About 70 recent local high school graduates — many of whom had no previous plans of attending college or are the first in their families to attend college — begin their journey toward a higher education this summer, thanks to the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College’s Running Start Program.
Running Start coordinators identify and recruit seniors whose grades and test scores reflect their ability to succeed, but are unaware of the benefit of a higher education.
The program provides the students with scholarships for tuition, books, tutoring, college orientation, academic counseling and guidance through the registration and financial aid application processes. The program begins in the summer and extends for one full year, so that these students have the tools needed to complete their first year successfully, and in turn, have a higher likelihood of completing college.
The Foundation for SBCC has dedicated $750,000 in the span of five years to run the program that now extends throughout a student’s first full year of college. Fundraising for the expansion of the Running Start program was spearheaded by foundation board secretary Kandy Luria-Budgor, who recruited a team of “angels” to support the expanded program.
Angels may take a more active role with the program’s students to create partnerships and strategies that will help support student success, such as teaching leadership and life skills.
— Genesis Lopez is a publicist representing the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College.