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Verizon to Donate $12,500 to SBCC’s MESA Program

The program provides support for disadvantaged students majoring in the math, engineering and science

Verizon Communications, through its philanthropic foundation, will present a check for $12,500 to SBCC Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban in support of the college’s MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.

The presentation will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at the MESA Center on SBCC’s main campus.

The program’s director, Virginia Estrella, and students who have benefited from the program will be on hand to speak about the MESA program, and how private support is vital. Verizon has contributed a total of $35,000 to MESA.

MESA is a statewide program which provides academic and financial support for educationally disadvantaged students majoring in the math, engineering and science. It focuses on recruiting students who are under-represented in these fields at the high school and community college levels, including women, Hispanic students and economically disadvantaged students across the spectrum.

The program has had remarkable effectiveness, boasting a 99 percent transfer rate among students moving from community colleges to four-year campuses.

Not every college can become a MESA site — a number of state-mandated specifications need to be met to achieve this designation. Among those is funding, as the cost of those requirements is more than $80,000 annually. The Foundation for SBCC has provided the necessary funds to establish the program, and raises funds to keep the program ongoing at SBCC.

“This is a wonderful gift for an important program,” foundation CEO Barbara Ben-Horin said. “Without corporate support such as Verizon’s, our innovative programs could not be sustained.”

Holly Cole, Verizon’s director of government and external Affairs, said, “Verizon Communications has a long history of philanthropic support, which it provides through the Verizon Foundation. Our goal is to support the communities in which we do business, and to seek out the great programs like MESA, which make a difference.”

— Stefanie Davis is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Foundation for SBCC.

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