Donors have broken the record in aid given to hundreds of students through the Allan Hancock College Foundation Scholarship program.
This year, 358 students will receive 465 scholarships totaling more than $561,000, according to a news release.
In lieu of the foundation’s annual scholarship banquet, recipients used Zoom to meet and thank their donors in a safe and socially distanced format.
And this year, Hancock graduate Rafael Valdovinos received the prestigious Marian Hancock Scholarship. Named in honor of the late wife of Captain G. Allan Hancock, the $10,000 scholarship is awarded to one outstanding student each year who exemplifies service to the Santa Maria-based college, scholastic achievement and personal conduct.
Mr. Valdovinos is the 56th student to win the Marian Hancock Scholarship since 1967.
Mr. Valdovinos, a first-generation college student, graduated from Hancock with a psychology degree and plans to transfer to Brandman University in the fall. He hopes to earn a master’s degree in social work and pursue a career in helping people struggling with addiction, incarceration and mental health issues. A full-time Hancock student, Mr. Valdovinos also volunteered at the Los Prietos Boys Camp, became a member of the college’s Beyond Incarceration Greater Education Club and worked as a tutor for the Beyond Barriers Re-Entry grant program.
“My goal is to share my own experience and to empower those impacted by systemic barriers, mental health disorders, substance use disorders and incarceration,” said Mr. Valdovinos. “I humbly credit my success to my advocates, family and friends for helping me on my journey.”
A scholarship committee made up of 15 Hancock faculty, staff and foundation board members chose this year’s recipients from nearly 1,000 applications.