Scholarship initiated at start of state official's advocacy campaign for part-time students.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College raised more than $1,200 in a raffle held Monday for the creation of a new scholarship for part-time students. Two lucky winners rode away on new Trek bicycles, and three other winners snagged tickets to upcoming campus foundation events.
Both the Cambridge Community College Foundation and Coon Rapids Foundation sponsored the fundraising raffle, using a friendly inter-campus rivalry to spur ticket sales. The total funds raised in the Cambridge raffle was $659; the total raised in the Coon Rapids Campus raffle was $600. The proceeds will go directly toward the new Bob Erickson Part-Time Student Scholarship, named for Robert A. Erickson, an avid biker and member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Foundation. Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to part-time students annually, one on each ARCC campus.
Minnesota State College and University System Foundation member Bob Erickson selects the winning ticket for the Coon Rapids Foundation bike raffle, held to raise funds for Anoka-Ramsey Community College's new Bob Erickson Part-Time Student Scholarship. Holding the ticket basket is Luanne Kane, Coon Rapids Foundation Executive Director and ARCC Director of Resource Development.
In an ironic twist, the bicycle awarded on the Coon Rapids Campus went to a part-time ARCC student, Jessica Johnston of North Branch, Minn., who is also a senior at North Branch High School. The ticket was purchased by her mother, Jane Begich-Johnston, herself a full-time student at ARCC. The bicycle awarded on the Cambridge Campus went to an ARCC faculty member, Patricia Hicks of the Health and Physical Education Department on the Coon Rapids Campus. The bikes awarded in the raffle were donated by two area merchants, Allsports of Cambridge, Minn., and Ramsey Bicycle of Ramsey, Minn.
||Jessica Johnston of North Branch, Minn., shows off the Trek 820 bicycle she won Monday in a raffle sponsored by the foundations of Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) to raise money for part-time student scholarships. More than $1,200 was raised in the raffle. The bicycle, valued at $230, was donated by Ramsey Sports of Ramsey, Minn. Johnston, a senior at North Branch High School, is also a part-time student at ARCC’s Cambridge Campus. Her mother, Jane Begich-Johnston, who purchased the winning ticket, is a full-time ARCC student.|
||Patricia Hicks, a faculty member of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, shows off the Trek 7100 hybrid bicycle she won in the Aug. 23 raffle to raise money for part-time student scholarships. The bicycle, valued at $309, was donated by Allsports of Cambridge, Minn. |
Erickson, who is also a Former Trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MNSCU), has become a champion of part-time students throughout Minnesota. Every year for the past three years, he has biked to all 53 campuses in the system in an effort to raise awareness about the financial plight of part-time students, who have fewer opportunities for financial aid than full-time students. In the past two years, his efforts have helped raise nearly $200,000 in donations for student scholarships throughout Minnesota.
The bike raffle fundraiser at ARCC coincided with Erickson's visit to the Coon Rapids and Cambridge campuses, his first two stops on his one-month bike tour.
||Minnesota State College and University System Foundation member Bob Erickson, center, prepares to kick-off his third annual 53-campus bike tour to raise awareness for the financial difficulties faced by part-time students. Accompanying him on his ride from Coon Rapids to Cambridge are his personal friend, Dr. Howard Bean, left, and Bill Tschida, right, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources for the Minnesota State College and University System.|
"The challenges for students are growing," Erickson said during the kick-off to his bike tour Monday in Coon Rapids. "Tuition continues to go up. Many, many people are being denied a chance to better themselves."
MNSCU comprises seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 240,000 students per year in credit-based courses and 45 percent of all students are enrolled part-time. The average age of part-time students is 30.
Erickson hopes his rides will force change. "You have to constantly keep the message in front of people. You have to keep going to make a difference. The only way to make it happen is to just keep banging away," Erickson said.
ABOUT ANOKA RAMSEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Anoka-Ramsey Community College, with campuses in Coon Rapids and Cambridge, has been a leading provider of higher education and training in the north suburban area of Minneapolis/St. Paul and East Central Minnesota since 1965. Annually, the college serves more than 9,000 learners of all ages as they pursue associate degrees that transfer as the first two years of a bachelor's degree, or certificate programs that lead immediately to rewarding careers. Anoka-Ramsey Community College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.