The Victor Valley College Foundation: Building A Better Community College

By Nolan P. Smith

High Desert Daily

(Victorville)– This February, the Victor Valley College Foundation will be holding their annual event to raise funds for the betterment of not only the college, but for the High Desert as a whole. Not only that, but an online auction is already on its way, with the proceeds going directly to the foundation and it’s many purposes.

What exactly is the foundation and it’s mission? Victor Valley College Foundation Executive Director Ginger Ontiveros helped explain what the foundation is all about. “Our job is basically to help Victor Valley College better serve our community. We provide scholarships for students who need help accessing the college, we purchase equipment that allows the college to teach new technologies, we add classes to the college schedule, we help them upgrade facilities; we do the things that are necessary but not funded by the state. It really is about helping Victor Valley College to better serve the High Desert.”

In February, the foundation’s annual event, one of its major sources for raising funds to assist the community college, will be taking center stage. The Victor Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards Celebration takes place on February 23rd at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victorville, and according to Ontiveros, it has a dual purpose. “It is both an opportunity to recognize success and service in our community as well as the foundation’s primary fundraising event, which supports our mission.”

The event has taking place annually for the past twenty years, as the community comes together to celebrate the desert’s outstanding citizens and leaders. This year’s honored guests include 2013 Alumni Hall of Famer Winner Robert Kniss, Distinguished Service Education Award Winners Robert Sewell and John Hardell, Distinguished Service Community Award Winner Robert Lovingood, and 2013 Presidents’ Award Winner Joe Range.

Yet the event is not the only current fundraiser the foundation has at the moment. The 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame Online Auction is online right now, with proceeds going directly to help the foundation in providing scholarships and educational grants to better serve the students. Items on the auction vary, from Universal Studios tickets, autographed memorabilia and even a 32 GB Mini iPad. The donated items up for bids offer something for everyone, and all are up to raise funds for a great cause.

Longtime Victorville City Council Member and community leader Mike Rothschild spoke to High Desert Daily Friday about the foundation, as well as the importance of community college. Having been a high school mathematics teacher for 33 years, as well as having taught at both the local community college and in the Antelope Valley, Rothschild knows the importance of education, especially in today’s workforce environment. “The foundation is very important because what it does is it supports our community college in special areas where they can focus on the businesses unique to the High Desert. That gives us a competitive edge in California where a lot of areas, their community colleges doesn’t take as direct or active role as ours does. I’m a big supporter of the community college.”

Adapting to the needs of employers, especially employers unique to the High Desert, is something that the foundation, and in turn Victor Valley College, seems to excel at according to Rothschild. “The foundation is that special support area that you don’t get from the state, and you won’t get. I’m excited for the foundations work, always have been, and they continue to change with the times and identify the needs. Ours seems to have a unique way of identifying the needs in the business community and then translate them into a classroom environment.”

The Victor Valley College Foundation is an independent partner of the college, and is a 501 (c) regional education foundation operating as a public benefit corporation in the state of California. For more information on the event in February, as well as to view the online auction and learn more about the foundation, make sure to visit them online at

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