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Our alumni are one of the greatest assets of Hartnell College. They are out in the world distinguishing themselves and creating change. With them, the Foundation can achieve its vision of providing more funding for scholarships, STEM programming, teacher pathways programming, assisting with student’s basic needs, and more.


As a driving force for the economic prosperity and future of the Salinas Valley, Hartnell College provides individuals with the skills they need to succeed. With support from corporations, organizations, friends, employees and alumni, the Hartnell Foundation provides critical support for student scholarships and internships, along with funding for program development and enhancement.

The Hartnell College Foundation aims to foster a spirit of friendship and philanthropy among alumni and friends of the campus through newsletters,networking events, and other social activities. We invite you to connect with us by updating your contact information so we can keep you informed of all things Hartnell.


Alumni are valued members of our Hartnell College family who contribute to a vibrant community. The Foundation is seeking to reach as many former Hartnell alumni as possible. Your stories are inspiring and impactful to future Hartnell students.


Please take a moment to share your story.


Thank you.


Alumni Story Form

Alum Spotlight:

Joseph Molina, Class of 2016.

Joseph Molina

Without Hartnell College, I know without a doubt that I would not be where I am today. Hartnell College provided me with an excellent opportunity to study close to home and at a low cost. All my professors taught me invaluable concepts that I continue to use until this very day and I am extremely thankful for their strong work ethic that ensured every single student learned what was necessary.


Furthermore, Hartnell College introduced me to the world of Computer Science. As a senior in high school, I didn’t even know what coding was and that it was a profession. I now write this with extreme happiness and eternal gratitude to Hartnell for introducing the three year accelerated program known as Cs-in-3. Because of CS-in-3, I was able to graduate in three years without a single cent of debt and with the knowledge, I needed to become a successful Software Engineer. Ultimately I earned a Bachelors in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software Engineering from California State University Monterey Bay

One of my greatest life accomplishments was designing an Android application for my English learning father. In the summer of 2018, with the help of my father, we created an English to Spanish and vice versa voice and text translator. Growing up, I helped translate for my father when he went to construction sites. As I grew up I would not be able to tag along with my dad and by the time I was in college I was unable to attend any trips at all. After graduation, I realized I wanted to be with my father even if I physically wasn’t present there. It was there that I asked my father to help me create a design that he would understand since at the time he was still new to the smartphone world. A few months later, SayWhat, was released into the Google Play Store. The greatest feeling is knowing I was able to build something my father can use in his daily life and that will help him learn English.


Hartnell degree: Associate of Arts (A.A.)

Alum Spotlight:

Dr. Shellie Renae Higuera, class of 1990

Dr. Shellie Renae Higuera

Hartnell College was a gateway for me to go onto higher education. Being the first person to graduate from college in my family was a cycle breaker. I am of Hispanic heritage and my parents were factory workers. Hartnell College played a crucial role in allowing me to attend college in my local community and save money. The education was excellent, class sizes were small, and professors knew my name. I believe community colleges are a hidden secret in post-secondary education.

I received a quality education from Hartnell College, and I was prepared for the academic rigor in all of my subsequent universities. Additionally, while at Hartnell, I also had the opportunity to study abroad at the Universidad de Granada, España. Being able to leave Salinas opened up my world view early on in my educational career. The programs and available resources (i.e. financial aid, etc.) at Hartnell College set the tone and trajectory for a strong vision of my future. Ultimately, I have earned a Doctorate of Education, Educational Leadership, Social Justice in 2017. Gracias Hartnell College!”


Hartnell degree: Associates of Arts in General Education (A.A.) – Magna Cum Laude

Alum Spotlight:

Denna Patton, class 1983

Denna Patton

Not only did Hartnell provide me with a top notch education but Hartnell gave me opportunities I needed to succeed in my career and my life. I cherish the lifelong friendships I made there through sports and classroom activities. Obtaining an A.A. degree from Hartnell opened doors for me in my profession and allowed me to be promoted to a Correctional Counselor position at my job in the California Department of Corrections. To say this had a huge impact on my life is an understatement.

My greatest life accomplishments are my wife of over 36 years, completing three 3Flags Classic motorcycle endurance rides (two of them were completed with a friend I met at Hartnell 37 years ago), maintaining many of my friendships from my Hartnell days, being inducted into the Hartnell Hall of Fame as an individual and as part of the 1980 Volleyball team and staying true to myself through some difficult times. Thank you Hartnell.


Hartnell degree: Associate of Arts General Education (A.A.)

What’s your Hartnell alumni story?

Tell us the impact Hartnell has made on your life, academics, or career. 

We want to hear from you!


Alumni Story Form

Contact Jen Ferguson, Philanthropy Officer for more information on how you can make an impact in the lives of our Hartnell students, connect with Jen Ferguson at or 831-755-6932.

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