Dear Friend,

All of us at the SBCC Foundation are thinking about you. We know it's likely that your life and the lives of your loved ones have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we hope that you are safe and well.

Together we are facing challenges we never imagined – distance learning for students, missing time spent with family and friends, a massive wave of unemployment (or working remotely for those who are fortunate enough to still have paid work), and general uncertainty about the "new normal." Our hearts go out to everyone who is struggling right now.

The SBCC Foundation staff have been working from our homes for over a month.  While it's certainly not business as usual, we continue to provide critical support to students and the SBCC campus community. In fact, COVID-19 has created a new, pressing need for financial assistance for students. You may have seen my recent email announcing the launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund.

Over the past two weeks we have received nearly 2,000 applications in English and Spanish and we have already distributed over $1.5 million to students.

The COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund provides one-time cash grants of up to $1,000 to current SBCC students experiencing significant financial and personal hardship as a result of the current public health crisis and resulting economic crisis. You may read more about it below and learn how the fund is helping students like David who lost his housing arrangement as a result of the pandemic.

If you'd like to contribute to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, you may do so here:

Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund
During such challenging and unprecedented times as these, it is essential for us to come together and support one another. Thank you for being a part of our community.

I hope you enjoy reading the following news and updates from the SBCC Foundation. Please take care of yourself.

In gratitude,

Responding to Student Needs During This Public Health Crisis

On March 30 the SBCC Foundation launched the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund to provide critical financial assistance to students who are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are intended to cover housing, food, childcare, and other essential items, including the technology and internet access necessary for students to continue their education remotely. Our intention is to support students as they adjust to this new reality, remain enrolled at SBCC, and continue to pursue their educational goals, despite the loss of paid work.

The challenges brought about by this public health emergency are affecting all students, especially our most vulnerable first-generation and low-income students. Students like David* who lost his housing arrangement last Friday when the apartment in which he was staying was vacated by the other tenants. He slept in his car overnight. The SBCC Foundation expedited a $1,000 grant to help David buy food and supplies and connected him to temporary housing so that he may continue his classes without further interruption.

If you’d like to contribute to the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund, you may do so on our donation page.

*Name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Spring Forward! Gala on August 22, 2020  

We, like so many other organizations, have postponed our annual fundraising event. The second annual Spring Forward! Gala will no longer take place on May 2. The new date will be Saturday, August 22, at 6:00 p.m. We will once again be celebrating in the SBCC Sports Pavilion, which will be transformed into an elegant venue by Merryl Brown Events. We look forward to being together with you soon!

Foundation Reception Welcomes Dr. Goswami 

The SBCC Foundation hosted a welcome reception for SBCC's new superintendent/president Dr. Utpal K. Goswami on Wednesday, March 4. Foundation supporters, board members, and community leaders were among those in attendance at the intimate gathering, which took place at the Atkinson Gallery on the college's East Campus.

Throughout the evening, guests had the opportunity to meet Dr. Goswami one-on-one while mingling with each other and enjoying refreshments and hors d'oeuvres prepared by students from the Culinary Arts Program. The gallery's latest exhibition, Eleven Figures in Two Parts, was open for viewing.

Dr. Goswami closed out the evening by thanking our supporters for their continued generosity. He shared that "Across the nation – and especially in California where a relatively small percentage of state education funding supports community colleges – private charitable support is what propels community colleges from average to excellent. SBCC has a tradition of excellence in large part because of the tremendous community support the SBCC Foundation has received over the years."

View photos from the event (photography by Nell Campbell). 

SBCC Alum Meagan Young's Remarkable Educational Journey

When Meagan Young attended SBCC about twenty years ago, she was fresh out of a disastrous marriage and had a two-year-old son in tow. SBCC proved to be a lifesaver, as it provided her with not only an education, but also scholarships, guidance, subsidized childcare, and a job as a peer mentor for EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services). 

"It was amazing," Meagan recalls. "One of my professors, Dr. Peter Haslund, took me under his wing and gave me valuable leadership experience."

At SBCC Meaghan built her self-confidence and a greater hope for her future. She had dropped out of high school, but was able to earn an associate degree at SBCC and successfully transferred to UC Berkeley where she obtained her B.A.

Meagan then went to work for a company based in Oakland that later moved its headquarters to New York City. She moved with the company, and went on to earn a master's degree at Columbia University in Information and Knowledge Strategy.

SBCC Connect for Alumni  

The SBCC Foundation will soon unveil SBCC Connect, a platform for SBCC alumni to gather online, share resources, and connect! Stay tuned and visit our website for more info...

Join the President's Circle! 

SBCC Foundation President's Circle members provide the core support that makes the SBCC Foundation's work possible. Last fiscal year, every dollar donated to the President’s Circle generated more than $10 for SBCC and its students, ultimately providing $5 million in support for the SBCC Promise, scholarships and book grants, tutoring, childcare assistance, disability services and programs, student support programs, and lifelong learning opportunities.

President's Circle members enjoy invitations to special campus and community events, such as the recent Cooking Class on March 10 in the John Dunn Gourmet Dining Room on campus. Guests worked alongside students from SBCC's Culinary Arts Program, under the direction of Chef Roberto Lopez Carrillo, to serve up a delicious Mediterranean-themed menu of dishes such as baba ganoush, kebabs, batata harra, and tabbouleh. 
View photos from the recent Cooking Class.
Contact Allie Rigonati for more information and to join the President's Circle.

Davis E. Velarde Scholarship Benefit Concert 

On March 8, 2020, the Watermelon Spring Jazz concert to benefit the Davis E. Velarde Scholarship Fund, with special guest Michael McDonald, was held at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. A truly amazing evening on many fronts, the event featured outstanding musicians, including SBCC's New World Jazz Ensemble.

Davis E. Velarde was "The Watermelon Man." He was a jazz drummer and classical percussionist who was known for his unwavering friendship, his passion for all styles of music, an infectious smile, and a love of watermelon.  Davis performed at the 2018 SBCC Music with Michael McDonald benefit concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. In early April 2019, at the young age of 22, Davis lost his battle with cancer. In his honor the Velarde family established the
Davis E. Velarde Scholarship Fund through the SBCC Foundation to benefit deserving Music students at Santa Barbara City College.
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