VCCF Power of Purpose Newsletter – May 29, 2023

 In Newsletters

Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,

This month, because of the generosity of hundreds of VCCF donors and our incredible Scholarship Selection Committee, 429 scholarships were awarded to 341 students in Ventura County, totaling $1,432,532 in support. Letters of gratitude are already pouring in from students who describe the financial assistance as “life-changing,” “validating,” “a huge relief,” and “filling me with hope.”

Benjamin Franklin reminds us that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” At VCCF, we certainly believe this to be true and I specifically want to thank Kirsti Thompson, Emily Marostica, and Tracy Tagawa on VCCF’s staff team for their herculean efforts this season.

For those that may not know, we had over 20% more applicants this year than ever before and I personally can’t wait for the day that all qualified candidates receive the financial support and assistance needed to pursue their dreams. If you would like to get involved with VCCF’s Scholarship Program, please contact Emily at

Finally, I hope you will join me in celebrating the Ventura County Leadership Academy’s Cohort XXVIII. It was so heartwarming to spend Thursday evening with these incredible leaders and, Pattie Braga, we are so grateful to you and VCLA’s Board of Directors for all you do to support Ventura County and our collective futures. I encourage all to learn more at VCLA’s website.

My very best to you,


Vanessa Bechtel, VCCF President & CEO

VCCF Hosts Dr. Lucy Jones Event

VCCF was honored to host the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and the North Valley Community Foundation for a wildfire conversation at the VCCF Nonprofit Center. Thank you to all community attendees for your thoughtful insights and personal stories.

If you missed this incredible experience and want to join future conversations, please email evarela@vccf.or​g.

Thank You, Scholarship Selection Committee!

An infographic of the statistics from the 2023 Scholarship Selection Committee "Thank you to our 2023 Scholarship Selection Committee! Over 120 volunteer readers in 2023. 3 readers review every application. 980 applicants and over 6,000 applications. Thousands of collective hours reading, reviewing, and scoring. 60 average applications read per volunteer."

We have just last week notified local students of their meaningful scholarship awards made possible by generous donors. Please join us in recognizing our VCCF Scholarship Selection Committee for all their hard work to help connect students with scholarship opportunities to achieve their educational and career dreams and aspirations!

Lunch & Learn on Animal Welfare in Ventura County

A YouTube thumbnail of the Animal Welfare Lunch & Learn presentation

If you missed last week’s Virtual Donor Lunch & Learn, we wholeheartedly recommend you watch the recording of these touching presentations. You’ll be moved to both tears and smiles as the Humane Society of Ventura County and Ventura County Animal Services’ Pets for Life Program share their recent work with the families and furry friends in need in our community.

VCCF President & CEO Named Woman of the Year

VCCF President & CEO Vanessa Bechtel smiling with members of the VCCF Board at an award ceremony

Congratulations to VCCF’s President & CEO Vanessa Bechtel for being named Woman of the Year by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce! Vanessa shared, “I’m here because Ventura County is a generous community. I’m also here because we share a vision that we are ALL neighbors and we ALL count – somos vecinos y todos contamos.” She also reminded us that this is a team effort stating, “I’m so grateful for the incredible VCCF Board and staff team, our volunteers, and generous donors without whom this wouldn’t be possible.”

Power of Community

Good News from YOUR Ventura Community

Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council

Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council, a local nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that our local communities are fire resilient, safe, and prepared to withstand the threat of wildfire, provided their insight at the recent Dr. Lucy Jones wildfire conversation event. They shared with the group about the resources they offer and their home wildfire assessment, a free service that helps you learn about how to best protect and prepare your home for the next wildfire. Learn more about their assessment and their other free tools below.

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