Sat, Sept. 21

Bridging higher education to students of all ages
Foundation holds Cash for College event

Cash for College is an opportunity to match students with scholarships. VVN/Bill Helm

Cash for College is an opportunity to match students with scholarships. VVN/Bill Helm

CLARKDALE – When it comes to post-secondary scholarships, Tracey McConnell said there are two different types of students.

Those who think they qualify. And those who think they don’t qualify.

McConnell, a regional philanthropic advisor for Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, said that in many cases, both groups qualify for financial assistance to further their education – and to increase their career opportunities.

Tuesday at Yavapai College’s Clarkdale campus, Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona held one of its annual Cash for College scholarship awareness nights, a “job fair for scholarships,” said Lisa Sahady, also a regional philanthropic advisor for Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona.

Cash for College is an opportunity to begin the process of matching prospective students with some of the more than 100 scholarships available throughout the state.

One of the best things about the annual awareness night, McConnell said, is that students who do not attend have just as much of an opportunity to qualify for scholarships as those who do attend.

Because Arizona Community Foundation is responsible for “delivering information to the public.”

“A lot of people assume that because they’re not A-students or aren’t just out of high school that they wouldn’t qualify,” McConnell said. “And that’s false.”

McConnell says that Arizona Community Foundation exists to “provide a bridge between higher education and students of all ages.”

According to McConnell, Arizona Community Foundation has averaged “more than $2 million in scholarships every year.”

“And some are renewable,” she says.

‘Improving one’s life’

Tuesday at Cash for College, Camp Verde residents Linda and Buck Buchanan donated $5,000 to a new Pathway to Careers Scholarship. 

Linda Buchanan said that she and her husband believe that educational opportunity is “one of the essential elements of a healthy community.”

“We believe that improving one’s life through education is the surest path to success, for the student, their family, their employer, and the greater community,” she said.

Linda Buchanan also created the Ross Arcair Scholarship in honor of her father. The scholarship, managed through the Yavapai College Foundation, has helped students receive aid for the past five years.

Students enrolled in Yavapai’s technical studies programs are eligible for the scholarship, with preference “going to students who reside in the Verde Valley or Sedona,” Linda Buchanan said.

Bringing classical music to Yavapai College

In the past 10 years, the Yavapai Symphony Association has given out $150,000 in scholarships, including $26,000 a year ago to nine applicants.

Tuesday, Yavapai Symphony Association was one of 24 scholarship providers statewide who attended Cash for College at Yavapai.

Arlon Inman, president of the Yavapai Symphony Association, said that although students across Yavapai County are eligible to apply for the organization’s scholarships, that only three students from Mingus Union have applied. Non from Camp Verde have applied.

As a 52-year organization, the purpose of the Yavapai Symphony Association is to bring classical music to the college, Inman said.

For a list of the scholarships available and the scholarship providers, visit

Founded in 1978, Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide philanthropy organization who affiliates distributed more than $55 million in grants and scholarship funding to more than 4,500 nonprofit organizations, schools and faith-based organizations.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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