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Hancock Promise Campaign Passes $3.5 Million in Donations In only two years, the Allan Hancock College Foundation has secured over $3.5 million in cash and pledges to the Hancock Promise Fund, a permanent endowment ensuring the viability of the Hancock Promise scholarship program at the college. The total campaign goal is $10 million, which will ensure that firstyear tuition and fees are covered for local high school students in perpetuity. The Hancock Promise program guarantees that northern Santa Barbara County students can attend the college free of charge their first year immediately following their completion of high school. In the second incoming class in fall 2019, over 1,500 local students took advantage of the program—a 60 percent increase in high school graduates from northern Santa Barbara County coming to Hancock College over the last two years. “The faculty and staff at Allan Hancock College reject the idea that college attainment should be reserved for a select few, based on their family’s ability to pay tuition,”says Allan Hancock College Superintendent/ President Kevin G. Walthers.“We believe that we are changing the odds for our community by offering pathways into careers that allows young people to support themselves and a family on the Central Coast.” “The Hancock Promise is free for students but not for the college,”says Executive Director of College Advancement Jon Hooten.“So, we are raising funds from the communities we serve— from Santa Maria to Santa Ynez—to help fill the gaps and cover the costs of this important commitment to the young people in our region.” Nearly 200 local individuals, companies, foundations, and community organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanas clubs have contributed to the Hancock Promise Fund, including a $1 million commitment from Mechanics Bank (formerly Rabobank). The campaign is on-going as the college’s centennial year approaches in 2020-21. Major contributors to the campaign (with commitments over $30,000) include the Bartlett Family Foundation, the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, the Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation, PG&E Corporation Foundation, Mary and Ron Nanning, and the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation. Contributors with gifts over $15,000 include AERA Energy, PG&E Company, the Roy and Ida Eagle Foundation, Santa Maria Kiwanas 4 Kids, the Murphy Family Foundation, and Union Bank. To make a gift to support the Hancock Promise, contact the Allan Hancock College Foundation at 805-925-2004 or go to www.ahcfoundation.org. Hancock Promise Breaking Enrollment Records from Local Schools over 900 students in 2017. In total, fifty-three percent of high school graduates in northern Santa Barbara County this past year enrolled at Hancock College in fall 2019. Enrollments of Hispanic, low income, and first generation students are also up significantly over the last two years. For the second straight year, the popular Hancock Promise scholarship program attracted over half of the graduates from top local high schools to Allan Hancock College as they take advantage of the “First Year Free at AHC.” This fall, more than 1,500 graduates from northern Santa Barbara County high schools enrolled in the Hancock Promise—a sixty percent increase from just Nearly all local high schools showed increased enrollment at Hancock in the fall 2019 semester. Enrollments from Pioneer Valley and Ernest Righetti high schools increased for the second straight year, and Santa Maria High School maintained its Promise Student Seeks to Serve Santa Maria Community Lupita Ríos has a big heart for her community, and she’s attending Hancock College to find solutions to the social problems she has experienced firsthand. The Allan Hancock College student was born and raised in northern Santa Maria, and her life followed a path familiar to many families in the area. She attended Robert Bruce Elementary and participated in the Boys and Girls Club after-school programs across the street. As a junior high student, Lupita had an important role model—her oldest sister—who demonstrated by example that college was a possibility for her younger siblings. Witnessing this put Lupita’s life on a new trajectory. Lupita developed into a leader among her 2,700 peers at Pioneer Valley High School. She was elected president of the Future Leaders of America student government organization and helped organize a student leadership conference. She also became an advocate for solutions to social problems facing Santa Maria’s disadvantaged communities. After the 2018 enrollment jump from last year. Additionally, Lompoc and Cabrillo high schools, as well as Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, all saw enrollment jumps this year. “In only two years, the Hancock Promise has thrown open the doors and provided amazing opportunities for hundreds more local students,”says Executive Director of College Advancement Jon Hooten. “As we talk to these inspiring young people, we’re learning that many would not have attended college at all if the Hancock Promise were not available.” First-year student John When Lupita first heard about the Hancock Promise program and that she could begin college without the burden of paying tuition and fees, she was interested. She signed up for Hancock’s summer classes after high school graduation. She loved the experience so much that she registered as a full-time Hancock Promise student in fall 2018 to major in political science. It didn’t take long for her leadership abilities to emerge at Hancock as well. She is active in student government and serves in leadership positions via various student clubs. Lupita is also becoming more involved in offcampus leadership. Last spring, she was a volunteer coordinator for the successful launch of the Santa Maria Open Streets festival, and currently serves on the board of Corazon del Pueblo, the new cultural and arts center on west Main Street in Santa Maria. She also worked on the successful city council campaign of Gloria Soto and honored by the Santa Barbara County Action Network for her outstanding contributions to the community. “Santa Maria is a really hard-working community,” Lupita said.“People don’t always have time to stay informed about what’s going on the city that might affect their lives. I’m going to college to inform, educate, and defend our community in any way that I can.” and providing hope for individual students and their families,”Hooten says. “We must ensure that this promise is permanent and, regardless of the whims of state funding, that our community can continue this promise forever.” According to second-year student Staci Tilley, the Hancock Promise is saving her thousands of dollars in student debt while she prepares to transfer to a four-year university and study neuropsychology. To qualify for the Hancock Promise, students are required to have graduated from a local high school, enroll at Hancock for at least 12 units (including a math or English course), complete their financial aid forms, and submit an educational plan to the college. “Clearly, the funding provided by the Hancock Promise is changing the odds in our community Major Gift to Benefit Hancock Nursing Programs Allan Hancock College received a generous gift from the estate of the late Barbara Andrastek, a Santa Maria resident who bequeathed $380,000 to the college’s nursing programs. school shooting in Parkland, Fla., she spoke out at a rally against gun violence, telling the stories of how she too had friends and family members affected by local shootings. Tonascia is one such student.“If the Hancock Promise scholarship wasn’t available, I’d still be flipping burgers,”he said.“Now, I’m studying psychology and want to be a professional therapist one day.” “We are always deeply moved when a member of the community leaves a gift for Hancock students in their estate plans,”said Executive Director of College Advancement Jon Hooten. “Mrs. Andrastek was never a student at Hancock, but her legacy will live on through generations of nursing students here.” Andrastek passed away at the age of 84 on March 23, 2018. The gift from her estate was placed in a permanent endowment that will benefit Hancock’s nursing programs into perpetuity. The college’s nursing programs currently plan to use the funds to further develop skills simulation and clinical support for students in Hancock’s Licensed Vocation Nursing (LVN), Certified Nursing Assisting (CNA) and Registered Nurs ing (RN) programs. “The generous donation to our nursing programs will be thoughtfully used to promote and support clinical student learning in the skills lab setting,”said Hancock LVN Program Director and Instructor Bonny Friedrich.“This has been an area of significant need, and the gift will enable the faculty to address this important aspect of student learning.” Hancock’s nursing programs are fully approved and accredited by the State of California and allow graduates to pursue careers in hospitals, clinics, physicians’offices, research study programs, and more.