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Our Students & Your Generosity Create a Better Community

Happy New Year!

As we step into 2024, we are thrilled to welcome you warmly.

This year promises new opportunities, fresh starts, and shared success. Whether you’ve been with us for a while or are a recent addition, we’re excited to embark on this journey together. Look out for updates on upcoming events and projects that will make 2024 a memorable year. Here’s to new beginnings and a fantastic year ahead!

With appreciation,
Jacqueline and Kristine

A Gavel for Uzo Ebo
Aspirations to Become a Future Supreme Court Justice

Uzo Ebo, 25, felt on top of the world in elementary, middle, and most of high school. She was used to having the top scores in her class and thought she could do anything. But that changed just before enrolling at Hartnell College. She said she felt pressure keeping her from achieving her academic goals.

“I was struggling all of a sudden; I was drowning in a sea of doubt,” she said. “But that’s when I found Hartnell College, and the support system here helped me get back on track through the EOPS program and counseling.”

Uzo’s mom is from Kenya, and she completed her university studies there. She applied for a scholarship to complete a master’s degree in Monterey County, which was granted, giving her and her two children (Uzo has a twin brother, Uche Ebo) the opportunity for a better life in the United States.

“My mom is my inspiration,” said Uzo. “She earned a Master’s in International Studies. Thanks to her, I have always had a passion for academics.”

She is majoring in Law, Public Policy, and Society and will transfer to a university to pursue a law degree. Uzo was inspired to practice law after witnessing the lengthy process of becoming a U.S. citizen. She wants to help others and create policies to expedite the process. 

At age 11, Uzo earned the John Hopkins Scholarship for Academic Achievement. This was the type of attention she was used to. But she said that circumstances in life threw curveballs her way, and that’s when she felt lost.

“I applied to Hartnell College, and that’s when I found all the support I needed,” she said. “Thank you, Hartnell, for reigniting my passion for learning!”

The future looks bright for Uzo. She is hoping to attend Monterey College of Law next fall. In addition, she is looking forward to marrying her fiancée Casey, whom she took to Africa so he could learn about her family there. Casey met her grandma and asked for her permission to ask Uzo to marry him.

“It was important for me to show him a simpler way of life, which can be cool too,” she said.

One of the Hartnell professors who has positively impacted Uzo’s life is Dr. Jason Hough in Communication Studies. “He believed in my abilities and showed me the right path towards success,” she said.

“I am Uzo Ebo, and one day I will be Supreme Court Justice Ebo,” she said with the utmost confidence.

As she looks to the future to graduate, study law, and get married, Uzo enjoys life to the fullest. She plays the guitar and the violin and loves cooking, hiking, and spending time with her three cats.

The Women’s Education & Leadership Institute (WELI), established in 2011, was conceived by local women leaders to enhance the educational and economic standing of women and families in Monterey County, particularly those facing socioeconomic challenges in the Salinas Valley. WELI offers a transformative experience through summer leadership training, a student-led on-campus club, impactful mentorship with community leaders, and a $2,500 financial award per student. Since its inception, WELI has graduated over 250 scholars and awarded approximately $500,000 in scholarships, significantly impacting the lives of socioeconomically disadvantaged cis and trans women.

WELI’s program has demonstrated substantial success, with 94% of students crediting it for helping them achieve personal, professional, and academic goals. The program boasts a 62.4% transfer rate for scholars, surpassing the 45.6% rate for other female students enrolled in at least 12 units with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Demographically, 84% of current students receive financial aid, and 63% are the first in their families to attend college. By supporting WELI, individuals contribute to empowering women to become financially independent and pursue meaningful careers, recognizing the significant impact education has on the success of future generations. Contributions to the WELI program’s endowment provide essential resources, education, social support, and mentorship, fostering the keys to success for these women.

In the symphony of giving, your generosity is the conductor’s wand, orchestrating a vital mission that resonates through our city. Your support is the timeless melody, weaving a legacy that harmonizes personal fulfillment and lasting community betterment. Plus, there are practical benefits – supporting us can reduce the tax burden of your orchestrated support.

Together, we can build your lasting legacy, a testament to the partnership between you, the artist, and the Hartnell College Foundation, our canvas for dreams.

Your masterpiece:
A legacy gift from your will, trust, or retirement plan.

You can make an enormous difference during your lifetime without impacting your assets or cash flow. If you include Hartnell College Foundation in your will, trust, or as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, your legacy will live on by helping secure our future.

What will your legacy be?

If you are thinking about giving the Hartnell College Foundation an estate gift from your will or trust, please contact us or learn more on our website.

If you want a free estate planning guide, please click here.

Your gift can provide you with income:
Give, avoid capital gains taxes, and receive income for life.

If you want to sell valuable property, such as real estate, stocks, or a business, but avoid high capital gains tax, consider gifting it to Hartnell College Foundation with a charitable remainder trust. This way, you can reduce your tax burden and receive income for life.

Learn more here.

A gift from your IRA today and tomorrow:
You can give from your IRA distribution this year or make Hartnell College Foundation a beneficiary of your retirement plan.

Giving from your IRA can fulfill part or all of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year. This benefits individuals over age 73 who need only a portion of their IRA income and want to satisfy their RMD obligation.

The IRS will tax your heirs who inherit your IRA. They must exhaust the IRA within ten years, which could be a significant tax burden. Consider gifting your IRA to Hartnell College Foundation and help loved ones in more tax-friendly ways.

Learn more here.

May 2024 be a year of discovery, generosity and abundance.

Our very best!


Jacqueline Cruz
Vice President of Advancement and Development
Executive Director, Hartnell College

(831) 444-2446 mobile

Kris Signature.png

Kristine Edmunds
Director of Philanthropy
Hartnell College Foundation
(831) 755-6903 Office
(831) 601-0016 Mobile 

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