Lansing Community College

Support Students in the Theatre and Dance Program

Rudy Valdez grew up in Lansing and attended Lansing Eastern and LCC, where exposure to Theatre and performance nourished his aspirations to create meaningful stories, which would later find a voice in his documentary films. Rudy performed at LCC in many plays, delighting audiences with his acting talents, and presented his one-man show "Coconut" about his family in the Old Central Theatre.

Rudy Valdez is an Emmy Award-winning Michigan-raised, New York City-based filmmaker committed to creating social, cultural, and political stories through a cinematic and meaningful lens. He got his start in film as a Camera Operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City and went on to direct a true passion project, The Sentence (HBO). Shot and directed by Valdez over a decade, this feature documentary tells the very personal story of his sister’s plight in the criminal justice system while tackling subjects like mandatory minimums and sentencing reform. For this work, the filmmaker won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, US Documentary Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and was a 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Best New Director nominee.

His documentary "We Are The Brooklyn Saints" premiered on Netflix in 2021 and received a Critic's Pick from the New York Times.

The Impact of an Education

I am so honored that LCC has named this scholarship fund after me. My time there was pivotal in my life - I never thought I would go to college. Growing up I struggled in school. After high school, my mom dragged me to LCC and asked me to please try. She said she would pick two classes and I could pick one. I picked a drama class, it was taught by Mary Matzke. She scooped me up after that class and told me I had to join the acting studio program. She said she believed in me.

I did the studio program and I met Andy Callis. He challenged me. He pushed me to be more than funny (which was/is my crutch). He believed in me. That studio program inspired me to be a student. To be present in who I am and be proud of my voice. It let me know that I was not stupid. Art did this - I wish I could say I found it but it found me. It believed in me and pushed me.

I hope this scholarship finds kids. I hope it pushes them. I know it believes in them.
-Rudy Valdez, LCC Alumnus, Director of "We are the Brooklyn Saints"

Donate Now

Gifts by Check or Stock

Please make all checks payable to Lansing Community College Foundation and include the fund that you would like to support with your gift.

All checks can be mailed to:

Lansing Community College Foundation
309 N. Washington Sq
Suite 201
Lansing, MI 48933

If you are interested in donating stock assets the Depository Trust Company (DTC) for the Foundation is:

Charles Schwab
DTC# 0164, Code 40
Lansing Community College Foundation
Account #: 2546-4364

Contact the LCC Foundation

a blue LCC graduation cap on stone

Phone: 517-483-1985
Fax: 517-267-5554

Lansing Community College Foundation
Downtown Campus
Washington Court Place
309 N. Washington Square, Ste. 201
Lansing, MI 48933
United States

Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Foundation Staff