Not every path to higher education involves a four-year college degree.
Marvy Finger, president and CEO of the Finger Companies, one of Houston’s leading independent developer of luxury multifamily properties, realized the value that CTE programs — career and technical education — could mean to Houston high school students. In 2013, he created the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship program, offering Houston ISD students fully funded, two-year vocational and technical education programs at Houston Community College, Lone Star College and San Jacinto College. Now in its seventh year, the foundation has awarded 284 scholarships, setting students on careers in fields such as welding, automotive repair, health science, construction management and maritime logistics.
The program has grown each year since 2013, when eight students were funded, to this year’s class of about 80 students entering technical education, learning skills from a two-year associate degrees or Level 2 certifications. The scholarships cover full tuition, textbooks, fees and tools, up to $20,000. This year, because much of college education is virtual learning, students also were given new laptops. Mentorships, career advice and job placement also are offered. In addition, all scholarship students can participate in Houston Food Bank’s Food for Change program, receiving 60 pounds of food twice a month.
Finger began the program because he saw a need to help students pursue potentially high-paying jobs through technical pathways; he also wanted students to enter the job market without the financial burden of college debt.
To learn more about or apply for the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarships, see mfffscholarship.com.
“He wanted to lay the foundation for students who wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to college to begin their own careers by pursuing technical fields,” said Cruz Casiano, director of the scholarship program. “Mr. Finger makes a lot of charitable contributions, but this program means a lot to him.”