Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

HACC to provide scholarships to Black students pursuing public safety careers

HACC entrance

Harrisburg Area Community College hopes to help fill a representation gap that they perceive in local public safety professions.

Through a $112,500 grant from PNC, HACC will offer full-ride scholarships for low- to moderate-income Black students to attend their police academy or EMT program.

“Thanks to this partnership with HACC, we will be one step closer to ensuring that our heroic first responders reflect the communities they serve,” said Jim Hoehn, PNC regional president, central Pennsylvania, during a virtual press conference.

The grant will extend over three years and assist 36 HACC students. The scholarships will cover tuition, books and other fees.

HACC officials said that they hope the program will engage and equip Black students to pursue a career in public safety and bring needed diversity to the field.

“For many, the worst day of their life is the day they need the services of our fire, police or emergency medical services,” said Vic Rodgers, vice president of workforce development and continuing education at HACC. “We think it is important that when you are going through an emergency, that you see yourself represented in the first responders who answer the call.”

HACC plans to conduct outreach to the local community about the scholarships in the coming year, explained Linnie Carter, vice president of college advancement and executive director of the HACC Foundation.

“We want to attract Black residents who will know that there’s a place for them within this profession and a place for them at HACC,” she said.

For more information on the scholarship program or to apply, visit HACC’s website.

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