Access to higher education is now greatly increased thanks to the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship, which the Allegany County Commissioners authorized in a resolution adopted Dec. 19 (“Slots revenue plan receives approval,” Dec. 20 Times-News, Page 1A).
This forward-thinking program, which will benefit Allegany County residents enrolled at Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University, is funded with new revenue generated by the Rocky Gap Casino Resort.
The commissioners are to be commended for dedicating the great majority of these earnings — 70 percent of an estimated $700,000 this fiscal year — to the county’s future. Their investment will greatly enhance economic opportunities for our citizens and our community by supporting education, job training and career preparation.
This initiative by our elected officials reflects well on us as a community and supports individuals and families who are looking to improve their own circumstances and to make a greater contribution to the larger society. The new Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship will give them that chance.
These new scholarship funds — to be administered by the non-profit Foundations at ACM and FSU — stand to greatly increase participation in higher education by students for whom financial barriers keep from reaching their full potential. Regrettably, dreams denied have been all too common in our county.
The future of the region’s well-being is dependent on having an educated and skilled work force and Allegany College of Maryland is committed to serving as an educational partner to remedy this need through opportunities in credit and continuing education.
We will continue to develop and enhance our academic and career credit programs and our workforce development offerings at all levels in continuing education to meet the needs of our community.
We also utilize technology to further enhance the quality of higher education for which ACM is well known.
On behalf of our board of trustees, our foundation board of directors, our faculty and staff, and most importantly, our students, we thank the county commissioners for their support of the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship and are most grateful for their vision to make it happen.
Cynthia S. Bambara, president; Kim B. Leonard, chairman, board of trustees; Audie G. Klingler, president, Foundation board of directors
Allegany College of Maryland