VOL |44| October 2020
Message from our Executive Director
Schools are the foundations of strong neighborhoods, workforces, and communities and our schools' stories live in our alumni. San Marcos Promise Ambassadors is a program for SMUSD alumni who are currently pursuing their education beyond high school, and one which we are extremely proud to promote. Through this program, we are able to engage alumni in our foundation, the SMUSD, and the greater community, as well as help them gain invaluable workplace skills and grow their professional networks.

The Ambassador Program provides SMUSD Alumni an opportunity to develop and flex their skills in leadership, public speaking, organization, collaboration (with both peers and adults), and service to others. Each of our ambassadors bring their unique perspective to our team, enabling us to keep a strong student voice at the forefront of all we do. Nothing brings us greater joy than witnessing these students enter their adult lives empowered to navigate their future forward.

“The San Marcos Promise taught me that the adult world is more than being able to send an email and have a good handshake. It is about having your elevator pitch ready, understanding the importance of networking and gaining relevant work experience outside your major.
As a first-generation college graduate, navigating college and the professional world was a challenge I wasn’t sure I could take. The San Marcos Promise gave me the tools and support to feel confident when I stepped into my new role in the professional world.” -Ari Arango, TSMP Promise Ambassador Alumni and current TSMP Board Member

We're excited to introduce you to our 2020-21 TSMP Ambassador Team (bios below).
SMUSD Alumni

Calling all SMUSD Alumni!
We would love to connect with you, and encourage you to connect with other alumni, whether you graduated in the '60's, '70's, '80's, 90's, or last year!

The San Marcos Promise is excited to announce that we will soon be launching the SMUSD Alumni Network! SMUSD Alumni will be a FREE network for past students, current and past faculty and staff, and community members and provide opportunities to connect and stay engaged with SMUSD, San Marcos Promise, and each other. We look forward to sharing alumni stories of inspiration, achievement, and accomplishment.

We could use your help in a big way. As we work to build a network that best serves our community, input from our alumni and friends is of utmost importance. Can you please take this quick survey to help us better understand the information, services and opportunities you would like to receive from the network? It will only take a few minutes of your time and, at the end, you will be invited to become an early member of San Marcos Unified Alumni.

Please click the button below to start the short survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Ambassador Team
My name is Vanessa Crespin. I’ve been a part of SMUSD my entire educational journey. I graduated from Mission Hills High School in 2016 and am in my final year at CSUSM, double majoring in Criminology and Political Science. I love to swim, try new recipes, and can't get enough of dogs. Heck, I’ll even walk your dog, but I can’t guarantee I’ll give it back! Before the pandemic, I was lucky enough to have the experience of a lifetime studying abroad in Japan for six months! This experience helped me discover my passion for traveling and everything intertwined within it. Experiencing the language, culture and different social norms fascinates me. After I finished my program I decided to travel through Asia! During this time, I learned so much about myself and the world. Most of all I learned how to enjoy life. Most people I met teased me about the “American hustle” and the perception that Americans work so much for so long that we forget to take a break once in a while and enjoy life. After graduation I plan to travel the rest of the world and continue to broaden my horizon of different cultures. After that, I plan to pursue my law degree. The thing I love the most about The San Marcos Promise is how devoted they are to the students of the SMUSD. Growing up in San Marcos, I have been able to see it flourishing first hand. It is very near and dear to my heart to keep the growth of San Marcos and its students strong. This is why I joined TSMP. I made the promise to the students of San Marcos, ranging from elementary to college, to help them discover their purpose in life. We all have experienced the feeling of being lost and not knowing our place in this world. I want you all to know that you are not alone in your journey; you have me and TSMP to help you in your path of success.
My name is Abigail White, I’m a second-year Business Major at CSUSM and I plan to focus in Supply Chain Management . The San Marcos Promise has been a wonderful opportunity that I have utilized to expand myself academically and socially. When I began college I committed to the most important requirement TSMP asked of me, service to my community. Shortly after volunteering for the first event, I no longer saw this as a “requirement” but a chance to meet and talk with people who I might have never crossed paths with. One of the first events that I attended was the Future Fair at Mission Hills High School. {I assumed that I would only be directing people where to go but I was so wrong.} I had the pleasure of speaking with excited parents and their hopeful high school students. From sharing my experiences with the transition to college to giving advice to the best of my ability when asked, I realized that I could be a positive representative for my community. So I am honored to serve as a TSMP ambassador and continue making an impact on students and the community.
Here’s a fun fact about me: My biggest indulgence is online shopping, and putting many eye-catching pieces into my basket without looking at the price- a rare pleasure!
My name is Ashley Sanchez and I just transferred to Cal State San Marcos to begin my third year of college. I am a proud first generation college student majoring in Psychology and hope to pursue a career in clinical therapy. I am very passionate about being an ambassador because I love giving back to my community and truly believe in the goals and mission of this organization. By participating in events and programs like LEAP and the Double Peak Challenge, I've been able to meet others with the same interests of giving back to the community. Fun fact: I'm a true farm girl at heart. My dream is to own a small farm where I can take care of animals I've always wanted to adopt ducks, rabbits, chickens, and a hedgehog. I already have several animals at home- a dog, two cats, and two hamsters.
My name is Sidney Adame and I am currently in my second year at Sonoma State University! Although I was disappointed to have my classes via distance learning this year, the silver lining is that it enabled me to be able to join the TSMP ambassador team! I learned about TSMP my senior year when I participated at the Grad Walk event at Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary School. It was such a fun event to help inspire younger students to dream big about their futures.
I am blessed with the awesome opportunity through my major to graduate early with a Liberal Studies BA and a multiple subject credential in 4 years! I'm excited for my future in the education field and hopeful about doing so in San Marcos! Being an Ambassador at The San Marcos Promise is another wonderful opportunity to help out the community that I love so much and work with students that inspire me everyday. I'm lucky to be a part of such an amazing group! 
A fun fact about me is that my first car was a '97 army green, Jeep Wrangler with a manual transmission named Oscar."
My name is Melanie Ponce. I am currently a fourth year student at CSUSM majoring in biology with an emphasis on physiology. Since the beginning of my college experience, TSMP has always been the support I needed to keep going. Far beyond resources and tools to help me, TSMP has been the gateway to the development in my personal growth--something that can't be taught in the books. I have learned to create a professional network as well as establish goals for myself and for my future. TSMP has truly allowed me to understand the importance of education, and now more than ever, I am so excited to see what is in store for me. As a high school student, I often struggled with finding my "path" and figuring out what I wanted to pursue; but with the help of TSMP I explored many different fields first hand. From the LEAP programs to business relations-- I am grateful for the experiences I've had with TSMP because I have learned so much about myself and discovered what I love doing. I am passionate about helping others and giving back to our San Marcos community, and that is why I love being an ambassador for TSMP. Not only does TSMP align with my educational values, but it also provides students with resources and guides to further their future goals. One personal tidbit about myself is that I am a total Disney enthusiast!
FYI: Money Matters
Our High School Education Coordinators, Amanda Yantzer and Rogelio Huerta, are working with our high school teachers to schedule virtual classroom workshops this month. Students can make an appointment by going to their website and clicking on "make an appointment with us."
In addition, Amanda and Roy will be hosting "Money Matters, A Personal Finance Workshop Series" for current High School students and Alumni. For specific dates and to register please visit: bit.ly/skillshops2021

