For over a decade, the Albert B. Kahn Foundation has supported graduating Trenton High School seniors that plan to attend Mercer County Community College (MCCC). Each year, 15 excelling students are chosen by a committee to receive a $2,000 scholarship towards pursuing their college degree.
“The giving history goes back to 2009 with the Kahn Foundation,” said Paul Healy, Director of Public Relations for MCCC. “Historically, the Foundation has given almost half a million dollars since 2009 to Mercer students.”
Overtime, the donation has grown in both value and distribution. This year, the Kahn Foundation has invested $75,000 in total towards Trenton High School students furthering their education at MCCC. Of the funds, $50,000 will go towards funding scholarships for Trenton High School students attending MCCC, $20,000 will go towards the support of Trenton Central High School students enrolled in dual enrollment at MCCC and $5,000 will go to one exceptional student moving on to a four year university after completing time at MCCC.
“I’ve loved watching this award grow over time and I just really enjoy working with these students, and I just really love Mr. Kahn,” said Laura Richards, Scholarship Program and Donor Relations Coordinator at MCCC. “He’s just a great donor.”
Mr. Edward Kahn Jr. and his family have worked towards bettering the lives of students in the city of Trenton for generations. Albert B. Kahn (Mr. Kahn’s father) established the Trenton Central High Scholarship Endowment Fund in September of 1982. “[Mr. Kahn Sr.] grew up in Trenton, so they have a love and a soft spot for helping the people of Trenton,” said Richards.
In 2016, the Kahn Foundation extended their donation to follow former recipients along their journey through their years at Mercer. For 10 of the 15 students, who continue showcasing excellence in their education during their second year at MCCC, they will receive an additional $2,000. Richards said, “We change the language in the award letter that we send [students] and we say, ‘hey, just so you know, if you continue down this path and you do a really good job, next year, you’re going to get $2,000 more dollars and then you have the possibility have a $5,000 graduating scholarship.’”
Former recipients of the Kahn Foundation scholarships have shown gratitude for their awards in statements to MCCC and the Kahn Family. Kathy Guadron, a former physical therapy major and scholarship recipient in the 2016 year said, “[The Kahn Foundation Scholarship] will allow me to dedicate more of my time to studying, making me one step closer to my goal. Receiving this award truly motivates me to continue my higher education.”
The Kahn Foundation continues to give, not just to students who stand out academically, but to students who show well-rounded character. According to Richards, Mr. Kahn Jr. is adamant on awarding any student with a drive to learn and pursue a higher education. “He really values grit and students who have that tenacity to put in the hard work for school,” said Richards. “It wasn’t just limited to academics.”
To help ensure all Trenton High School students have the same chance at receiving a Kahn Foundation scholarship, the Foundation created a selection committee comprised of a variety of educators heavily involved in the high school students’ lives. The committee is made up of guidance councilors, a number of faculty members and the school principal.
“They’re with [the students] day in and day out, and they see them progress from freshman year to senior year of high school,” said Richards. “I think having a well rounded committee is really important to make these selections.”
MCCC values Mr. Kahn Jr. and the Kahn Foundation as long-time donors have to the institution. To MCCC and scholarship recipients, it is obvious the Kahn family cares for the students of Trenton. “It’s been incredible what he’s been able to do in this cohort that he created of these students, and they’re so very grateful to him,” said Richards. “You can tell his passion is to help these students in Trenton.”
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