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Our Students & Your Generosity Create a Better Community

Ah, April—the month of blooming flowers, fresh beginnings, and all things new! As the sun shines a little brighter and the world bursts with color, it’s the perfect time to embrace change and embark on new adventures. Whether planting seeds in your garden, refreshing your wardrobe with vibrant colors, or diving into exciting projects, April is the ultimate opportunity to hit the refresh button and infuse your life with creativity and energy. So, let’s welcome April with open arms and a spirit of excitement, ready to embrace all the wonderful possibilities that come with this season of renewal!

With appreciation,
Jacqueline and Kristine



From Picking in the Fields to Medicine
Dr. Pablo Romero’s grit and passion

At 73, Dr. Pablo Romero, a Salinas resident, is living his best life. As their family practice doctor, he just started his residency at Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas at Plaza Circle. This is one of 13 clinics in the area.

“This is a dream come true for me,” he said. “I have everything I need here – a director, a medical assistant, all the tools – to help my patients with their health needs.”

He jokes about having to clock in for the first time and learning new technology. But he is enjoying the process because it is better for his patients.

“Dr. Romero is one of our most esteemed alumni,” said Jackie Cruz, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Hartnell College and executive director for the Hartnell College Foundation. “He is a dedicated philanthropist and an engaged past foundation board member whose wisdom has brought about amazing ideas on how to support Hartnell students best.”

Dr. Romero’s journey to medical school was far from the usual. He immigrated to the Salinas area when he was 14. He grew up in a small town near Queretaro, Mexico. He worked in the fields for a while and then went back home. He later decided to return to Salinas and was introduced to broccoli for the first time – he was picking it.

In 1970, the U.S. Army drafted him – this is when he started to learn English. Because he only had a ‘green card,’ he was not allowed to fight in the Vietnam War. But he earned his GED while in Germany. He returned to Salinas two years later.

At the unemployment office, a gentleman told him about Hartnell College. He went and met Joe Martinez in admissions, and his educational journey began.

“I had to start from scratch,” he said. “But so thankful for Joe – he was very instrumental in my educational path.”

He graduated from Hartnell in 1974 and transferred to UC Irvine. He then moved on to U.C. San Francisco for Medical School. He graduated in 1980.

“I was a very good surgeon,” he said. “But I always felt that my calling was family practice – I was made to serve communities as a family doctor.” He has worked for Natividad Hospital and Salinas Valley Health.

Dr. Romero’s life is filled with love, family, and community. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Patricia, their three daughters, and five grandchildren. He is also a wine enthusiast and connoisseur and thus enjoys having a cellar at his house.

Patricia and Dr. Romero met when he was in medical school. They sat beside each other on a flight to Cancun and exchanged contact information. They later reconnected in San Francisco while Patricia visited with her sister. They are celebrating 43 years of marriage.

For Dr. Romero, reconnecting with Hartnell College via its Foundation was necessary. For almost 15 years, he and Patricia have significantly contributed to the scholarship fund and the STEM programs. In addition, he has served on the Hartnell College Foundation Board.

“Keep your faith, believe, and get over the obstacles,” he said. “If you keep your mind set on what you want to be, you will get there.”

Jack and Suzanne Killian Scholarship Program

The Hartnell College Music Department celebrates the generosity of Jack Killian, whose legacy continues to enrich the lives of aspiring musicians through a transformative scholarship program. This initiative, made possible by Jack and his wife Suzanne’s dedication to supporting the arts, offers ten Music Majors at Hartnell invaluable opportunities, including $2,000 scholarships per semester, private lessons, and funded field trips. Jack’s passion for music and his commitment to education shines through as his legacy uplifts future generations of musicians. Click here to read more.


Complete Your Will or Living Trust
by Attending Our Next Estate Planning Seminar on
April 17, 2024, Beginning at 5:30 PM


Nursing and Health Sciences Building (Building O)
Corner of West Alisal and Homestead
Hartnell College Main Campus, Salinas
Completing your will or trust requires a plan. Hartnell College Foundation has resources to assist you, including an estate planning guide and our legacy website. Hartnell also can provide a free consultation with an estate planning attorney.

As an essential first step, we invite you to attend our upcoming estate planning seminar on Wednesday, April 17th. Here, we will provide the tools you need to help you complete your plan.
  • Protect your loved ones with a plan
  • Greatly reduce the challenges of probate
  • Estate planning attorney and financial planner available
  • Make a difference and establish your legacy
Please consider attending this complimentary seminar and start your way to creating your legacy. To RSVP for your spot, please email Jackie Cruz at or Kristine Edmunds at
Got Taxes on Your Mind?

If you are facing a heavy tax burden this year, philanthropy may offer a helpful solution. America believes in its public charities. Giving from appreciated property or your IRA may decrease your tax burden while supporting an organization like the Hartnell College Foundation’s mission.

Consider these tax-relieving ways to give:

Giving stockoffers two tax benefits: an income tax deduction and bypassing the capital gains tax. You can use the income tax benefit if you itemize your giving, and by giving stock directly to the the Hartnell College Foundation, you avoid the capital gains tax that would apply upon selling the stock. To maintain your portfolio, you can reinvest in the same stock after making a gift, resetting the cost basis at a new level and reducing future tax burdens.

Giving from an IRAallows you to donate pre-taxed assets, avoiding income tax on the gifted amount, up to $105,000 per year if you’re over 70 1/2 years or older. This also helps satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution beginning at age 73 and benefits those who don’t need all of their IRA income this year.

Click on the following links to learn more about the tax advantages of leaving a stock gift or IRA gift to the Hartnell College Foundation, please contact us.
Plan Your Will/Trust and
Protect Your Loved Ones
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.


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

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

To make an immediate gift in support of Hartnell students, please click here.

The information contained in this newsletter is not intended as tax, legal, or financial advice. Gift results may vary. Consult with your personal financial advisor for information specific to your situation.

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