VOL |40| June 2020
Message from our Executive Director
The graduating class of 2020 experienced something no other has before: tackling an unexpected distance learning transition amidst a global pandemic. These students were forced to immediately learn the larger life lessons of “nothing is promised” and the uncertainty of tomorrow. While we feel for the loss of milestone events such as prom, final athletic and performing arts events, commencement ceremonies, etc., we were witness to so many creative, heartwarming ways to celebrate these outstanding graduates. From yard signs and banners, news features, and drive-thru graduations, our families and communities came together to show pride in the Class of 2020.

My hope is that these unique circumstances teach our graduates resilience and adaptability. I hope it will inspire them to live each day with gratitude toward those things that are truly meaningful in their lives. This time has forced all of us to really examine what those things are.
Congratulations Class of 2020! May you walk into adulthood with a sense of self, purpose, and direction!

Click here to learn more about The San Marcos Promise! 
Proud First-Generation College Graduate
Hi there! My name is Elissa Dominguez! I have been a part of the Ambassador program at The San Marcos Promise since my second semester of my first year at CSUSM, but I have known about The San Marcos Promise since I was in fifth grade.

These past four years of college have been a journey and a roller coaster, but because of TSMP and the support I received from this amazing program, I feel prepared and confident in taking my next steps. I have learned so much in my time with the Ambassador program. I have learned communication skills, conflict resolution, leadership skills and so much more. Each of these skills will help me in my dream career of becoming a Child Life Specialist, where I will be able to work one on one with children who are hospitalized. I have so much gratitude for everything TSMP has taught me and for our donors who make all of this possible. 

I am also a first generation college student, which means I am the first in my family to attend university. Being a first generation student means you are figuring things out for the first time and while there was some stuff that my family and I were prepared for, there was also some that we figured out as we went. The resources TSMP is offering are going to be a tremendous help for our future first generation students. Thank you to everyone on this amazing team! Past and present! I appreciate you all!
Our deepest gratitude
“The San Marcos Promise is all about preparing young people for the future, whether it be more education or career training or a career. The organization is selfless in its desire to help young people achieve their dreams, no matter the path they take and no matter what their dream might be. I have been honored to be a very small part of an organization with a big vision that can and has made an impact on many students futures. Nothing could be more important or better, than to be involved in such an endeavor."  - Rick Gittings
"It is an honor to have served as one of the founding Board members of The San Marcos Promise. During the time I served, we conceived the notion of "Future Centers," and put the wheels in motion for them to become a reality. Although still a "work-in-progress", the center already boasts an awesome staff and resources to help students discover a viable path to their future career."- Steve Eggers
"The best way to give back to a community is to help its youth move forward." - Mike McDonald
" Enjoying life and having a better world is often about having choices. Nelson Mandela once said, "It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all." That has always been my foundational goal and I have been fortunate enough to share that goal with The San Marcos Promise since its inception in 2014. I am proud to have helped TSMP build dreams, pathways, and prosperity for students of all ages, as many had done for me when I was a student. From scholarships and mentorships to partnerships and opportunities, the knowledge gained via TSMP allowed students to have choices in life that may have never crossed their paths, otherwise. I wish that all who cross the path of TSMP will also help to grow the young minds of our community, because, especially in the wake of our multi-pandemic state, The time is always right to do what is right (Martin Luther King, Jr.)." -Khary Knowles
" There is nothing more rewarding than empowering youth and helping guide them on the pathway to success. As a founder of The San Marcos Promise, it brings me great pride to see how far we've come in six short years. From helping students realize their dreams of becoming a first generation college graduate to providing programs that assist all students in finding their post-high school path, what we do as a foundation is essential to the futures of 21,000 students in the San Marcos Unified School District and the vibrance of our local community and economy."   -Randy Walton
Five amazing TSMP Founding Board Members are finishing up their terms at the end of June: Steve Eggers, Rick Gittings, Khary Knowles, Mike McDonald and Randy Walton. We extend our most sincere thanks to these five dedicated individuals whose term is now finished, but whose work will never be forgotten. They've spent countless hours volunteering and provided a critical level of insight into issues that have guided our foundation forward over the past six years. We thank them for all of their leadership over the last six years that has helped build a thriving foundation that benefits all students in San Marcos. We look forward to introducing you to our newest Board of Directors next month!

Rick Gittings is one of the most respected and successful city managers in San Marcos and flies largely under the radar. However, in his understated style, Rick has been an incredible asset to the board and TSMP as a whole. As Board Chair and a member of the Finance and Executive Committees, Rick has brought unique and valuable insight to all of his work. He is thoughtful, clever, a huge advocate for CTE programs, and just an all-around-fantastic human being. Thanks for failing at retirement and dedicating so much to our foundation, Rick!

Steve Eggers is no stranger to the education community. As C0-Owner of ACE Tutoring, he’s been a long-time supporter of our schools and staff. Steve served as Chair of the Programs Committee which was instrumental in the development of our One Business, One Promise and LEAP Programs, in addition to the planning of our Future Centers. Steve was always present to support us at our events and proud to represent TSMP.

Khary Knowles has been a thoughtful, steadfast member of our board and always displayed unwavering support of our mission. He served on the Programs Committee and his background in architecture, construction management and education has been a tremendous asset in our planning for the Future Centers. Khary was a huge help in the strategic planning as we moved from a scholarship to programs based foundation, thus having the ability to impact many more students.  

Everyone should be lucky enough to have a Mike McDonald in their lives and in their organization. Mike is always there encouraging us to have thoughtful conversation and helping us forge ideas and intentions into actionable, concrete and realistic plans. Mike is passionate, insightful, has a huge heart, and gets things done! His leadership as Chair of our Resource Development Committee has resulted in numerous supportive donors and partnerships. In addition, Mike spearheaded efforts to get internship programs started for our high school students. Not to mention, this guy is tough as nails- he represented our board at the Double Peak Challenge this year (not an easy run)!

There’s no other way to say it: TSMP exists because of Randy Walton . Along with Dr. Holt, Randy was responsible for securing the $6 million grant from the Leichtag Foundation back in 2007 that started the PACE Promise which eventually evolved into The San Marcos Promise. Vision, commitment, and heart are three characteristics that first come to mind when thinking about Randy. When decisions need to be made, you can always count on Randy to speak up. He is a passionate member of our community, whether that community be TSMP, SMUSD, or the city of San Marcos, and he can be relied on to represent each community to the fullest. 
Summer LEAP is going VIRTUAL!
Due to the social distancing mandates and in order to look out for the health and safety of our students and teachers, we will be adjusting our LEAP classes to be VIRTUAL this summer.

We are really looking forward to "LEAPing" online during the month of July. For class details and registration, please visit: thesanmarcospromise.org/leap

Registration deadline: Friday, June 12th

*Financial Assistance is Available
Our Learning Enrichment to Achieve Promise (LEAP) program is one of the best afterschool and summer enrichment programs in the county for K-11 students.

LEAP helps students discover new interests and passions and helps them gain critical 21st century skills such as adaptive problem solving, collaborative communication, and digital fluency.
Not only is it taught by our extraordinary credentialed SMUSD teachers, the teachers are able to design a class in an area they are especially passionate about, with an emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics). Students are exposed to classes they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to take during their school day.
FYI - Future You Initiative Summer Workshops
The San Marcos Promise, in partnership with Pima Medical Institute, is proud to announce the continuation of our FYI (Future You Initiative)virtual workshops during summer! Since April 1st, our extraordinary High School Education Coordinators have been offering The FYI : Zoom In!, Quarantine Edition workshops every M, W, & F (twice per day)! They hosted FIFTY workshops over 9 weeks!!

During the month of July, we will be offering a special workshop series "Welcome to Adulthood" for our class of 2020 graduates. Before entering the real world, graduates will have a unique opportunity involving spirit days, team competitions, prize packages, career coaching sessions, virtual interview practice and more! Subjects covered during the week will include, Personal Finance, Nutrition (why you can't eat Mac 'n Cheese everyday), How to move out & rent an apartment, All things credit and many other real-world situations that young adults should be prepared for.

Click here to learn more and register for our Welcome to Adulthood workshops

Our Education Coordinators, Amanda Yantzer & Roy Huerta, will be offering FYI workshops for high school students in grades 9-11 this summer as well. More information will be coming soon!

We invite you all to join us and continue focusing on your future!

Girard Foundation makes technology available
A huge thanks to Girard Foundation for granting $15,000 to TSMP in order to purchase chromebooks for students! This funding will help ensure that all students in need have the technology to participate in our LEAP Program and Techie Camps this summer! We are so grateful for your support!
Big thanks to Nordson!

Thank you so much to Sara Vaz and Nordson Corporation for giving us the opportunity to partner with Tech Corps & bring Techie Camps to 200 of our San Marcos Unified School District middle school students this summer!

Students will be learning coding & game development using Scratch. So exciting! We are so grateful for your support and belief in our mission!
Career Chat with San Diego CREW

Thank you to Debra Aitken, Katie Yee, Vianney Cardena, Ashly Ortiz, and Serena Patterson of CREW San Diego for partnering with us to host a career chat for our high school students. The students enjoyed hearing about the different paths that led these women through their career journeys. Their advice and inspiring words were encouraging to our students and helped open their eyes to the many opportunities that exist in their futures.

We appreciate the time and energy you put into making this virtual event successful!
Thank you CNS, Custodial & Grounds Staff!
There are so many people working behind the scenes in order to support our students and ensure our sites are clean, safe, and in working order. Our hats go off to our San Marcos Unified School District Child Nutrition Services (CNS), Custodial, and Grounds Staff, who have been working tirelessly over the past 7 weeks. To date, our CNS staff has averaged giving out over $47,000 meals to students in need each week !  
To honor their efforts and give thanks, The San Marcos Promise Board of Directors sponsored lunch for all 170 of these amazing staff members.  
In addition to thanking our staff, we wanted to show our support for some of our local restaurants who have been struggling since the onset of the pandemic. Aside from providing wonderful meals, these local business owners do so much for our community and students throughout the year; dine-outs as fundraisers for our school sites, supporting local team sports, giving student scholarships, etc. THANK YOU to Cenote Grill, Dood's Deli, Players, San Marcos Brewery & Grill, and Tina's Deli.
Thank You for Your Donation!
Click the " DONATE " button for your one-time donation. Any amount is truly appreciated and helps us continue our purpose on Building Dreams, Pathways, and Prosperity.
FUNdraiser time!
When you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to The San Marcos Promise! 

All you need to do is shop on  smile.amazon.com  and input our organization - The San Marcos Promise
Thank you to:

The San Marcos Promise is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational foundation providing college and career support for students in the San Marcos Unified School District. The San Marcos Promise operates on grants and charitable contributions from supporters like you.

With workforce development as our core goal, we strive to provide access to a wide variety of higher education pathways. By partnering with local businesses we inform students of critical workforce needs in our local economy, ensuring a return on their investment in higher education.