SANTA BARBARA — Verizon presented a check for $17,200 to Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Acting Superintendent/President, Jack Friedlander to support the college’s innovative MESA (Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement) program, college officials reported in a media release this week. This most recent donation adds to Verizon’s contributions of over $52,000 to MESA.
The presentation took place at the SBCC’s MESA Center. Jesus Torres, director of Verizon government and external affairs, Acting Superintendent/President Jack Friedlander, Acting Executive Vice President, Educational Programs, Marilyn Spaventa; Executive Director of the Foundation for SBCC Vanessa Patterson, MESA Director Virginia Estrella, and MESA students and alumni were in attendance.
The program’s director, Virginia Estrella, and students who have benefited from the program were on hand to speak about the MESA program, and how private support is vital.
MESA is a statewide program that provides academic preparation for disadvantaged students majoring in the math, engineering and science. The program establishes an on-campus peer community to support academic achievement while providing academic assistance and transfer guidance.
The MESA program was implemented at SBCC in 2007, and has since displayed remarkable effectiveness for the students. Of the 125 SBCC students entering MESA, 95 percent will transfer to a four year college to pursuescience, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, and 90 percent will complete the calculus sequence, and 50 percent will increase their overall GPA by one grade point. This partnership with Verizon will provide students with hands-on, exciting opportunities in math, science, and engineering to better prepare them for an academic career in these fields.