PHOENIX (February 27, 2023) — The Arizona Lottery’s Gives Back program and Phoenix Public Library have teamed up to support higher education in Arizona through $50,000 in funding for their College Depot program. Phoenix Public Library Foundation (PPLF) and the Arizona Lottery hosted an open lab on Thursday, February 23 at Burton Barr Central Library. About 325 students and their families were in attendance and were able to apply for scholarships and receive post-secondary education information from professionals.
The event featured workshops to help students better understand scholarships and the application process, including scholarship essay workshops, and a meet and greet with more than 20 scholarship companies and community organizations, like Earn to Learn, Arizona Community Foundation, Phoenix Union Foundation for Education, and Education Forducation Arizona.
Phoenix Public Library’s College Depot program helps bridge the “digital divide" through the GRIT (Graduating Ready, Independent, and Tenacious) program, which is designed to provide high school seniors from underserved communities the tools they need to succeed as first-generation college students. Arizona Lottery’s $50,000 in funding has been used to purchase laptops and internet connectivity equipment, including hotspots, for participants in the GRIT program.
“Higher education is essential for Arizona’s future and we are proud to support the Phoenix Public Library and their College Depot program,” said John Gilliland, Arizona Lottery Public Information Officer. “College Depot and GRIT are providing these students with the resources they need to achieve a brighter future for themselves, and to build a better Arizona for future generations. The Arizona Lottery is all about investing in our communities to make dreams like these come true and this collaboration is just one example of how we are doing that every day.”
The Arizona Lottery’s Gives Back program has historically funded programs that benefit the public through higher education, economic development, environmental conservation, and health and human services. Proceeds from Lottery ticket sales fund programs in these areas, and during the 2022 fiscal year, the Arizona Lottery gave back nearly $270 million to several state programs.
The Phoenix Public Library’s College Depot program is a free college access center that offers one-on-one assistance to students and families as they plan for college. The program provides help with scholarship and financial aid applications, college entrance exams, and college applications. The College Depot program helps get students college ready by helping them with post-secondary admissions and enrollment, hosting financial aid workshops, and preparing them for the SAT/ACT exams.
“We are incredibly grateful for this Arizona Lottery Gives Back Sponsorship,” said Kelly Bushong, Executive Director of the Phoenix Public Library Foundation. “With their support College Depot will be able to help students complete the critical milestones for college success. This will truly change the lives of the students and families we serve.”
To learn more about the Phoenix Public Library College Depot program, click here.
To learn more about the Arizona Lottery Gives Back program, click here.