AHC Foundation Awards More Than $307,000 in Scholarship Funds

44th Annual Banquet was held May 23

Awards Banquet Sara GalindoMAY 24, 2013 -- The Allan Hancock College Foundation awarded more than $307,000 in scholarships to 235 students at its 44th annual awards banquet Thursday night.  A crowd of more than 800 students, relatives, friends, donors and community members attended the event in the Joe White Memorial Gymnasium at the college’s Santa Maria campus Sports Pavilion. 

The Allan Hancock College Associated Student Body Government hosted the evening’s event, in conjunction with the Allan Hancock College Foundation.

A total of 134 donors from the community awarded scholarships to both returning and transferring students through the foundation’s scholarship program.  Scholarships up to $10,000 each were awarded to students from all parts of the Central Coast, from the Santa Ynez and Lompoc valleys to Paso Robles.

This year, the prestigious Marian Hancock Scholarship was awarded to Sara Bell Galindo of Santa Maria.  The scholarship is named for the late Marian Hancock, the wife of Capt. G. Allan Hancock, for whom the college is named.  During her life, Mrs. Hancock was a staunch supporter of the college and the scholarship program.  

The Marian Hancock award represents the scholarship committee’s choice for most outstanding and deserving student of the academic year.  When this scholarship was established, Marian Hancock asked that it be bestowed on a deserving student who has demonstrated a commitment to continuing his or her education, and who has shown great promise and dedication.  Its purpose is to honor a student who epitomizes all that is right with education.  All students make an effort, but the Marian Hancock award winner is a student who goes above and beyond to succeed.  He or she is driven to achieve – and usually under difficult circumstances.

In presenting the award, Elizabeth A. Miller, Ed.D., Allan Hancock College’s interim superintendent/president, described how, in spite of every difficulty in Galindo’s life, “she found education to be her guiding light.”

Galindo, pictured above right with Miller, has faced more adversity in her short lifetime than most.  An entire childhood of abuse led her to be on her own and homeless by age 17.  Yet despite her homelessness, she graduated high school and enrolled at Allan Hancock College.

She said the abuse she endured has led her to pursue a degree in psychology in order to study the effects of abuse and the foster system on children.  She said “It wasn’t enough just to know the problem.  I needed to find a solution; and that is the passion that drives me forward.”

Despite still living on her own, with no stable source of income, Galindo has maintained an impressive 3.97 GPA.  Her mentors say she exhibits a high work ethic and commitment to her academics.  “Having so little in her life, whatever others consider sacrifice, she considers normal,” said one instructor.

In her scholarship application essay, Galindo stated that she faced her biggest fears when she decided to escape an abusive environment that scorned higher education and refused individual thought.  She wrote, “I took the biggest risk of my life: I had no place to live and I knew practically no one.  However, the community was there for me, and as a result they have become my family and I could never thank them enough for believing in me and giving me what I needed to begin my life anew.”

And a new life is waiting for her.  She graduates Friday, May 24, with honors and two degrees.  Among her many university acceptance offers, she has chosen to continue her educational and life journey at UC Berkeley where she will study psychology this fall.

Echoing Galindo’s appreciation of community was keynote speaker Lucerito Salgado, who in 2009 graduated from Allan Hancock College and received the Marian Hancock Award.  She continued her education at Fresno State University graduating summa cum laude in May 2012. 

“It is an honor to be here tonight with all of you at this wonderful institution, an institution that has changed my life and continues to change so many others,” Salgado said.  “It doesn’t matter where you come from or what obstacles you have faced.  What matters is that you are here, moving forward toward your dreams.  This institution believes in you.  Look at your scholarship.  It’s a recognition of your diligence, dedication, determination and passion. 

In reflecting on her time at Hancock, she said, “I know what it takes to be here.  A few years ago, I was one of you.  It was very challenging, but not impossible.  I had to juggle family, school, church and community commitments.  Now that I have a university degree, it’s a must for me to continue giving back to the community, the one that has given me so much and I hope, if you haven’t yet done so, you do the same.  Together we can make this a better community and leave a legacy of helping others to accomplish their dreams.”

List of Scholarship Recipients

- AHC -

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Last Modified May 2, 2014