JCCC Stories

Paying It Forward

October 5, 2015

Mother of past scholarship recipients registers for Lace Up for Learning 5K Run-Walk.

Inspiration from her children’s success motivated Aberash Gebru to register for the 2015 Lace Up for Learning 5K Run-Walk. She knows firsthand the value of this event.

Set for 8 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 11, at Johnson County Community College, Lace Up for Learning raises money for student scholarships. In the previous two years, the event raised approximately $9,000 for scholarships.

Gebru’s four children are previous JCCC scholarship recipients, who all went on to graduate from four-year universities.

From JCCC, Gebru’s oldest daughter went on to the University of Kansas, received a degree in microbiology and eventually graduated from KU Medical School. She now works at KU Medical Center. Gebru’s second-oldest daughter also went to KU and received a pharmacy degree. That daughter is now a pharmacist in San Diego.

KU also was the designation for Gebru’s son after JCCC. He graduated last year with a degree in economics. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in the Los Angeles area. Gebru’s youngest daughter is following in her oldest sister’s footsteps. She received a degree in microbiology and will be going to medical school.

Understandably proud of her children’s accomplishment, Gebru said their start at JCCC and the scholarships they received made a difference in their success. A JCCC custodian for almost 15 years, Gebru said she could not have paid for her children’s college education without the help of scholarships.

"JCCC is a great place for everything,” she said. “When I count my blessings, I count JCCC twice.”

Gebru encourages others to participate in this event to help students.

“It is important to raise money for scholarships because there are students who can’t afford paying tuition and other expenses,” she said. “I know there are some students who don’t have money to buy food. Some have trouble paying apartment rent.”

JCCC President Joe Sopcich will be joining Gebru at Lace Up for Learning. He also challenges others to participate. In fact, for every person who crosses the finish line ahead of Sopcich, he will donate $1 for scholarships.

“The scholarship funds raised by this event help students take classes to complete their education at JCCC,” Sopcich said. “The incentive to support students inspires you to cross the finish line.”

Save up to $5 on race-day registration by registering by Oct. 10. Discounts also exist for students and teams of two or more. Online registration is available.