CCA Announces Recipients of Inaugural Amazon Presidential Scholarship

Dr. Brownlee discusses how the scholarship will create opportunities for students beyond the classroom, preparing them for careers in their area of study. Click the play button to watch the video.

Video created by CCA’s Department of Strategic Communications



Read the press release below from March announcing the scholarship program:


Aurora, CO — Today the Community College of Aurora (CCA) announced the launch of its new Presidential Scholars Program made possible by the financial support and contribution of Amazon’s gift of seventy thousand dollars ($70,000). What began as a vision conceptualized by CCA President Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee, has blossomed into a strategic initiative that will attract and retain a new generation of scholars to CCA’s campuses.

The Presidential Scholars Program will combine scholarship resources, leadership development experiences, and career mentoring by business leaders. “The Community College of Aurora is proud to be a launching pad for students to begin their academic journey and realize economic mobility. Our new Presidential Scholars Program will attract highly decorated learners to our institution,” said Dr. Brownlee in his remarks to the crowd.

The investment in the Presidential Scholars Program is part of Amazon’s broader Upskilling pledge. Amazon’s UpSkilling commitment, which includes greater access to education and skills training across the country and Colorado, is one that Brittany Morris Saunders, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs for the Denver Region, says, “will create high wage and high earning opportunities for individuals around the world. We couldn’t think of a better school to partner with than the Community College of Aurora.”

CCA is one of the most diverse colleges in the State of Colorado. Thirty-three percent of the college’s student population identify as a member within the LatinX community. Sixty-five percent of its student population identifies as Black, Indigenous or People of Color; and more than fifty percent of those enrolled are first generation college students.

“The Presidential Scholarship is a win-win for students and industry,” said Joe Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System. “The program’s holistic approach will make CCA Presidential scholars eminently employable while cultivating the next generation of leaders who will move Aurora—and our state—forward.”

“Due to Amazon’s philanthropic investment at CCA, we’ll be able to continue to serve students from around the world,” added John Wolfkill, Executive Director of the CCA Foundation.

Monday’s event drew an excess of 100 community partners, elected officials, students, faculty, staff, and instructors, a gathering that J. Adam Cermak, Chief Development Officer and Executive Director of the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges credits as, “demonstrating the value of such partnerships in helping students persist toward a credential.  The CCCS Foundation is proud to bring together CCA and Amazon in this initiative.”

The first cohort of scholarship recipients will be announced on May 18th. Ten students will be chosen and awarded $3,000 annually, with one additional recipient being a CCA student who is also an Amazon Career Choice participant. Students can begin applying to the scholarship today (3/6) by visiting the link provided HERE. To apply students must have:

  • Earned or expect to earn a high school diploma or GED by July 2023
  • Earned at least 12 college credits through CCA
  • Complete the FAFSA or CASFA (Financial Aid application), if eligible to complete

Dr. Brownlee closed by saying, “A scholarship and leadership development program of this magnitude is the first in our institution’s 39 year history. This generous contribution coupled with our world-class programming, will propel our students into Colorado’s workforce.”