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Dear donors and supporters,
As the start of the new academic year approaches, I can’t help but reminisce on the importance you hold here at Hartnell College. We are able to provide our students with the tools they need, thanks to your continuing support. Thank you!

This week, our mentorship programs Women’s Education and Leadership Institute (WELI) and Men’s Institute for Leadership and Education (MILE) met for their first quarterly workshops. These programs are one of the most effective ways we have found to keep our students engaged and accountable. The mentorship component is key in keeping each of the scholars on track with their studies throughout the year.

Today, I also want to celebrate another win. The K-12 STEAM Program supported by NASA delivered in a huge way. Below you will read about the impact K-12 STEAM education is having on-campus as well as off-campus. I am truly proud of the work we do here at the Hartnell College Foundation to support our students and community.

Wishing you a great week!

Be well,

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

Students Find STEAM is Fun

In 2015, NASA granted Hartnell College Foundation a K-12 STEAM Contract to inspire students in the Salinas Valley to love STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).  The program began with 170 students.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, more than 10,000 students received year-round K-12 STEAM education in three districts:  Alisal Union School District, Salinas City Elementary School District, and Salinas Union High School District. 

“We were prepared to instruct thousands of students,” said Ana Ibarra, director of K-12 STEAM Programs at the Hartnell College Foundation. “This presents a great opportunity for students in our area to experience STEAM-based extracurricular activities and recover time lost due to the pandemic, this gave us the drive we needed to adjust and serve a large number of students.”

Through the support of NASA, more than 100 teachers serving 27 school sites are trained in the STEAM curriculum. They receive the tools and knowledge to inspire creativity and confidence in students.

“Each student gets a NASA shirt as part of the program; it is incredible to see the power that shirt gives them,” said Ibarra. “They feel like they are part of something big and wear the shirt with pride.”

This year, the program included a summer component. All high schools were invited to participate. Almost 100 students in 9th through 12th grade participated in a six-week STEAM curriculum provided by NASA. The hub was the Hartnell College Alisal Campus.  Students experienced field trips to Elkhorn Slough, Salinas River, and Monterey One Water, where they collected water samples using NASA-GLOBE protocols, and learned about water filtration, our local watershed, climate change, and more.

The K-12 Program offers different modalities. Some programs are offered after school and others on Saturdays. Students learn all about STEAM including code, robotics, and engineering. The curriculum is designed to rotate every six weeks, thus keeping students interested and engaged. 

“This program is teaching students the engineering process and foundations of critical thinking,” Ibarra said.

Another innovative component is the cultivation of K-12 STEAM Ambassadors. The program is designed to support and train Hartnell students to work with the NASA K-12 STEAM program throughout the year. The program recruits students who have an affinity towards STEAM or Education careers, thus providing meaningful experiential learning for the community’s future workforce. These are paid positions for future teachers and professionals in STEAM careers.

“This is a great opportunity for our college students. It provides them with experience in the field, and they develop leadership skills,” said Ibarra. “It’s the best training ground for them.”   

The new academic year for the K-12 STEAM Program is ready to start on August 19, 2023. An immense thank you to the funding partners of this innovative pre-college program serving thousands of students: NASA, Chevron, The Pebble Beach Company, Salinas City Elementary School District, and Alisal Union School District.  

Our Legacy Society Celebrates You

Your decision to include our mission in your plans is worth celebrating. Whether it’s a will, trust, charitable gift annuity, or other planned gift, your future gift deserves praise and recognition today.

We all want to make a difference, but sometimes we may feel we lack the ability or resources to have the impact we want. However, if you want to make a difference, you may be surprised how easy it is. We have tools and ideas to help you save taxes and even create new income streams while helping our organization. 

Below are just a sample of ideas to consider when thinking about what difference you can make: 

  • A charitable gift annuity pays you at fixed rates and helps our organization 
  • You can give your house to our organization, receive a tax deduction immediately and continue to live in it for life 
  • When you include our organization in your estate plan, you create a charitable legacy that costs you nothing now 

All our resources are available at no cost to you. All include tax benefits such as income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax deductions or reductions. In addition, we offer other tools that require no money or contributions now. Finally, we offer ways, such as the charitable gift annuity, which gives you tax benefits, and cash back for life, while also supporting our organization. 

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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