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Sasquatch Celebrity - Meet Amber!


Meet our June Sasquatch Celebrity, Amber McKenzie!

Amber near the sphinxWhat CCS Foundation program or scholarship do you support and why? 

Through automatic payroll deduction, I proudly support the Jacqueline Hanke Memorial Fund for International Students and here’s why: 70% of our CCS international students indicate their biggest challenge in studying in the U.S. and at CCS is accessing additional funding and scholarship opportunities. International students do not qualify for most scholarships given their non-citizen status, and do not qualify for state or federal work study opportunities or financial aid. Additionally, international tuition is 2.8 times more than in-state tuition, which is still an excellent value for a US education, but with inflation rates and currency devaluation in many countries, the cost of everything is higher for students and their families (which we can all relate to). I give to this Foundation fund so that international students with unexpected emergency situations can continue their studies and feel they are being supported by their home away from home here in Spokane.

Why do you choose to donate to the Foundation?  

I absolutely love working with international students, and believe very strongly in internationalizing CCS in meaningful and transformative ways – and welcoming international students on our campuses is one of those ways in that they bring a wealth of diverse perspectives, languages, cultural and religious viewpoints, and more, to SFCC and SCC. The Jacqueline Hanke Memorial Fund for International students is the one Foundation scholarship dedicated specifically to international students on a non-immigrant visa here to study. It is meant to assist high achieving international students (3.0 GPA+) who are faced with unexpected financial/family/personal hardships to continue their studies without having to return home. 

The following are some of the reasons international students have needed this scholarship most recently: 

  • Unexpected death, divorce, or loss of job of a family member funding the student’s studies  

  • Ongoing war in home country disrupts banking/payment transactions 

  • Natural disaster in the home country affects families and their ability to communicate and send funds

  • Political unrest, uncertainty, and extreme currency fluctuations in the home country 

  • Family discontinues financial support due to student’s personal choices that conflict with cultural/family norms (coming out, pregnancy, relationship, etc.). 

AmberIf you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

My answer to this question changes daily as I meet new students, friends and colleagues from all over the world. So far, I have traveled to over 28 countries to visit old friends and meet new ones, and my goal is to visit at least 28 more before I die. At the moment, I would love to visit the continent of Africa and travel to ALL the countries our current international students come from (so I can meet their families and they can show me around!), which include Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Egypt (see pics!), Libya, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Uganda! Sounds like a pretty good bucket list, yes? 

Sasquatch Celebrity is a monthly feature that introduces CCS to the staff who support the CCS Foundation's students and programs.

Posted On

6/8/2023 8:29:28 AM

Posted By

Leah Butterwick


 CCS Education News Scholarship

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