When Kyle and Jacquelyne Archer attended Front Range Community College, like many college students, they were on a tight budget. Jackie earned a scholarship from the FRCC Foundation that—along with other scholarships, grants and work-study—allowed her to take classes at the college’s Larimer Campus.

“The affordability of FRCC made our education a reality,” Jackie says. “This may not have happened otherwise.”

This financial assistance had other benefits as well. She says getting the scholarships made her feel that there were other people supporting her. “I also felt a responsibility to the donors to succeed,” she adds. Jackie and Kyle both earned associate degrees at FRCC, then went on to transfer to Colorado State University.

Fast Forward 10+ Years

The two FRCC alumni are now married, have successful careers and are making their own major donation to support student scholarships. The Archers are working with the foundation to establish the Archer Family Scholarship Fund. They see FRCC as a path to a successful life and strong future.

“FRCC gave us a great transition period between high school and the university,” said Kyle. “It helped both of us clarify the area we wanted to study and not get distracted by the other aspects of a university.”

Jackie went on to get a bachelor’s degree in social work; Kyle completed his bachelor’s in business. He then spent about 10 years in community banking, and she is in social work management for a local skilled nursing facility company in northern Colorado.

Gift Goes Full Circle

Their hard work and career opportunities over the years have paid off. “We have not always been financially secure,” Kyle says. “Scholarships and grants made college a reality for us. [Neither] of us would have successful careers if not for the post-high school education we received.”

The Archers say they feel blessed—and now it’s their turn to return the favor to the community that supported them. “We believe it is our responsibility to give back and pay it forward for opportunities that we received.”

The Best Investment We Could Make

Jackie and Kyle call the FRCC Foundation the “best investment we could make in education.” For students going straight into jobs, FRCC helps them become “career ready.” For students who want to go on to a four-year school, FRCC prepares them to transfer “at a cost that is difficult to find elsewhere.”

“The educational benefit compared to the cost is tremendous,” Kyle says. “By keeping our investment at a local community college, we feel our dollars are reinvested back into our community and can multiply.”

Giving Promotes Giving

The scholarship Jackie received years ago from the FRCC Foundation was designed to help orphaned and foster youth—and the donors who fund that scholarship are still contributors today. Jim Prater and Vicki Volbrecht are extremely pleased to know that their gift has gone full circle. 

“We started the scholarship when we learned how few foster kids are able to attend college,” says Jim. “This really bothered us.”

Help at the Right Time

Vicki was a first generation college student. Her parents wanted her to get a good education, and she received a scholarship from the auto workers union that helped her get started. She went on to become a professor at CSU.

Jim also received a scholarship at a “key time,” and went on to have a successful career in engineering.  “We know how important it is to get financial assistance for college. Foster kids usually don’t have the family support that we had, and we wanted to help.”

“We were delighted to hear that Jacquelyne and her husband have started a scholarship,” Jim adds. “They are a wonderful example of how a little help at the right time can yield great benefits. We hope that all of our recipients are successful in their lives, but we never expected one of them to start a scholarship in such a short time. We are grateful to see their generosity in action.”

Giving a “Good Start”

Now secure in their careers and adult lives, Kyle and Jackie Archer are doing what they can to help others. “We hope that the Archer Family Scholarship will provide the opportunity for other students who, like us, do not have the means to pay for their education,” Kyle says.

“Being able to give back feels just as good as the moment when you find out you’ve received a scholarship,” says Jackie. “Knowing that we can help students in the way others have helped us is very humbling.”

Jim and Vicki have a similar motivation for their giving. “We hope that all of our scholars are able to finish their degree and get a good start in life,” Jim Prater adds. “A good start makes a huge difference.”

Impacting Lives and Communities

Beyond helping students, the Archers also see a broader benefit to funding their scholarship at FRCC. “We hope to improve the community we live in by further supporting and educating our workforce,” says Kyle.

Jim Prater agrees: “Our community will be well served by people who are able to support themselves and their families, and make progress toward their goals. Each of us has something to contribute to our community, and we want our scholars to be able to fulfill their potential.”

He says scholarships are a great way to help a population thrive. “Everyone needs education in the modern world—whether it is a professional degree or a skill-based degree. Donating to the FRCC Foundation helps kids get an education when they don’t have the financial resources to pay for it themselves.”

Want to Help Too?

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The FRCC Foundation rallies the community to provide opportunities for people who want to change their lives through education. Our generous donors support FRCC students by funding scholarships, programs and facilities at the college.

Tax-deductible contributions help open doors for people to advance their careers, support their families and enrich our communities. Find out more about some of this year’s FRCC Foundation scholarship recipients, learn about how a gift to the foundation helps students, or give to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

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