KVCC Foundation

Kalamazoo Valley Foundation

Opportunities For Education Fundraising Dinner Presents Veronika Scott of the Empowerment Plan

Veronika Scott - Save the Date!

The Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation has announced the keynote speaker for this year’s Opportunities for Education Scholarship Fundraising Dinner. Veronika Scott will take center stage at the May 23 event which is a primary source of funding for Kalamazoo Valley student scholarships.

Scott is the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. The Empowerment Plan hires single parents from local shelters and provides them with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. They manufacture coats designed to meet the needs of those in the homeless community. The durable EMPWR Coat can transform into a sleeping bag at night or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. Since 2012, the organization has provided employment to 45 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families —and distributed more than 25,000 coats to those in need across the world.

Scott was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when she was challenged to create a product to fill an actual need in her community during a class at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She embraced the issue of homelessness and began spending time at a nearby warming center where the design for the EMPWR coat was born. While conducting her research, Scott was angrily confronted by a homeless woman who said she did not need a coat - she needed a job. That was the moment that shaped the innovative business practices The Empowerment Plan would adopt. For her extraordinary efforts, Scott was named a “Visionary Woman” by CNN in 2016.

Scott joins the Foundation for its 14th annual OFE Dinner. According to Steve Doherty, executive director of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, the need for financial aid among students has continued to rise steadily. In 2016-17, Kalamazoo Valley Community College processed more than 14,000 requests for financial aid. Of those requests, 41 percent received some form of financial aid. The number of financial aid applications continues to increase each year and the Foundation’s scholarship fund is one way the college works to meet student needs.

The dinner runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in downtown Kalamazoo. The pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program which concludes at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $160 for individuals and $75 each for students. Sponsor tables that seat eight are available for $1,600. To order tickets, go to www.kvcc.edu/foundation. For more information about the event and the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, contact Executive Director Steve Doherty, 269.488.4442 or email: sdoherty@kvcc.edu.

Please enter the number of tickets of each type that you would like to purchase.

Student - $75:  
General Seating - $160:  
Corporate Table (8) - $1600:  

The Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, an independent 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, is one way the college works to assist students with financial needs. The Foundation was established in 1980 to accept and administer unrestricted contributions and those designated for specific purposes, such as student scholarships, the purchase of equipment to improve instruction, and the construction of new facilities.

The Foundation's annual Opportunities for Education dinner is hosted each spring and is the main source of funding for the Foundation. For more information or to contribute to the Foundation, go to www.kvcc.edu/foundation/support.htm.


For more than 50 years, Kalamazoo Valley Community College has been providing life-changing experiences for students and their families. Although the college offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, many of our students can’t afford to attend college without assistance.

During the 2016-17 school year, the college processed more than 14,000 requests for financial aid. Of these requests, only 41% or 5,775 students received some form of financial aid. The number of financial aid applications continues to increase each year and the Foundation’s scholarship funds help meet student needs.