By Shayla Gasca
The new executive director of the Las Positas Foundation is working to draw fresh attention to the school.
The foundation’s previous executive director, Dr. Ted Kaye, has raised money for LPC student scholarships. Now that Kaye has retired, the foundation has hired Kenneth G. Cooper as its new executive director.
Cooper said he plans to “grow the board, and attract more volunteers so that we (LPC’s foundation) can help raise more funds.”
The funds that are raised go towards LPC’s scholarships, departments, and the school in general.
“There’s a lot of generous folks on this campus, who have been in the past, very supportive of the foundation, very supportive of the students and students’ success in general,” Cooper said. “I want to help make sure that they know about all the opportunities to give and want to make sure we’re (LPC’s foundation and the community) engaging.”
As the new executive director, Cooper said he hopes to “build upon” what Kaye started.
The annual gala, Best Of The Best, will continue, and Cooper is already planning for the event.
Some plans are not ready to be released, but “we are working on a very cool fundraiser partnering with the Veterans,” Cooper said. “It’s going to take place in October, and it’s called ‘Cycle for Veterans’.”
‘Cycle for Veterans’ is planned as a bicycling race to be held on the streets around the college. The foundation is teaming with other entities to help develop the event.
Cooper graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in African-American Studies and a minor in education.
The new foundation director didn’t actually plan on fundraising as a career path.
“I was actually preparing to become a teacher,” Cooper said.
One of Cooper’s former classmates was part of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Sacramento, which was in need of a director of education.
“It was a new program and was right in the area that I had some experience in,” Cooper said. “That really is what started me in my pathway in terms of community and resource development.”
As director of education, Cooper had many responsibilities. He had to design the after-school program, which includes tutoring. Cooper said he was part of the program for “a little over eight years.”
Thanks to his work, that program received grants from Nike to help support the club. “Setting up that program and implementing that actually started my fundraising career,” Cooper said, “Because I offered some fundraising that supported the program.”
After being the Boys’ and Girls’ Club director of education, Cooper received a job as the Healthy Start coordinator at the Sacramento City Unified School District.
The coordinator “helps support families, so students could focus their education,” Cooper said.
Cooper worked as the coordinator for six years, before moving on to fundraising at Los Rios Community College.
Now his intention is to show the community how committed LPC and its students are for the school and community.