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Caring about our students, our community, and your retirement!

Dear donors and supporters,

I hope you are well and thriving. It is already August, and we at the Hartnell College Foundation are gearing up for the start of the fall semester. That means thousands of students are taking the next step in their journeys toward higher education and economic security. This year, more than 1,600 students will participate in the Salinas Valley Promise. In addition to free tuition, these students receive scholarships for computers or books, student success workshops, a peer-group cohort experience, and mentoring, all of which are made possible through your generosity.

For many students, the additional aid they receive via scholarships is life-changing. It is the way they are able to continue their education at Hartnell and then transfer to a university to fulfill their dreams.

At the Foundation, we are proud to be the stewards of these special funds and are honored to take a front-row seat to the lives of so many who thank us each year for the opportunity of a brighter future. I want to thank you for being a partner with us.

Today, we feature the MILE program and I hope you will consider becoming a mentor.

Be well.

Jacqueline Cruz
Vice President of Advancement and Development
Executive Director, Hartnell College Foundation
(831) 444-2446 mobile

New Cohort for Male Students to Start

The Men’s Institute for Leadership and Education (MILE) is gearing up to start a new cohort of 25 scholars in August.  MILE is a one-year program that combines financial support, leadership development, and mentoring for Hartnell students who identify as male. The facilitator for this group is Dr. Frederick Moore, who has extensive experience working with college students.

“The MILE program will help participants self-reflect and learn how to build community,” said Dr. Gabriela Lopez, director, Office of Equity Programs. “Scholars learn to connect in a genuine way.”

This mentorship program strives to increase college completion rates among male students in the Salinas Valley. The training and support received through the MILE Program contribute to MILE Scholars’ ability to achieve their leadership potential and attain personal, academic, and professional success.

Scholars will participate in three days of leadership training to develop critical life skills, including time management, emotional intelligence, accountability, growth opportunities, career readiness, self-image, self-efficacy, and more.

During the quarterly mentor workshops, industry professionals serve as MILE Mentors and provide guidance, support, and connections to scholars. In addition to the mentorship and workshop components, the scholars will each receive a $2,500 scholarship.

“Being in the MILE program, I have learned that working with others and sharing ideas gets you to more places than working by yourself,” said Joaquin Ortiz, a 2022 MILE Scholar. “I learned this in the workshops and working with my mentor.”

Ortiz (pictured) just graduated in May 2023 from Hartnell College. He is majoring in kinesiology and is on his way to becoming a physical therapist. He added that MILE helped him to become a better listener and to find joy in helping others.

USA Today reported in 2021 that the gender gap for college enrollment is striking, with men now trailing women in higher education at record levels. Last year, women made up 60% of college students while men accounted for only 40%, according to statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse. College enrollment in the United States has declined by 1.5 million students over the past five years, with men accounting for 71% of that drop. One of the reasons the data points to is the lack of a male mentor in the lives of these young men.

The MILE program is funded by private donations and grants in our community with the support of Hartnell College. 

The mentor component is crucial for MILE scholars.  We are looking for mentors to guide this new cohort of students through the next year. If you are interested in becoming a MILE mentor, please fill out this MILE MENTOR FORM. Thank you for your commitment to our students.

Know Your IRA Options

For a long time, IRAs had two purposes — deposit money into them, and when retirement comes, take money out. However, in recent years, Congress expanded your opportunities and your ability to save money with your IRA distributions. Know your options before you do anything with your IRA. 

Congress has made many changes to IRA laws recently, giving you new choices, including: 

  • Delaying required distributions to age 73 
  • Making a one-time gift to form
    a charitable remainder trust or charitable remainder annuity trust 
  • Making a one-time gift to a nonprofit to form a charitable gift annuity and get cash back for life 

Turn your IRA’s qualified charitable distribution (QCD) into cash for life through a charitable gift annuity or charitable trust. Both offer you attractive lifetime payments. There are simple restrictions, but we can help you. This is so good you can do it only once. 

What will your legacy be?

If you are thinking about naming the Hartnell College Foundation in your estate plans, contact either our Vice President of Advancement and Development/Executive Director for the Foundation, Jackie Cruz at or call (831) 444-2446, or our Director of Philanthropy, Kristine Edmunds at or by phone at (831) 755-6903. To make a gift in support of Hartnell students, go to: 

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