Celebrating a decade of providing essential support for Chicago area community college students, One Million Degrees (OMD) raised a record $775,000 – 40% more than a year ago – at its 10th Anniversary Food & Wine Tasting on June 2nd. Co-chaired by Deb Gross, Caroline Grossinger, and Rose Lizarraga, the benefit attracted nearly 600 people, who set the stage for helping 1,000 high-potential community college scholars across Chicago by 2018 succeed in school, work, and life.
Speaking at the event, OMD CEO Paige Ponder thanked the OMD founders - David Scherer, Rose Lizarraga, Michael Golden, Michael Episcope, Thania Panopoulos, and Connie Mixon – “for starting something beautiful and for never walking away from it. You have changed thousands of lives, including my own. You are having the ripple effect that you foresaw – ripples that will grow, over time, to reach One Million Degrees of impact.”
One of the evening’s highlights featured inspiring speeches by four OMD alumni Scholars:
- Selena Torres, a 2016 graduate of Truman College, studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois;
- Shaina Henderson, a 2013 graduate of Harold Washington College and of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016, now a Financial Institution Specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
- Joyce Campbell-Smith, a 2017 graduate of Daley College, who will be attending Elmhurst College in the fall;
- Michael Angelo Quiroz, a 2016 graduate of the College of Lake County, studying Sales at Central Michigan University.