Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    A’s donate $100,000 for scholarships

    Baseball team’s largesse will assist Peralta students’ educational goals

    By Eva Hannan


    The Oakland A’s presented the Peralta Colleges Foundation (PCF) with annual funding for new scholarships at the Coliseum before the baseball game on Aug. 13.

    The money goes to assist students in gaining hands-on experience in their field of study while they receive a two-year degree or certificate from the Peralta Colleges.

    “We’re really excited about it,” said Nikki Lasley, the interim executive director at the PCF, which is responsible for managing and awarding scholarships to students.

    “We are trying to find other ways that we can help build a stronger relationship with the A’s.”

    The brand new $100,000 scholarship from the Oakland A’s Community Fund will provide at least four Peralta students working to complete qualifying two-year degrees or certificates with money and opportunities each year.

    “Students are eligible for this scholarship if they have majors in business, digital media and communications, hospitality and retail, environmental sustainability or information technology,” Lasley said.

    Students who receive these scholarships will also be offered paid internships with the Oakland A’s in their field of interest.

    The internships will occur over the course of the summer between a student’s first and second year in their program, she said.

    “The gift is specifically for scholarships for students during their time

    here at Peralta. One of the other parts of the relationship that we’ve talked about is providing hands-on work experience for students,” Lasley said.

    This funding is not a one-time affair, but is endowed in perpetuity and will be renewed each school year.

    The scholarship window opens Oct. 1 and is one of several new scholarships, as well as a new website, that is being rolled out as part of the PCF’s newest commitment to students.

    “We have a big announcement about a fairly significant shift in the way we’re administering scholarships this year,” Lasley said. “We’re moving from a two-scholarship system to one that aligns with the FAFSA [Free Ap- plication for Federal Student Aide] for best practice all around.”

    This scholarship is hopefully the first of many engagements with the Oakland A’s moving forward, she said. Her connections to people in the A’s administration enabled her to broach the subject of re-engaging the Oakland baseball team with the students in the Peralta District, even after negotiations for a stadium near Laney College ended in Dec., 2017.

    “We decided that we really wanted to find a way to work together in spite of the stadium falling through,” Lasley said, “and because of Dave Kaval’s experience and commitment to workforce development, creating this endowed scholarship seemed like the right thing to do.”

    Kaval is the president of the Oakland A’s, and his commitment to the community in Oakland is very strong, he said, especially now that teams are leaving Oakland for other cities.

    “What it does more than anything is raise the responsibility for us, as the last team, to make sure we do
     this the right way,” Kaval said. “I do worry in general, as a key stakeholder in Oakland who cares about this city, about teams leaving and what that means for jobs, economic impact and a sense of pride for the community.”

    The A’s are negotiating to build a new stadium in Oakland, and Kaval said that a lot of the community involvement, such as concerns about pollution that was voiced to them in their engagement so far with different project sites, has helped shape their approach.

    “We will have to make sure at any site that all the environmental conditions are handled in an appropriate fashion,” Kaval said, “whether it’s stormwater, regular waterfront locations or sea-level rise.”

    The concerns brought forth by the community near Laney when the A’s

    were trying to get the new stadium site on the Peralta District property continues to affect their priorities as well.

    “We’re not spending any energy right now on the Peralta site,” Kaval said. “It was one of the three finalists, as people knew, but we are focussed solely on the Coliseum site and Howard Terminal near Jack London Square.”

    The A’s may no longer be trying to build a stadium here, and now they are finding different ways to help Peralta students.

    Look for other new scholarships, internships, and opportunities to work with the A’s in the near future, Lasley said, as PCF continues to promote a relationship between the students at Peralta and the Oakland A’s.

    For more information visit the PCF website at peraltafoundation.org/scholarships.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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