skip to main content

El Camino College Awards $600,000 in Student Scholarships for 2018-19

Kayla Atkinson’s time at El Camino College was full of many highlights: interesting classes, great friends and excellent teachers who cared about her success. She even sang the national anthem at ECC’s Commencement in 2017 and again in 2018 with her graduating class. But it’s hard to top traveling to New York City and performing in Carnegie Hall. 

“When I went to Carnegie Hall, it was also my first time in New York City; I’ve seen it in movies but to be there was amazing – my heart feels at home there,” said the music major who performed with the ECC Chorale this past spring under the direction of professor Joanna Medawar Nachef. “I felt comfortable and I enjoyed the environment. I always thought that this is where I should be and when I got there, it was confirmed.” 

Kayla plans to focus on voice when she transfers to California State University, Fullerton in the fall and will have a lighter financial burden when she begins university classes – she recently received the Norma Kayser Memorial Scholarship Endowment for the Arts. This $2,000 award is part of the El Camino College Foundation Scholarship Program and available to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who are planning a career in music.   

“Being a recipient of the Norma Kayser Scholarship was so humbling and extremely encouraging to me,” Kayla said. “It showed me that a career in music is viable, and that there are so many supportive people out there who want to see young and upcoming artists succeed. It’s honestly so mind-blowing to me that people who I don’t even know provide ways to financially help students like me, and I am incredibly blessed to have been selected as a winner of this scholarship!” 

Scholarships from the El Camino College Foundation will play a part in helping hundreds of students like Kayla reach their goals during the upcoming academic year. The El Camino College Foundation Scholarship Program will award approximately $600,000 to over 550 students for 2018-2019. Recipients had the opportunity to meet donors at the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on May 10. 

“The El Camino College Foundation Scholarship Program would not be possible without the benefactors who have generously contributed to the success of our students,” said El Camino College President Dena P. Maloney. “Scholarships help students achieve their dreams of a higher education. The support of our alumni, partners and donors will ensure students receive scholarships now and for generations to come.” 

The diverse scholarship program at El Camino College provides critical support to students in a variety of academic disciplines. Awards are based on academic achievement, financial need, leadership and community service, organizational and campus club affiliations, among other criteria. 

In addition to scholarship opportunities, Kayla also had access to student clubs, performance opportunities and the Opera Workshop at El Camino College. She said that her professors were key to her success.

“The biggest and best part about El Camino College is the teachers – they are all so encouraging, very supportive and diligent in holding me accountable and making sure that I was on track to earn my degree,” Kayla said. “They really care.” 

For more information about the El Camino College Foundation Scholarship Program, contact the El Camino College Foundation at or call 310-660-3683.

June 27, 2018