The Red Rocks Community College Foundation is looking to help students change the world with its new partnerships with the Arvada Sister Cities International organization.
Together the two have created the Arvada Sister Cities International Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to students who study renewable energy, sustainability and international studies.
“We wanted to set up a scholarship program for this, particularly because Red Rocks didn’t have anything like it,” said Edna Gordon, a member of the executive board at large of the Arvada Sister Cities program.
The Arvada Sister Cities International Scholarship only reviews applicants from Arvada Public High School, Arvada West High School, Arvada High School, Pomona High School, and Ralston Valley High School.
According to Ron Slinger, executive director of the Red Rocks foundation, the program was started after a challenge fund was offered to the school. If the school could put up $10,000, that money would be matched.
“We’d done something similar with the Arvada Elks organization,” Slinger said. “If we can turn $10,000 into $20,000 for scholarships, all the better.”
Gordon said Sister Cities International grew out of a program initiated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1950s for the purpose of promoting world peace through people-to-people contact.
“Right now China is our predominant sister city (nation),” she said. “We were recently able to send nine students from Arvada Middle School to China for two weeks.”
One of the big things the relationship with China is discussing is sustainability, which Gordon said is becoming increasingly important for both countries.
“It’s a great program for learning and we’d love to see more international programs,” she said.
Slinger said the scholarship is a great new tool to help students become familiar with the school and what it offers.
“This is great groundwork for us since we’re looking to expand our Arvada campus,” he said. “We’re very pleased to be working with this organization.