Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

Edson Family Scholarship Fund


Provide economic opportunity for disadvantaged African American men in the Pasadena/Altadena area by offering scholarships for career and technical education at trade schools and community colleges in Los Angeles County.  The desired scholarship recipient is 17-24 years of age.

Career and technical education provides a viable alternative for individuals who do not or cannot seek a degree from a college or university.  Industry certifications qualify graduates for meaningful careers, and economic viability.

Edson Family Scholarships will support:

  • Tuition and academic related expenses up to $7,500.00 with education and training periods up to one year.
  • Students attending nonprofit trade schools and community colleges that provide career and technical education and training for skilled labor jobs, along with certificates/diplomas. Programs should have a history of successful job placement.

Examples of industries that require skilled labor and / or technical training:

  • Automotive
  • Biotechnology
  • Commercial Driving
  • Computer Programming
  • Construction
  • Graphic Artistry
  • Health Care
  • Heavy Equipment Operation
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales

Case for Support

There is a wide skills gap in our country:

  • Conventional wisdom in the United States is that a costly, four-year degree is the best path for success and happiness.
  • Our culture has glorified the corner office job while unintentionally overlooking the importance of jobs that helped construct the building of that office.
  • Alternative learning institutions such as community colleges and trade schools with career and technical training opportunities and / or apprenticeship programs are excellent alternatives for those unable or unwilling to obtain a four-year degree.
  • The push for higher education has coincided with the removal of vocational arts from high schools nationwide.
  • The effects of this cultural shift have laid the foundation for a widening skills gap and massive student loan debt.
  • Millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them.
  • A significant number of today’s college graduates with jobs aren’t working in their field of study, and collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loans.
  • The solution is a new appreciation for skilled labor. Skilled workers with fulfilling careers and good wages provide the opportunity to thrive in local communities and throughout the nation.
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