SAN BERNARDINO, CA – Sixty-two graduates from San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) will attend college this fall with help from the Making Hope Happen Foundation, more than doubling the number of scholarships awarded last year. Recipients come from nine SBCUSD high schools and the District’s Inland Career Education Center.
Scholarships are especially important in San Bernardino, where students come from some of the nation’s most financially challenged households. Even academically advanced high school students will struggle with accessing higher education and too many will not go to college because the cost of attending is too high.
“We believe every student who has prepared for college should be able to attend,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. “Education is the pathway to success, and by providing scholarships to qualified students, the Tribe is helping to produce an educated workforce in the region.” San Manuel provided funding for more than half of the awards given this year.
Aside from the money to pay for tuition, many San Bernardino students will be the first in their families to attend college, and often they lack the social supports of their more affluent peers. In designing its scholarship program, the Making Hope Happen Foundation addressed the need for additional guidance by connecting each recipient with a college-informed mentor.
“We know kids from our community will succeed if they are given a fighting chance,” said Dr. Samuel Gibbs, president of the Making Hope Happen Foundation. “Our job is to ensure they get that chance.”
Making Hope Happen Foundation mentors will help scholarship recipients navigate the college environment, stay motivated in their studies, and find academic support when it’s needed, similar to the way an older brother or sister might shepherd a sibling through the experience. This added layer of support promises to help each scholarship recipient stay focused on and complete his or her higher-education goal.
A recognition reception sponsored by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians was held to celebrate their awards on April 25, giving recipients and the donors who made their awards possible the opportunity to meet.
The Making Hope Happen Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, was established to support the hope-making mission of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible. For more information about the organization and the work it supports, visit www.makinghope.org or contact the San Bernardino City Unified School District Community Engagement Department at (909) 381-1294.