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Donors - Schoolhouse Soiree
AWC Foundation

Donors

Donors play a vital role in supporting the academic future of students. By providing scholarships and other forms of financial aid, donors help students access higher education and achieve their academic goals.

Why Give?

The AWC Foundation works to strengthen educational opportunities in our community by raising funds for scholarships, programs, and capital projects at AWC. 

Our donors understand the importance of their generosity. Besides tax credits, donors have a personal connection to our cause. A thoughtful way of remembering someone special and creating a living legacy is by making a gift to the Foundation in honor, or in memory, of an individual. Memorial gifts can include a scholarship in the name of the person, or a room or building dedication. 

Don’t take our word for it, hear it from our donors! 

Join Us!

Join Us! Hear what our donors have to say!

AWC District Governing Board Member, Olivia Zepeda, supports AWC Foundation.

Donor Spotlight

  • The Heriberto Amaya Solano Memorial Scholarship

    I must’ve been 10 or 12 years old. I was sitting across from my grandfather under the porch of his home in El Golfo de Santa Clara, in Sonora, Mexico. He was rocking in his chair and he was barefoot. He always went barefoot, in those days. He must’ve been in his mid-60s then and he was smoking a stubby cigar, the sweet cigars he’d buy across the border, in Arizona. We weren’t speaking, we were just sitting and looking out to the street. It was a calm, spring day—days that in the shade, feel cool, and in the sun, feel warm. Now that my grandfather is no longer living, this is what I miss the most: the quiet times in which there’s an absolute calmness, because the person in the world you trust the most, is there, sitting, without prejudices. His life was a dramatic life. I heard about his youth from others: he fished in the Sea of Cortez for the better part of forty years, he built with his bare hands a commercial fishing boat, El Río Suchiate, in the early 70s. He lost a fortune in the venture of El Río Suchiate, but that did not make him a bitter man. I do not know if I were in his place, I would have kept my outlook on life.   He knew more than anyone I have met, how to rest and sleep easy. He’d wake up every day at 5 a.m., like the working of a clock. I learned from him how to cook. Frijoles and ceviche and menudo and lengua. Pescado lampriado and bistec and carne con chile rojo or chile verde. I remember that on rare occasions, he’d use the disco to make machaca de mantarraya for the whole family.  He built his own home and the homes of my tíos with his own hands. He was always teaching, in a way that did not make you feel ignorant, unable to continue. We built two porches together and I wish I could have built a third. Up until the early 70s, there was no schoolhouse for the children. So he, along with other community leaders, built a home for the educators. And they built a schoolhouse. This was only a temporary fix, because this school only served little children. So when my grandfather’s girls, my aunt and mother, were left without a way to continue their education, a collection was taken up. And my grandfather traveled to the U.S. to purchase a school bus that transported the children to a secundaria nearby. I remember when I was a boy, my grandfather was appointed delegado, a municipal administrator tasked to maintain the peace. I remember he carried out this work with strength. Even in his 70s, his hands held a stronger grip than my own. He would speak of carrying heavy anchors in his fishing work and show us grandchildren how to tie elegant knots, knots he used to tie and tow heavy fiberglass skiffs the people call pangas. And in his work as delegado, he never carried a weapon. I suppose he realized, if you want to maintain the peace, you have to go with peace, in everything you do. Perhaps, this is true strength. So many people now say, it is so dangerous in Mexico. The cartels are running black markets and trading endangered fish in the Sea of Cortez. Sometimes I hear gunshots in the night and I do not know how to distinguish between those sounds and losing hope, because of all the poverty around us. Sometimes the gunshots are closer to us: two people I grew up with were shot in their chests. And it was my grandfather and grandmother who transported them, bleeding, to the nearest hospital, 60 miles away. Because of these acts, our two friends survived this violence. In the early 90s, my grandfather moved to the United States, in order to better provide for the education of his youngest child. He found work at Chicanos por la Causa, and I remember the children called to him by his nickname, Chato, Don Chato. He worked as a handyman and as a custodian. When I think about it, my grandfather always worked in jobs that are of use. Fishing provided food, a home. And building and maintaining provided roofs over our heads. And I must’ve been 10 or 12 years old, when I was sitting across from my grandfather who was barefoot and the air smelled like wet and black earth from the cigar he was smoking. Yes, I think I was about that age, because, just then, I saw a man fall in the street. The man had fainted and I was scared and I did not know what to do. There was others in the street and passing cars. No one seemed to move to help—I was no different. But I saw my grandfather stand up, put out his cigar. He tapped me on my shoulder and pointed. He walked to the man and we helped him onto the pickup truck and to the clinic. At the clinic, the man regained his breath. If I can validate the life of my abuelo with these words, it is to speak this wisdom: to live an honest life is to act for others, whenever you are called upon to act for others.  All these actions of his, and so many others, make up the wisdom that is in all of us, in our pueblos. To use our biographies and privileges to contribute to the long lineage of learning. This scholarship honors my grandfather’s life and memory. My family and I hope this will help to encourage students to succeed, whenever they are called upon to.

Frequently Asked Questions

You'll find frequently asked questions below, if you have additional questions then please contact us at foundation@azwestern.edu or (928) 344-1720.

The minimum to establish an endowed scholarship fund is $10,000.

An endowment is way of investing that ensures your gift is a permanent source of funding that makes fulfilling the scholarship’s purpose possible, forever. The principal of the endowment is never spent and can grow over time. Interest earnings are used to make annual scholarship awards.

The average award is $500/semester. Scholarship award amounts vary depending on the size of the fund, the number of qualified applicants, and the criteria of the fund.