PHOENIX — As part of the community-focused missions of both the Phoenix IDA and the Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation, the organizations are jointly funding the Verma and Ed Pastor Scholarship.
The scholarship was established in 2018 as the PCDIC Scholarship Fund but renamed in 2019 to honor the late Ed Pastor, who was the first Mexican-American elected to Congress in Arizona, and his wife, Verma.
The Verma and Ed Pastor Scholarship supports post-secondary education for students with financial need attending an accredited public college or university in Maricopa County and pursuing any field of study.
Students must be enrolled full time, and the scholarship gives preference to high school seniors, first-time college students and re-entry students ages 26 and younger who currently reside in Maricopa County.
Award amounts are $2,500 for one academic year at a two-year college and $5,000 at a public university, and the scholarship can be renewed for one additional year if students are in good standing and maintain the required grade point average.
Those interested in the scholarship should apply online by May 1 at azfoundation.org/scholarships.
“By making higher education more accessible to underserved populations, we’re strengthening local communities and educating future leaders,” said Juan Salgado, CEO of the Phoenix IDA. “Since the scholarship first launched in 2018, 264 students have received scholarships totaling more than $2 million. Last year alone, 59 new students received scholarships, and our scholarship funding totaled $580,000.”
Maple Waldron is a current Verma and Ed Pastor scholarship recipient who is attending Arizona State University and majoring in education.
“Before receiving this scholarship, I had to work 40 hours a week while enrolled in school full time,” she said. “Now I work part-time, and I can attend classes in person, which has given me more confidence and connections to my fellow students and professors.”
The Pastors served as instrumental figures in their Phoenix community and inspired multiple generations of people dedicated to public service and community leadership. Ed Pastor was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Arizona State University.
Editor’s note: The above was republished from a news release from the Phoenix IDA and the Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation.