On April 13, 2023 the Network of California Community College Foundations honored the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as the 2022 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year. The virtual award ceremony was an inspiring and uplifting celebration commemorating the generous $17.2 million in philanthropic support that San Manuel has provided to California community colleges in recent years. If you were unable to attend the event, or wish to share it with others, a recording is available via the link below.
In attendance as speakers were:
The Honorable Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of the State of California and California Community Colleges Board of Governors Member
Elizabeth McCann, Executive Director of Saddleback College Foundation and President of the Board of Directors of the Network for California Community College Foundations
Lynn ‘Nay’ Valbuena, Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Diana Rodriguez, Chancellor of San Bernardino Community College District
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has a long-standing tradition of giving back to its community to improve the region for everyone, with a focus on education and supporting programs that create pathways to a better future. They have invested millions of dollars in colleges in the Inland Empire, including Chaffey College, San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College, and Victor Valley College, and have provided financial support to San Bernardino and Riverside community college districts. Most notably, their support of the Valley-Bound Commitment Program at San Bernardino Valley College has eliminated financial barriers for more than 1,700 Inland Empire students who would not have otherwise had the financial means to continue their education beyond high school.
The true impact of this funding is best demonstrated through the stories of the students assisted like Kristina Jaramillo who shares how the program helped her, particularly the guidance she received. “I never thought I’d see straight A’s on my transcripts,” Jaramillo says with a smile, “Having the counselors…they were the guidance that made me the student that I am today.”
Learn more about the impact of this incredible gift and hear from students in a short video below.