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Montecito Magazine

Fall 2017–Winter 2018

as an example and know there’s hope it can be done.”

She’s studying sociology and plans to transfer to

one of the many schools she likes; perhaps Cal State

East Bay or Long Beach. Her ultimate goal is not just a

bachelor’s degree but also a master’s. Then, she says,

“I hope to start my own nonprofit for at-risk youth

or formerly incarcerated people.” Marin first became

interested in these areas after serving as a Big Pal at a

Police Activities League camp for at-risk youth when

she was in high school, and later as a summer volunteer

at a program that helps people transition from jail into


Although the financial component is key, Marin

sees the SBCC Promise as much more than that. “More

than anything the SBCC Promise helps anyone and ev-

eryone regardless of their income and background,”

she says. “Everyone at SBCC wants to see students suc-

ceed.” She has also become a program ambassador,

heading back to Santa Barbara High to help recruit the

next Promise students.

“The first two years of college are a huge change

from high school, where people would hand you the

resources. In college you have to seek them out,” she

explains. “This program helps you—it’s defin tely a

great stepping stone.”


hen the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Foun-

dation launched the SBCC Promise program in

fall 2016, it was with a student like Leslie Marin (



in mind. Hoping to alleviate the financial burden of at-

tending college—even a more affordable community

college—the SBCC Promise covers all fees, required

books and supplies for two years for all local high

school graduates. The student must enroll in the fall

or spring semester after graduating from high school

within the district (which extends from Gaviota to

Carpinteria) and then attend SBCC full time and remain

in good standing.

Marin is in her second and final year at SBCC. She

graciously made some time in her busy schedule for

a phone interview while studying for exams. But the

Santa Barbara High School alumna admits that with-

out the Promise program, “I wouldn’t have been able

to go to college right after high school; I would have

had to take a couple of semesters off to pay for tuition

and supplies.” She stresses that the Promise program

“took a huge financial burden off my shoulders and

my parents’ shoulders.”

Sure, she feels some pressure as a first generation

college student, but she also says, “I know how impor-

tant it is—I have a lot of younger cousins who look at me


Leslie Marin Fulfills SBCC Promise

Investing In Our Community

The SBCC Promise is a new project of the SBCC Foundation that was established in 1976 to provide

Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support. The foundation acts in partnership

with the college and bridges the gap between available public funding and institutional need.

The SBCC Promise relies on privately raised funds. Discover more at


By George Yatchisin