What do you benefit most from being a member of NCPC?
Being a premier member of the North County Philanthropy Council provides valuable connection opportunities to enhance our philanthropic reach in the community. In addition, it provides an avenue to network and learn from other incredible community and charitable organizations impacting our community.
What is your Mission?
The mission of the Palomar College Foundation is to assure equal access to success for all Palomar College students by inspiring individual, business, and foundation philanthropic support that helps remove financial barriers and provides essential educational resources.
In addition to direct student support, the Foundation’s mission includes support of college and faculty initiatives that enhance the educational experience of Palomar College students.
What do you offer to the community?
The Palomar College Foundation provides support for student success through our core programs of scholarships, textbook assistance, and student emergency grants. We administer more than 500 scholarship opportunities annually that benefit our students. Our popular Textbook Assistance Program assures students the access they need to textbooks for their courses; the complementary Comets Affordable Learning Materials (CALM) program has saved students more than $10 million in textbook costs for our students since 2018. Student emergency grants address critical and time-sensitive needs and issues, providing students assistance that keeps them on track and continuing their education.
We also provide support for crucial programs that afford specialized support for military veterans who are beginning or resuming their education. We are the vehicle through which the philanthropic gifts of individuals and companies in the area help build our capacity to encourage the pursuit of higher education, particularly for those from underserved communities.
What was your organization/company’s biggest accomplishment in the past six months – one year?
Our goal is to make higher education accessible to every student who wants it and to eliminate disparities that discourage local students from pursuing higher education. In 2022, the Palomar College Foundation awarded over $1 million to students, gave 500 scholarships, and provided $300K in grants to remove financial barriers and provide essential resources. Approximately 3,000 students benefited from the foundation’s charitable efforts and activities, and 400 students received emergency grants or computers. Our priority is to nurture educational excellence and provide support to the next generation of professionals in various fields.
Have you made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization/company and if so, how are you demonstrating it?
At Palomar College and the Foundation, we are deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensuring that everyone has access to equitable opportunities. We understand the importance of providing a safe and creative learning environment for all students and work tirelessly to achieve this goal. By embracing diversity and encouraging collaboration, we believe that we can create a truly enriching educational experience that benefits everyone involved.
Palomar College is an institution of opportunity for a large and highly diverse local population—diverse economically, socially, racially, and in almost every other way. About 62% of our student body is comprised of racial and ethnically diverse individuals. By gender, 54% of the undergraduate student body is female, and 46% male. We also host students from 47 countries who help enrich the educational and cultural experience for all our students.
Palomar College is deeply dedicated to not just diversity, equity, and inclusion but also to an active antiracist stance, expressed in many opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to understand better both systemic and individual biases that create barriers to understanding and equitable access to education. We also share a strong commitment to accessibility for all.
We understand that the success of inclusivity is success for not only the individuals most directly affected but also for the communities of which they are a part and the companies of which they are ultimately employees. Studies clearly demonstrate the economic, social, and personal benefits of higher education for individuals and their communities.
What event/program or campaign do you have coming up that you would like to share with our readers?
The Palomar College Community Showcase is scheduled for March 6, 2024. The breakfast event attracts over 300 business and community leaders as we come together to celebrate Palomar College Superintendent/President, Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey’s annual report to the community. In addition, the Foundation recognizes the annual philanthropist of the year through our Comet Award and showcases one of our esteemed academic programs. For more information, please visit: https://www.palomar.edu/foundation/