Divorcing youth from screen time, gangs, violence and drugs through the power of Soccer and Trade School.
(Santa Ana, Calif.) – Santa Ana College (SAC) and the SAC Advancement Office has partnered with Sinan Kanatsiz, chief executive officer of Kanatsiz Communications (KCOMM), to kickstart a new campaign and program for underserved youth throughout Orange County, titled “Kicking into College." In this campaign and initiative, Santa Ana College, the College's Office of Advancement and Mr. Kanatsiz will work to identify some of the most vulnerable students in all of Orange County and provide them with a two-year, full-ride scholarship at Santa Ana College. The 'Kicking into College,' Kanatsiz Scholars Program scholarship fund will focus on building an endowment that will support high-achieving, at-risk students to create an on-going pathway to continue their educational journey at Santa Ana College and beyond. These strategic, high-impact awards are designed to increase enrollment and completion in many of the career pathways provided at SAC through scholarships, degrees and certificates.
In addition to providing life-changing, full-ride scholarships to a targeted group of incoming students, this program will provide critical networking and mentorship connections with local business leaders and will utilize soccer as the driving force to positively impact their quality of life. One such business leader is Santa Ana College Foundation Board Member and community leader Fortino Rivera.
“What makes this scholarship fund unique is the wraparound benefits and mentoring that our students will receive in addition to financial support. It is very exciting to see a Santa Ana College alumnus give back and be such an impactful donor to our Raising the Game campaign in this way," states Rivera.
Special focus will be placed on engaging and recruiting young people based locally in the communities surrounding Santa Ana College who have a high propensity to be exposed to gang involvement and substance abuse issues.
The Kanatsiz Scholars Program aims to build a lasting and impactful relationship with the local community, including the surrounding high-risk student populations, to create a pipeline of scholarship prospects and applications. This community outreach will change the lives of hundreds of children and adolescents each year through soccer – the most popular sport in the world. The mentoring and learning community environment fostered by collegiate athletics will support these students outside of a traditional classroom in ways that show up in their academic performance and overall personal growth. The endowed fund will create an on-going opportunity for these initiatives to continue for Santa Ana College students and the greater Orange County community.
The 'Kicking into College' philanthropic fund will be named the Kanatsiz Scholars Program in honor of Sinan's father, Ertuvan Kanatsiz, who initially founded Santa Ana College's student soccer program in the 1950's. Both Sinan and his father Ertuvan are Santa Ana College alumni, and they were both awarded the coveted Hall of Fame Alumni Award for Santa Ana College.
The Kanatsiz Scholars Program that will be established in honor of Ertuvan Kanatsiz's legacy, is envisioned as one of the largest funds of its kind at Santa Ana College. A $250,000, fully-funded Kanatsiz Scholars Fund, will generate a minimum of $12,500 annually in perpetuity for the investment in the lives of our community's children and future leaders.
“We are grateful for your vision and partnership to help future Santa Ana College students 'kick into college.' The Kanatsiz Scholars Program has wonderful potential to become an expansive, inclusive, and deeply engaging initiative in our community for generations to come," remarks Christina R. Romero, executive director of the Santa Ana College Foundation. “To have this important scholarship endowment fund as part of our Raising the Game Campaign is truly inspiring, and we are so grateful for Sinan, his family, and the legacy of his father Ertuvan."
To learn more about how to get involved, go to rtgcampaign.org. For additional information about Santa Ana College, please contact the Public Information Office at 714-564-5527 or email Dalilah Davaloz, Santa Ana College public information officer, at email@example.com.
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About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college's School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation's top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.