San Diegans will have an opportunity to support deserving local students when the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) holds its second annual Keeping the Promise giving day on October 22 to raise funds for the tuition-free San Diego Promise program.
Every penny raised through Keeping the Promise will benefit San Diego Promise students at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, and the first $10,000 in gifts received will be matched by a generous San Diego Promise donor, essentially doubling the impact of each gift.
“The San Diego Promise has already made an enormous difference in the lives of students who would not otherwise have been able to afford to attend our colleges,” said SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll. “We are continuing to raise funds to support future students who can benefit from the tuition waiver, free textbooks, and other support. We hope that people will continue to be generous in their donations to this important program.”
The need has never been greater with enrollment in the San Diego Promise surging by 25% this year. The San Diego Promise is now one of the largest Promise programs in California and has served more than 6,300 students since being introduced as a pilot program with an initial cohort of 186 students in 2016.
For some SDCCD students, the San Diego Promise is the difference between being able to attend college or not. Many are currently struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic with seven in 10 saying they have experienced a loss of income.
The San Diego Promise provides not only two full years of tuition-free education, but also book grants, academic counseling, and peer mentoring to help students develop an educational plan meeting their career and academic goals. Studies show San Diego Promise students are more engaged on campus, enroll in more classes, and perform better academically than their first-time, full-time non-Promise peers.
A total of 168 San Diego Promise students graduated this past spring and have since transferred to four-year institutions such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego. Jerusalen Davila was one of them. Davila said she would not have been able to attend City College after graduating from Hoover High School in City Heights. “I wouldn’t be able to afford it,” Davila said. Instead, she graduated this past spring with a 3.9 grade point average and transferred this fall to UC Berkeley.
To donate to the San Diego Promise, visit the Keeping the Promise webpage at SDCCD.edu/givingday.
As one of the largest of California’s 73 community college districts, the San Diego Community College District serves approximately 100,000 students annually through three two-year colleges and San Diego Continuing Education. The three colleges, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College, offer associate degrees and certificates in occupational programs that prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and entry-level jobs. Mesa College also offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. Continuing Education offers noncredit adult education at seven campuses throughout San Diego.