BHC alumna now helps students’ dreams come true

Zenaida Landeros head and shoulders portraitZenaida Landeros was once a Black Hawk College student earning scholarships.

Now, the BHC alumna is the executive director of the Quad-Cities Foundation, and she loves helping make students’ dreams possible.

“When I saw that an organization that once supported my dreams was looking for leadership, I was excited to be part of that,” she said.

Making a difference

Landeros started in her new role in June 2020 and jumped right into the scholarship-awarding process. She said it was an intense process to learn, but very fulfilling to see the students’ reactions.

Black Hawk College Foundation logo“It’s really energizing to me, and I was just really honored to be a part of that process,” she said.

The Black Hawk College Foundation awarded more than $128,000 in scholarship funds to 151 Quad-Cities Campus students for the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to awarding scholarships, the foundation also supports college programs with mini-grants and fundraising events, and helps students with technology and emergency needs.

COVID-19 challenges have included securing funding to help students with technology needs as they study remotely. In recent months, the Quad-Cities Foundation has received three grants totaling $21,250 to purchase laptops and routers with internet service that were loaned to more than 140 students.

Journey to Black Hawk College

smiling woman in front of a brick wallLanderos chose Black Hawk College to start her college education for several reasons.

The college’s flexibility allowed her to work and explore her options, all while staying close to family. Her time at Black Hawk also prepared her for transferring to Augustana College.

“I feel it would have been very overwhelming for me to have started directly in a four-year university,” Landeros said.

Black Hawk College offered her the resources she needed to be successful as a first-generation student, she said. Attending Black Hawk also allowed her to explore who she was and what direction she wanted to take.

Landeros graduated from Black Hawk College in 2005 and Augustana College in 2007. She most recently earned an executive master of nonprofit administration degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2017.

She has more than eight years of experience in fundraising, community outreach and nonprofit administration. Her last position was the executive director of the Greater Quad-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Landeros encourages those interested in supporting Black Hawk to do so, noting each donation is about more than helping with one particular scholarship or helping one student.

“I believe a donation to the Black Hawk College Foundation is an investment in our residents, workforce and the future of our community,” she said.

Giving Tuesday, a day encouraging people to do good, is Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Supporting the Black Hawk College Foundation is one way to make a difference.

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