VOL |39| May 2020
Message from our Executive Director
First and foremost, we hope you and your family are well. While these past weeks have brought challenges for all of us, as I talk with students, colleagues, and friends, I've noticed a growing sense of community- a shared feeling that we're facing this crisis together. Although social distancing is happening in the physical sense, it's heartwarming to see that quite the opposite is happening in the way we are uniting to take care of each other. COVID-19 may take us physically out of the community, but it will never take the community out of our hearts!

Perhaps one of the most important lessons I've witnessed out of this pandemic is the power of gratitude; and it's not just gratitude for the "good" things in life. Sometimes the greatest sense of gratitude comes out of adverse circumstances. There's much research on gratitude and it's power to increase o ur overall sense of well-being- whether on our emotio ns, relationships, career success, or health. There's no doubt we experience improvements in our well-being when we practice any form of gratitude... not to mention it doesn't cost a thing!

All of whom work with students are aware that learning is reciprocal; we learn as much from them as they do us. As I was writing this today, my husband read me an artist's statement from one of his Sculpture students and showed me her assemblage piece of found object art.
Because art is a lens to reflect, document, and communicate our human experience, students were tasked with creating an original artifact; their own "Covid-19" in 3-dimensions. This piece represented gratitude, and so fitting I wanted to share it with all of you. above is Dayna Oest, a senior at San Marcos High School , along with her Covid-19 artifact. Below is her artist statement.

"The goal of my piece was to represent gratitude during the global pandemic. When most teenagers go onto social media, we often see posts about people complaining about the things that they have lost due to the fact that we have to stay home. People post everything from sentimental pictures of hanging out with their friends pre-quarantine to “humorous” TikToks about how the class of 2020 graduation would be through Skype. In response to this, I wanted to create a visual representation of what we “lost” versus what we “gained” due to having to stay at home. The pictures on the outside of the mason jar are the things that we lost because of the pandemic such as graduation, celebrating what colleges we will be going to, being able to see extended family, etc. The items on the inside are the things that the pandemic has helped us realize that we should be more grateful for. For example, I included a dollar bill which is symbolic of how I am grateful that my mom is still able to receive a paycheck that can pay for our groceries, I included a piece from a board game that is symbolic of how I’m grateful that I’m able to spend quality time with my little sister playing board games, I included a Cross that is symbolic of how grateful I am to God for everything that He has given us and taught us, etc. As the mason jar shows, the pandemic has allowed us to appreciate far more things that we took for granted than it has taken away from us. We all have so much to be grateful for and things like health and food on the table are far more important than our last high school dance. Losing these life moments is a very sad concept, but learning to appreciate what we have allows us to realize that we have so much to be grateful for. Furthermore, my COVID-19 artifact is a personal narrative that I used to represent the grander concept of gratitude during a time of fear, anxiety, and sadness." - Dayna, Oest

Isn't it great how young people can help us put things into perspective? Great work, Dayna. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and talents with us!

Be well and stay safe!
Click here to learn more about The San Marcos Promise! 
Transforming our vision into physical existence
The San Marcos Promise is working to transform our high school College & Career Centers into FUTURE C ENTERS. Each San Marcos high school will house a Future Center, offering year-round access to thousands of students and families.

Future Centers will be "one-stop shops," designed to prepare students for the 21st century workforce with cutting-edge multimedia resources and personalized guidance. Visit our website to learn more about our vision and the services that will be offered within the Future Centers.

We are extremely fortunate to have the talent and expertise of Mrs. Tiffany English in leading our San Marcos High School Future Center student design team, consisting of six students who are interested in architecture and design. Mrs. English is helping students gain invaluable real-world skills by teaching them the renovation process from concept to completion. We couldn't be more excited or thankful for Mrs. English's help! Mrs. English is a Principal at Ware Malcomb , where she is responsible for business development and managing the San Diego office, as well as overseeing work in the Phoenix and Latin American markets. She is also a proud SMHS parent!

Student design teams will be formed at Mission Hills and Twin Oaks High Schools next school year.

"Working with the students at SMHS to explore the renovation of the Future Center has provided an opportunity for me to give back to my community. An added benefit is working with these amazing students collaboratively and create a space that will work for them and their counselors in a more inspiring way. The student’s thoughts and ideas on how they want to see the space function with the input from their counselors will provide a great space allowing the students and faculty to have a place to come together in many ways from large group meetings to one-on-one connections. Providing a space that provides inspiration and ideas for how they shape their futures. I look forward to seeing this project come together with the support of the school and the community!" - Tiffany English

"I chose to be a part of this program because I think it will be help me learn the skills I need to be a successful architect in the future, and to get ahead of the game." - Hayden Werts,10th grade

"I joined the Future Center Committee because it seemed like a great opportunity to get some engineering and design experience. Personally, I'm interested in an architecture or industrial design career, so this was a chance to see some of what those careers might have in store."
-Lexi Schalon, 9th grade
Upcoming Parent Virtual Workshop

Our workshop last month, Navigating an Uncertain Future, received such great feedback that we had to schedule another!

We are thrilled to announce our second amazing workshop with Tim Klein.

Please mark your calendars and join us on Wednesday, May 6th!

Register here

To read and/or subscribe to Tim's newsletter, visit findyourway.substack.com
THANK YOU to Hunter Industries!
A BIG thanks to Hunter Industries for believing in our mission and for your generous support of $5,000 to The San Marcos Promise! 

Whether it's participating in our Senior Mock Interviews or our Future Fairs- you are always there to help inspire students to dream big about their futures.  Your partnership is truly appreciated! 
North County Covid-19 Relief Fund
Last month, Leichtag Foundation teamed up with Coastal Community Foundation and Rancho Santa Fe Foundation to establish the North County COVID-19 Response Fund to direct crucial resources to nonprofits in North County San Diego. The accelerating scale of COVID-19 and its ripple effects are hitting our North County vulnerable community members, already at the brink of not being able to make ends meet, especially hard.

The Fund gives general operating support to organizations serving the basic needs of vulnerable populations in response to the effects of the pandemic. Organizations include:  Community Resource Center Interfaith Community Services North County Lifeline North County Food Bank,    United Way's Workers Assistance Initiative for North County residents,  and  Vista Community Clinic.    

The Fund grants committee is comprised of professional and volunteer leaders from the three foundations and is proactively evaluating the most pressing and anticipated community needs to grant with urgency. Funds will be granted on a rolling basis as fundraising continues and 100% of donations will go to nonprofits. We would be grateful if you would consider supporting this effort and also share it with others. Donations may be made at  www.rsffoundation.org/COVID19 .
Future You Initiative (FYI) Workshops for students
The San Marcos Promise, in partnership with Pima Medical Institute, is proud to announce the continuation of our FYI (Future You Initiative) workshops…virtually! 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)! We invite you all to join us and continue to focus on your future!

Click  here  to learn more!

Below are quotes from students from recent workshops
New Charitable Tax Rules
A new law, which was included in the CARES Act and is currently in place for one year, is intended to spur charitable giving by offering all taxpayers the ability to access a charitable deduction. Read how the new charitable tax rules impact you.
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.