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Taking the Long View

Investing in Promising Young Adults
Longview scholars
Donors Seth Goldman (5th from left), Julie Farkas (2nd from right) with Dr. Williams (fifth from right), Richee Smith Andrews, chief advancement officer at the Universities at Shady Grove (far right), and a group of Longview scholars.

Julie Farkas and Seth Goldman, donors to the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) scholarship program, recently committed $1 million to establish the Longview ACES Pathway Scholarship. Selected students will complete a bachelor’s degree via two Montgomery County institutions: MC and the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). The Longview scholars began their educational quest this fall at MC.

“We believe talent is widely distributed, but opportunity is not. We want to make sure the Longview Scholars have the chance to realize their full potential,” Goldman says. “The ACES program is more than a one-dimensional level of support. Students develop connections and the personal confidence they need to make it all work.”

Farkas underscores the importance of paid internships for low-income students. “They need to make money and build social networks while they are in college,” she says. “We look forward to working with the ACES team to support the students in finding internships and mentors throughout their four years in college, so when they graduate they will have developed skills and networks to begin their professional lives” Farkas says.

Until recently, Farkas was chief strategic growth officer at the Urban Alliance in Washington, D.C., where she cultivated partnerships with community leaders and businesses to help create internships for first-generation-to-college high school seniors. She is also a cofounder of PLNT Burger and the director of the Eat the Change Impact grants program.

Goldman is cofounder of Eat the Change, which produces planet-friendly snacks and Just Ice Tea; cofounder of PLNT Burger; and chair of the board of Beyond Meat. He cofounded Honest Tea, which Coca Cola purchased in 2011.

Taking the long view, Farkas and Goldman believe their investment in promising young adults will realize big gains for the students, their families, and the community—a hope shared by Dr. Jermaine F. Williams, Montgomery College president.

“Leveraging the ACES program’s structure and academic guidance—and then adding to those resources—is an investment in ambitious, dedicated students,” says Williams. “Montgomery College could not be more grateful to have Seth Goldman and Julie  Farkas among its supporters. They are truly visionary people who understand that equitable access and support can transform lives.”

Likewise, USG Executive Director Anne Khademian lauded the couple’s commitment to ensuring access for underrepresented students. “This is one of the most impactful investments anyone can make in the future vitality of Montgomery County,” she says. “By investing in students who follow a pathway from Montgomery College to USG, we enable them to prepare for careers right here in our community. These opportunities would not be possible without the generosity of incredible supporters and donors, such as Julie Farkas and Seth Goldman.”

To learn more about ACES, visit acesmontgomery.orgnew window.