Click below to read a recent article published in the Career Education Review about the work we're doing:
LEAP with us this Fall
We received such positive responses from parents and students about our virtual Summer LEAP Program that we are bringing it back for the Fall!

Dates for our Virtual Fall LEAP Program:

October 26-Dec.11(no classes Thanksgiving week).
Each class meets 1 day per week for 1 hour & 30 min.

LEAP Registration will open on October 4th.

Please check out the LEAP page on our website for more information.
Thank you Firefighters!
With fires burning throughout the west coast, we want to give a HUGE thank you to all of the firefighters risking their lives day and night for our safety! The San Marcos Fire Department will be hosting a DRIVE THRU Open House on Saturday Oct 3rd. Our firefighters will be teaching safe fire prevention education tips, car washing, and performing special demonstrations!
Welcome our newest PALS of the Promise!

As a nonprofit foundation, we rely on the generous support of individuals and businesses in order to carry out our mission. Several employees of SMUSD are amongst this group of supporters and have been making monthly payroll contributions for years.

Thank you to all of our new PALS and to those of you who have been generously supporting over the years.

Congratulations to our two winners of the $250 Amazon gift cards: Micah Williams (new PAL) and Vanessa Mercado (continuing PAL).

A short video from Ambassador, Melanie Ponce
Thank you DMI
Thank you to Glen Bullock and DMI for your continued support of TSMP! We truly appreciate your belief in our mission.
STEAM Expo
Learn coding, programming, robotics, animation and more on Oct 2nd! This is a virtual experience for K-12th! Students can meet with colleges to learn more about their STEAM programs and ROTC scholarships. Click the picture or link: https://www.facebook.com/events/243014797044205/
Tune in to the Careers in Manufacturing & Engineering Series!
Open to all students, families and educators! Learn about the many careers in this sector as well as hear the career journeys of professionals currently in the field.

Click HERE to register!
Did You Know?
Did you know that CSUSM hosts FREE Corona Virus testing everyday from 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Viasat Engineering Pavilion? Parking Lot F is also FREE for visitors who wish to be tested. Not only is the testing available to students but to the general public as well. If you do not live near campus, please visit 211sandiego.org or call 211 to find a testing site near you.
Double Peak Challenge 2020
Nothing will stop this year's Double Peak Challenge! The Double Peak Challenge will be hosted virtually this year and all you need is some running shoes and somewhere to run. Get ready to challenge yourself at your own place, your own pace and your own date. Don't worry, if you can't complete the 10k in one day, you can split the distance over several days.
Register online and receive some swag too! Register by October 3rd. Thank you for your endless support for The Friends of San Marcos and The San Marcos Promise.
To find out more information, please visit:
Donate your vehicle to support TSMP!
A donation comes in many forms... a sustaining membership... a one-time gift...even that extra vehicle you no longer need! Donating that vehicle (car, truck, jet ski, you name it) is a great way to support The San Marcos Promise. It's easy & pick-up is free. It's a great tax write off and could be worth hundreds of dollars in support of our mission!

Call (855) 500- RIDE or (855) 500-7433
to learn about the advantages of donating a vehicle. 
Thanks for your Support!
Thank You for Your Donation!
Click the "DONATE" button above for your one-time donation. Any amount is truly appreciated and helps us continue our mission of 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.