The Gateway Community College (GCC) F oundation, Inc., has received a $250,000 gift from the Amour Propre Fund, Inc., a private charitable organization headquartered in New Haven, Conn. The funding will be used to enhance services in Gateway Community College’s (GCC) Counseling & Wellness Center at its state-of-the art downtown campus. LindyLee Gold (pictured here), President of the Amour Propre Fund, is a longtime GCC Foundation Board member and one of its former chairs, a visionary philanthropist, and a tireless volunteer for causes and organizations about which she is passionate.
Gold, Senior Specialist and Ambassador to Greater New Haven Region with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, devotes herself, both personally and professionally, to making Connecticut, especially Greater New Haven, a better place to live, work, raise a family – and get a first-rate, affordable education.
“I truly believe public education is the key to breaking the cycle of systemic poverty, not only for the person who benefits from that education, but also for generations to come,” Gold explains. “Gateway is committed not only to helping every student succeed, but also to ensuring they go far beyond their educational goals.”
According to Helene Augustine, GCC Foundation Board Chair, the Foundation looks forward to helping the college maximize its work on behalf of students. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides vitally important professional support services, she explains, including personal, career, financial, and academic coaching. “The extraordinary events of the past two years have challenged us to help Gateway fulfill its educational mission at a time when there was a myriad of obstacles facing students, including job loss, mental and physical health, lack of childcare or transportation, food insecurity, housing, and inadequate technology,” she says. “This generous contribution will provide resources to help them persist and succeed.”
“The Counseling & Wellness Center is a special place that supports our students in body, mind and spirit,” according to Dr. William (Terry) Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Community College, the largest of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges. “Far too much and too often for too many of our students, life just ‘gets in the way’ of them staying in and finishing college. This gift is really an investment that will help us do what we do best at Gateway: keep our students at the center of all we do and support them in accomplishing their goals.”
Among the many services offered by GCC’s Counseling & Wellness Center is the Family Economic Security Program (FESP), which provides participants with academic, career, financial and personal support, and about which Gold is particularly impressed. “I believe FESP is a program that really works,” she says. “The metrics clearly show it does.”
Gold, who has been a GCC Foundation Board member since 2006, currently serves on the Board’s Professional Development Committee, which she chairs, and the Scholarship and Resource Development committees. “The Amour Propre Fund is ‘laser-focused’ on empowerment, financial independence, and self-esteem,” she notes. In fact, the French phrase “amour propre” after which it is named, often is translated as “self-esteem.”
In addition to her tenure with the GCC Foundation and her professional duties at the Department of Economic and Community Development, Gold has offered her time and talent to many Greater New Haven organizations, including the Shubert Performing Arts Theatre, the New Haven Board of Education, and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. She also founded and was President of Fellowship, Inc. and Cornerstone, Inc. and is a past President of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.
“I strive to live my life by these words, which appear among the quotations displayed on Gateway’s inspiring ‘Learning Wall’ at its downtown New Haven campus: ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’,” Gold says. “I hope they understand how much I care about education, equity and empowerment.”