(Santa Ana, Calif.) - Founded in 2007 as a philanthropic giving campaign, the President's Circle supports the Santa Ana College (SAC) Foundation's mission to maintain, expand and enhance educational opportunities for all, helping to raise funds for the urgent action needs of students and build capacity for high-impact programs. Made up of donors, prominent alumni and friends, the ever-growing President's Circle helps establish resources for current and future students in unrestricted funds with an annual giving donation of $1,000 or more. This year, the campaign is close to reaching a record-breaking annual goal of $200,000, with $152,000 raised to date.
Left to right: Parker Kennedy (Kennedy Foundation), Christina Romero (executive director, Santa Ana College Foundation), Ken Purcell (senior advisor, SAC Foundation Board of Directors)
With years of support from this dedicated community of donors, the President's Circle has become a core pillar in responding to the highest and most immediate financial needs of students, complementing traditional scholarships. As of November 2023, the President's Circle received its largest single gift to date – $20,000 from the Kennedy Foundation. Parker Kennedy of the Kennedy Foundation, a longtime supporter of SAC students, shared his confidence in the Foundation's vision and leadership, including Ken Purcell, senior advisor of the board of directors and retired vice president of First American Financial Corporation, and Executive Director Christina Romero, who leads and develops strategic initiatives to increase awareness for funding SAC programs.
“This gift marks our faith and belief in Santa Ana College's students–our future leaders in business, government, education, science, the arts, athletics and more," Kennedy said. “The Kennedy Foundation is thrilled to support the Santa Ana College Foundation's ambitious philanthropic efforts to help passionate students with greater needs succeed. We hope to inspire future President's Circle donors, who still have the opportunity to make a true impact on local students' lives."
Left to right: Michael O'Neill (President's Circle), Dr. Annebelle Nery (president, Santa Ana College), Frank Correia (President's Circle)
Ways to Support the President's Circle
On February 29, 2024, the Santa Ana College Foundation will host a President's Circle benefit with a visionary goal of raising $200,000. The event will take place at the Newport Beach Country Club, where guests, members and donors can directly connect with students, alumni, faculty and staff who are thriving and reaching new heights with the assistance of President's Circle funding. All guests will have an opportunity to connect with others who share the vision that no student at Santa Ana College should be denied educational opportunities due to financial constraints.
“We invite friends of Santa Ana College and people across Orange County to join us at our upcoming benefit and to become annual giving members of the President's Circle," said Teresa Anaya, SAC Foundation Board secretary and Northgate Markets executive, who is this year's co-chair of the President's Circle campaign. “Joining the President's Circle signals your commitment to the future of Orange County, helping us support the business and community leaders of tomorrow."
At the benefit, Dr. Annebelle Nery, SAC president, will celebrate current President's Circle members. The full list of President's Circle members committed to making a difference can be found here.
Left to right: Parker Kennedy (Kennedy Foundation), Alma Munoz (SAC student), Ken Purcell (senior advisor, SAC Foundation Board of Directors)
Student Impact and Success
Reflecting on the recent success of the President's Circle campaign, Nery said: “We are humbled to receive this outpour of generous support from all our patrons, partners, and friends of Santa Ana College, including the recent gift from the Kennedy Foundation. With each gift, members of the President's Circle are making a powerful statement and investing in our students. The President's Circle helps uplift our community and eliminate financial worries for many students. With their help, students of diverse backgrounds who come to our college can be one step closer to their dreams and ultimately change their lives."
According to the SAC Foundation, more than half of its students expect to receive no support from their families toward their education, 36 percent financially support one or more persons, and 30 percent are employed full time. Support from the President's Circle ensures equitable educational opportunities for SAC students-in-need. Since 2007, the President's Circle has raised more than $1,250,000 to respond to urgent student needs and build capacity for programs that promote career-based experiences, support transfers and drive the development of new, results-driven student resources.
Hundreds of SAC students' dreams have become a reality with support from the President's Circle, Anaya said. She cited SAC alumni success stories, such as Kenninsy, who dreamed of completing her education after 10 years of working in retail and found her passion in STEM at SAC. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles as a pre-medicine student with the support of the President's Circle and hopes to open a STEM school for girls and pass on the power of education to her community. Anaya also shared the experience of Jayson, who was influenced by the passing of a close friend due to cancer, to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter. Through the President's Circle support, he is happy to feel a new sense of purpose, saving lives every day.
Honoring The 2023-2024 President's Circle
In her term as this year's co-chair of the President's Circle, Anaya has worked tirelessly, raising a record amount of $152,000 for this year's campaign cycle. She said she is excited to foster more relationships to help build greater support towards SAC's urgent student needs.
“Santa Ana College Foundation is thankful to have donors who believe in our mission and in the future of Santa Ana College's promising students," Anaya said. “As we approach our campaign goal, we hope others feel compelled to join the President's Circle and provide life changing support to Santa Ana College students and the Foundation, which helps high-achieving students with greater needs succeed."
Anaya said the SAC Foundation expresses its utmost appreciation and gratitude to all 2023-2024 President's Circle members, who have invested in SAC's dedication to quality and excellence in education and positively impacted the lives of many students.
Left to right: Marvin Martinez (chancellor, RSCCD), Dereck E. Moore (president, 100 Black Men of Orange County), Rossina Gallegos (chairman, SAC Foundation Board of Directors/Past SAC Foundation Board of Directors President), Alvin Blades (treasurer, 100 Black Men of Orange County), Christina Romero (executive director, Santa Ana College Foundation)
To learn more about the Santa Ana College Foundation work, please visit www.RTGcampaign.org or contact the office at (714) 564-6091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A gift of $1,000 or more will place you in the ranks of the Santa Ana College Foundation President's Circle, an elite group of givers who play a crucial role in advancing the college's dedication to scholarship, teaching and community service. To make your commitment today, click here.
At Santa Ana College, classes start every eight weeks, to learn more, visit www.sac.edu.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), founded in 1915, serves more than 54,600 students yearly. At present, SAC students can work toward completing an associate degree, university transfer, career/workforce training or a bachelor's degree in occupational studies. As part of Santa Ana College, the School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center offers free classes throughout the community for adults of all ages and academic backgrounds. Santa Ana College is an award-winning college and was recently ranked as one of the nation's top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students and named one of the best community colleges in California by Intelligent.com. The college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel. Santa Ana College is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.