Santa Ana College Awards over $440,000 in Student Scholarships
Thanks to the generous support of the community, alumni, faculty and staff; the Santa Ana College (SAC) Foundation awarded over $440,000 in student scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. These scholarships benefited 124 continuing and 117 transferring SAC students.
On May 13, the SAC Foundation hosted the Scholarship and Awards Ceremony when scholarships totaling over $375,000 were awarded. This year, 1,425 applications were received for scholarships that ranged from $500 to $8,000. The transferring recipients are ready to begin their studies at four-year universities, including the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; and California State University, Long Beach.
Among these worthy recipients was Santa Ana resident 21-year-old Jessica Raya. Raya, who entered the nursing program at SAC this fall with a 3.8 GPA, was awarded the $500 Adelante Scholarship and the $1,000 Steven Fainbarg Scholarship.
Raya, who wants to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing and eventually become a nurse practitioner, was inspired by the nurses who helped her mother during a recent hospitalization. She would love to educate families about diabetes and make sure they are able to make healthy choices. Coming from a family of six, she has always been motivated about getting a good education. Her parents, who are both immigrants from Mexico, have encouraged her and her siblings to do well in school as they see it as the key to a brighter future.
Raya said, “My parents don’t want us to face the same struggles they have faced. My Mom would always keep us involved in enrichment programs like Head Start, summer reading programs, tutoring and sports.”
At first, Raya wasn’t certain what she wanted to study, but thanks to help from a SAC counselor she figured it out. She said that it was her counselor who also encouraged her to apply for scholarships and helped her through the process. When asked what she would advise other students to do, Raya said, “Use the resources on campus like tutoring. A lot of students don’t know how much this campus has to offer and don’t be afraid to get mentors and visit professors during their office hours.”
Since both of Raya’s parents work at minimum wage jobs, paying for college and books has been challenging. Although her scholarships help a lot, she still works in a pediatrician’s clinic one day a week to help with expenses. In addition to the Adelante and Steven Fainbarg scholarships, she has a Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver, federal student aid which provides $600 per semester for books, and was the fortunate recipient of a $1,000 scholarship through Orange County Global Center (OCGC). The OCGC scholarship supports students who are pursuing health or health science majors.
“Getting these scholarships removes the stress of having to work so many hours. It is also great seeing that people believe in you; it validates all my hard work,” Raya said.
On May 31, the SAC Foundation High School Scholarship Ceremony took place at Phillips Hall. Over 80 students received scholarships ranging from $500 to $600 a year. Some were supported through the Santa Ana Futures Scholarship Program. Since 1994, this program has been supported through the payroll deduction program at the City of Santa Ana and Rancho Santiago Community College District. Scholarships were also made available through the Santa Ana ¡Adelante! Program, a partnership with UC Irvine and CSU Fullerton which provides guaranteed admission to qualifying SAC students.
SAC offers scholarships to students enrolled in classes for the fall and spring semesters of each academic year. Applications are solicited from both SAC continuing students, as well as graduating sophomores transferring to a four-year college or university. Basic guidelines for scholarship applications are current enrollment, a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and completion of a minimum of 12 units. Applicants must also be enrolled in at least six units for the fall and spring semesters of the current academic year.
The online application for current SAC students is open from November 7, 2016 to February 21, 2017 for 2017-2018 scholarships.
For more information on scholarship opportunities, contact the Scholarship Program Office at (714) 564-6478 or online www.sac.edu/scholarship.