H.O.P.E. granted $238,000

Celia Lira

Project Health Opportunities and Pipeline to Education has been granted $238,000 to continue its mission of increasing the number of Latinos and other disadvantaged students pursuing a career in health occupations.

Project H.O.P.E. and Court Reporting and Captioning Career Department are the two programs at Cerritos College that were granted appropriation funding on March 11 when President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Appropriation Bill into law.

This is the first time that the college receives this kind of funding.

Rosalia Arellano, Project H.O.P.E. program assistant, said, “I’m excited and hopeful that we will continue to secure additional funding, with funding you can do so much more and grow a program.”

She adds, “The funding will ensure continuation of Project H.O.P.E. and to expand the much-needed program services to middle school and high school students.”

The funds have not been received by the college; it is expected to be available by late summer, if not later.

Graciela Vasquez, Project H.O.P.E. director, and Steve Richardson, executive director of Cerritos College Foundations, sent out the request on Jan. 22.

They requested a total of $258,540.

The budget was made for the original amount but since the program was granted less than requested, it may change.

The plans for it are:

  • Salaries for the director, program assistant, temporary hourly, tutors and outreach specialists,
  • employee benefits,
  • equipment, laptops for high school outreach,
  • supplies and materials for advertising, educational materials, project supplies, outreach materials, printing publications and miscellaneous office supplies and
  • administrative overhead.

Vasquez explains, “When you have a program like this, it requires dedicated time, people to serve in counseling and tutoring, and administrative staff.”

This is why a large percentage of the funding will be going toward salaries and employee benefits.

Lissette Walle, nursing/physical therapy major, said, “It’s exciting that they are getting more funding, they keep me informed with what’s going on. It takes us to fieldtrips, lends us book and materials; it makes it easier for me.”