The Lemoine Company is committed to making education attainable for at-risk populations in Acadiana, thanks to a recent investment in South Louisiana Community College. The general contracting and construction management firm recently invested $30,000 to support student scholarships through an endowment at SLCC.
The endowment will support SLCC’s College to Church effort, which brings educational opportunities to underserved populations through religious congregations. True to its name, College to Church meets with interested individuals in their places of worship and walks them through the enrollment process, financial aid, and the college’s selection of majors. SLCC is committed to teaching courses within the congregation if enough individuals are interested.
The Lemoine Company and its president/CEO Lenny Lemoine gained interest in the College to Church program after learning about it from SLCC’s chancellor, Dr. Natalie Harder. Earning a college credential or degree can break the cycle of poverty in many instances.
“We are honored to have been a part of the tremendous growth and influence that SLCC is having on our community. We applaud the innovation and energy that Natalie Harder and her team have displayed in creating a best-of-class workforce development solution for Acadiana,” said Lemoine.
The $30,000 Lemoine investment was approved for a $20,000 match from the Louisiana Board of Regents, for a $50,000 total endowment.
Scholarship endowments like the Lemoine investment create a lasting legacy while benefiting generations of students. The principal of a scholarship endowment remains invested by the SLCC Foundation, and scholarships are awarded from the allocated income earned on the principal investment. This allows for long-term sustainability of student support, especially amid rising college costs.
Since 2012, the SLCC Foundation has distributed more than $350,000 in annual student scholarships. Its total endowment, including endowed scholarships, has also more than tripled since 2014.
“This endowment began simply as a discussion on ways to get more individuals in Acadiana educated and in local, sustainable jobs that can support families in our communities,” said Dr. Natalie Harder, SLCC’s chancellor. “Lenny and his team understand that education is the great equalizer for our at-risk students and first-generation college-goers. We become a better community all-around by raising our educational level.”
Once the endowment begins generating earnings, the scholarship will be awarded through a competitive process. To qualify for the Lemoine Company Endowed First-Generation Scholarship, students must be a Louisiana resident, a first-generation student (neither parent or legal guardian has earned a college degree), and must be awarded a full Pell grant.
“It is no surprise a company that’s been in business 40+ years and brands itself as ‘built to last’ becomes a strong staple in the community through more than just its daily work,” said Bently Senegal, president of the SLCC Foundation. “We are honored to have the Lemoine Company supporting our mission of economic and workforce development at SLCC.”
The SLCC Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation established in 2003 for the mission of supporting the activities of South Louisiana Community College. Over the last three years, the SLCC Foundation has raised a $2.1 million match for a $17 million Health & Sciences building for the college’s Lafayette campus, more than doubled its endowment through new scholarships and professorships, increased employee giving from 1.8% to over 50%, and implemented the college’s largest-ever scholarship program.
ABOUT ACADIANA’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE
South Louisiana Community College is a comprehensive community college that operates campuses in Abbeville, Crowley, Franklin, Lafayette, New Iberia, Opelousas, St. Martinville, and Ville Platte. The college serves more than 13,000 students annually and offers an array of academic programs. Students earn associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates, and industry-based certifications. It is ranked 14th among the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers as determined by Community College Week.