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Palomar makes lasting promise

Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake stands for a photo between Governing Board President Nancy Ann Hensch (left) and Martha Kanter, former former Under Secretary of Education, (right) at a Palomar Promise event held in the Howard Brubeck Theatre on Feb. 22. David Santillan/The Telescope

Magic filled the hall in the Brubeck Theatre at Palomar to celebrate the launch of the Palomar Promise on Feb. 22.

Upcoming graduates from all 11 unified school districts within Palomar College’s reach are promised one year of free tuition, $1,000 in textbook assistance, and education and career guidance.

Brandy Gram, a senior at Mission Hills High School, said “The Palomar Promise gives us free money and to me that’s more of an incentive to do good in our studies.”

In other states, the promise program has functioned as a grant that will cover tuition costs at many community colleges. These programs are open to recent high school graduates that enroll within six months of graduation.

The Palomar Promise, however, gets its funding from organizations, donations and communities members.

Follett, the company of the College Bookstore, was a donor this year to the program.

Follett Vice President of Marketing Mary Perry said, “For us at Follett, it really is about accessibility for every student, on a very personal level, we donated $1 million to Palomar College, and the main reason we did that is because we really believe the cost of education prevents people from pursuing their dreams.”

Palomar President Joi Lin Blake said that there were no roadblocks in expanding the promise.

“It started a couple of years ago with San Marcos Unified School District, so what we did last year was decide to expand it to include all school districts,” Blake said.

Calvin One Deer, GEAR UP director, said that the program is an outreach effort to middle and high school students to succeed in college.

“We give them awareness and then the Promise almost gives them a guarantee that that will happen,” One Deer said.

Kristen Ivanka, a senior at San Marcos High School, said “it’s a great program because it takes the pressure off of us so all we have to worry about is our classes and not as much on finance. So it really does help me and my family.”

Image Sources

  • IMG_0382: David Santillan/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
  • Palomar Promise 2017: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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