by Diane VanDyke
Waste Management recently donated $5,000 through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program to Montgomery County Community College to help support the high school students participating in the College’s Gateway to College program.
The Gateway to College program was created by Portland Community College in 2000 to support students who are at risk of not completing or have disengaged from their high school education. Through the program, students complete their high school diploma requirements while simultaneously earning college credits at a community or technical college.
For Norristown students, Khary Harris and Rosemary Lux, the Gateway program has provided life-changing opportunities for them.
“I used to think there was no way I could go college,” said Harris, who wants to be an entrepreneur and own a construction business. “Gateway gave me the chance to attend college and be something other than a high-school dropout.”
Similarly, Lux says the program provides the support she needs to successfully complete her classes and focus on her dream of becoming a nurse.
“It is so rewarding to meet hard-working students like Khary and Rosemary, who are benefiting from the Gateway to College program. Waste Management has been a corporate participant in the EITC Program since its inception, and through the program, has invested more than $9 million dollars in the future of Pennsylvania youth. We are truly pleased to be the inaugural EITC grantor to Montgomery County Community College and their Gateway to College program,” said Patty Barthel, Public Affairs, Waste Management.
Montgomery County Community College is one of 43 institutions in the country selected to participate in the Gateway to College National Network (GCNN) and received a $325,000 four-year contract from GCNN to implement the program starting in September 2013. Currently, 21 students are enrolled at each of the campuses located in Blue Bell and Pottstown.
“This generous donation from Waste Management will help students with gap expenses, including meals and other items, not covered by their school districts or the Gateway to College program,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, Montgomery County Community College president. “Your gift means a lot to our students.”
The state Department of Community and Economic Development recently approved the College’s Dual Enrollment program as an innovative educational program that is eligible to receive funding through EITC. Dual Enrollment allows students to earn both high school and college credits for successfully completing college courses. State-approved businesses are eligible for tax credits when they make donations through EITC.
“The EITC Program partners business with educational facilities to provide a quality educational opportunity for students to better prepare to enter and be a positive influence in the workplace,” said state Senator John Rafferty, who attended the check presentation.
State Rep. Mary Jo Daley also attended the presentation and praised the benefits of dual enrollment programs for students.
“Dual Enrollment programs provide great value and opportunity to students, and Montgomery County Community College’s Gateway to College Program is no different. This is a great use of EITC funds and I thank Waste Management for their generosity and support of these students,” said state Rep. Daley.
For more information about Montgomery County Community College and/or the Gateway to College program, visit mc3.edu.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Its subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest residential recycler and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit wm.com.