year.
"There are people that can't afford things they want to do, such as going to college, and they just don't have the means to do it," said donor Stephanie Genova with the Coal Valley Days Board. "Clearly, there's a need in our community," she said.
Coal Valley Days is a summer festival that raises money for local charities. The new Hot Roddin' for Scholars car show is an addition to the group's annual July event.
"We are honored that this community has invested in our Black Hawk College students. It's amazing to see the support," said Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the BHC QC Foundation. "These scholarship funds will make a huge difference for those who have financial barriers to education and will have an immense impact on the lives of our students," added Landeros.
Retired BHC dean donates $20,000
Glenda Nicke creates scholarship to help struggling students
Less than six months after retiring, Glenda Nicke returned to Black Hawk College to donate $20,000 to help struggling students.
During her 44 years at the college, she worked in numerous departments and "consistently encountered students who were challenged in finding ways to pay for further education," Nicke said. Some were prevented from qualifying for traditional forms of financial aid by circumstances beyond their control, such as parents who refused to file tax returns or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children (often referred to as "Dreamers").
"Others were paying for past mistakes such as defaulted loans or poor academic records on their first try for postsecondary education," she said. A number wanted to take noncredit or short-term programs that don't qualify for financial aid, such as Welding or CNA. "This scholarship will assist students who face those barriers as well as other unique circumstances," Nicke said.
The new scholarship will be awarded for the first time for the 2024-25 school year. An Adult Education advisor will work with staff from both the non-credit and credit areas of the college and the Black Hawk College Foundation to identify prospective scholarship recipients.
"I have seen the struggle firsthand with students who want to pursue their education, but money may be a significant barrier in this pursuit," said Renée Gillis-Arnold, Adult Education career advisor.
"It is exciting to have additional avenues in which we can make this dream become a reality for these students!" Gillis-Arnold said.
"Glenda's gift will empower many students in our community," said Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the BHC Foundation. "She has built a legacy here at Black Hawk College."
Adult ESL Program Receives $10,000 Gift
Ann O'Leary, Director of Adult Education, stopped by the Black Hawk College Foundation offices to learn of an anonymous donation to support the BHC Adult Education ESL program.
The Adult Education English as a Second Language (ESL) program helps non-English speaking students build and attain language skills using an integrated approach to learning. The skills of listening, speaking, grammar, reading and writing are taught, as well as general aspects of American culture and civics. New students are tested to ensure placement accuracy.
The Black Hawk College Adult Education English as a Second Language (ESL) program is for residents of the Black Hawk College district who are non-English-speaking adults, 17 years of age or older. Learn more about BHC Adult Education ESL program.
Supporting the Mission of BHC
Physical Therapist Program alum donates $10,000 to BHC
When Steve Shuman's father passed away in 2021, the Black Hawk College alum received an unexpected inheritance. Steve decided that he wanted "to do something good with it." "Someone else can benefit from something I inherited," he said.
Steve graduated from the BHC Physical Therapist Assistant Program in 2008, and even though he left the Quad Cities in 2014, he kept in touch with Dianne Abels, his former professor and current PTA program director.
Now living in Tennessee, he called Diane and asked if the program needed anything. She told him that one of the hospital beds in their simulated patient care room was on its last leg. Steve and his wife, Leslie, decided to donate $10,000 to the Black Hawk College Foundation for the PTA program. They left it up to Abels to choose the best way to use the funds to benefit the college and PTA students.
"We are so appreciative of the Shumans' gift," Abels said. "This will positively impact student learning experiences for years to come."
BHC Foundation executive director Zenaida Landeros is grateful for alumni who want to give back. "It's so wonderful that Steve and Leslie want to invest in the college and enhance the lives of our students," she said.
For Steve Shuman, it's about coming full circle. "I had a great experience at Black Hawk College," he said. "I wanted to pay it forward."
BHC alumnus and community champion
Remembering Bob Ontiveros
We are heartbroken by the loss of a major champion of our Black Hawk College community. Bob Ontiveros, a Black Hawk College alumnus and the founder of Group O, truly invested in human potential by creating opportunities for students and the College.
"Bob was a wonderful mentor and friend, full of big ideas and dreams for our community," said Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation.
The Ontiveros Family Fund—established by Bob and his wife, Blenda—provided the largest gift in the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Foundation's 40 years of service. That funding provided essential staffing support for student services and a new men's and women's soccer program. Additionally, the fund provides multiple scholarships for our student-athletes, minority students and entering students.
Bob and Blenda's legacy will live on for generations to come, helping us provide our BHC students the financial support and the college the resources it needs to genuinely impact countless lives throughout our region.
"It was a true honor working alongside and helping make sure those ideas and dreams happened within our QC community," Landeros said. "We are lucky to had have such a champion for our community, and his actions will positively impact many and have a ripple effect in our community for years to come."
View Older Entries