VOL |41| July 2020
Message from our Executive Director
The last few months of the school year were ones none of us could have predicated. While there were no doubt many challenges, as I look back on the 2019-20 school year, there is much to celebrate and be thankful for. I am proud to share our annual report for this year, and we couldn't have done this work without our supporters and generous donors. THANK YOU for helping us advance our mission in guiding and supporting students on their educational journeys beyond high school into the workforce.

Speaking of advancing our mission, I’m excited to announce the addition of six new board members: Ari Avila-Arango (Communications Specialist at JPW Communications); Jim Bettencourt (Officer/Media Information Officer, CHP); Paul Borden (retired, Homefed Corp); Scotty Lombardi (Global Talent Management, Hunter Industries) Vanessa Negrete (Principal, Negrete Law Group), and Zack Nelson (DDS, Nelson Family Orthodontics).

The San Marcos Promise is fortunate to have a diverse group of board members who have the expertise and the desire to help us achieve our ambitious goals. Ari, Jim, Paul, Scotty, Vanessa and Zack have the experience and the passion for our mission that will allow them to add tremendously to the great work being done by our board.  We are so excited to have these six professionals supporting The San Marcos Promise and we're thankful for their dedication to help the students and families in our community!

I also want to announce the following changes to our board’s Executive Committee. Jenny Orlando will be our new Board Chair. Congratulations to Jenny on her new role, and a huge thank you to outgoing Chairman Rick Gittings and Randy Walton, Mike McDonald, Khary Knowles, and Steve Eggers , who just finished serving in their terms. Our deepest appreciation to these five founding board members whose leadership has contributed significantly to our success as an organization.  

Click here to learn more about The San Marcos Promise! 
Welcome new TSMP Board Members!
Scotty Lombardi is a business leader with nearly two decades of broad Human Resources experience across the retail, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors, and he leads Global Talent Management at Hunter Industries while also representing the company’s external efforts in Government Affairs and Community Engagement. Scotty’s deep commitment to making a difference in the community motivates his efforts in volunteerism, philanthropy, and civic engagement in supporting organizations whose missions address economic and workforce development, food and housing insecurity, access to education, and environmental sustainability. Scotty is actively involved in our schools and community and has participated in various TSMP events with Hunter, such as Senior Mock Interviews, Connect to Careers, and Future Fair. He also serves as  University Council Member for CSU San Marcos and as Board Member for the Palomar College Foundation and San Diego North Economic Development Council.
Jim Bettencourt started his career in TV News as both a Producer and Public Information Officer. He started his career with the California Highway Patrol in 2000 where he has held positions as a road officer, background investigator, Public Information Officer and currently a Media Information Officer doing traffic reports for 10news. Jim prides himself on being an expert in Community Outreach and Media Relations and is passionate about youth safety and prevention. He has worked several public events and spent time with countless schools in the area through CHP’s Every 15 Minutes Program and other safety talks. Jim helped develop the California Highway Patrol Start Smart Program and worked closely with UCSD on their “Just Drive” distracted driver program. Jim has enjoyed coaching several years of youth baseball and flag football. He is married to his lovely wife Erin and has three kids, Faith who will be a senior next year at San Marcos High School, Alex (13), and Aubree (6).

Vanessa Negrete is an attorney whose practice area is primarily Labor & Employment law. She is a mother of two young girls, Bella (10) and Arianna (7), who attend SMUSD schools. Vanessa has deep roots in San Marcos; she attended Richland Elementary, San Marcos Middle School, and San Marcos High School. Her mother was also a teacher at Richland Elementary for 15 years. Vanessa is excited to give back to the community where she grew up. She also serves on the board of directors for Casa de Amparo. Vanessa is a soccer fanatic and continued playing the sport recreationally until she hung up her cleats after having children. She now lives vicariously through her daughters and enjoys her “Soccer Saturdays,” watching her girls play.
A ri Avila-Arango is no stranger to TSMP. Ari was TSMP’s Lead Ambassador while attending Cal State University, San Marcos as a PACE Scholar. She is a first generation college graduate and started her professional career as a Communications Specialist at JPW Communications, where she interned her last semester of college. In her role, Ari provides support on all JPW clients including strategic communications, community outreach strategies and marketing campaigns, and keeps the team organized by managing day-to-day client activity.
As an ambassador alumni, Ari not only has a deep understanding of TSMP’s mission, but can personally attest to the impact our foundation makes in the lives of students. She is thrilled to join the board in our newly established alumni seat, where her voice will no doubt add extreme value. A lifelong resident of North San Diego County, Ari has spent her life and career focused on service and engagement with her community.

Paul Borden officially retired in December from Homefed Corporation, where he spent 20 years as President. Over the past 25 years that Homefed owned and developed San Elijo Hills, he was very active in the San Marcos community and a long time supporter of TSMP. His first 15 years were spent in commercial lending and corporate management in NYC, Hartford and Boston. Since 1988,Paul worked for a NYSE conglomerate acquiring and managing business investments involving distressed loans and corporate debt, oil and gas E&P ventures. Since 1994 he has spent most of his time in acquiring and managing real estate properties. Through Homefed, Paul was involved in many community - oriented volunteer activities and charitable giving. Paul is very close with his family and enjoys spending his time with them.  

Zack Nelson opened his practice, Nelson Family Orthodontics, in San Marcos three years ago. Part of their mission is to help patients gain confidence in themselves with a smile they are proud of . Dr. Nelson loves being involved in the schools and tries to interact with his youth patients as much as possible. He is a person who truly walks the walk, generously donating orthodontic services as well as sponsoring scholarships to students in the community. Zack became involved with TSMP as a community supporter over a year and a half ago and has participated in events such as Senior Mock Interviews and Connect to Careers. He has a lovely wife of 17 years and 4 children. Zack enjoys golfing, mountain biking, basketball, going to the beach, and spending time with his family.

Future You Initiative (FYI) "Welcome to Adulthood" Workshops
Our Education Coordinators have been hard at work implementing virtual workshops all throughout the quarantine. They finished two weeks of "Welcome to Adulthood" workshops for the Class of 2020 graduates. Graduating seniors had the opportunity to learn about various topics that will be crucial as they step into their adult lives, such as credit and budgeting, nutrition, stress management, finding a job and resume writing, interview skills, and much more. The week culminated with Zoom interviews. Several professionals in the community volunteered their time to assist our graduates with mock interviews so students could practice the skills they learned throughout the week. Thank you to our graduates who participated, to our amazing Education Coordinators, and to our supportive community volunteers for making this happen.

Our Education Coordinators are continuing 1:1 virtual appointments with students throughout the month of July, assisting students with their future plans. Students can make an appointment by filling out a request form here: https://tinyurl.com/yauollsq
Techie Camps

Thank you to Sara Vaz and Nordson Corporation for sponsoring five weeks of Techie Camps for 280 of our SMUSD middle school students! We are so appreciative for the opportunity to parter with Tech Corps to make this happen. Students will learn new skills in coding and game development.

Thank you for helping us expose students to the STEM field through fun and engaging content!

Thank you to COX Foundation and C2KSD
Thanks to the generous support of COX and Computers 2 Kids San Diego, TSMP was able to provide students with chromebooks in order to participate in our virtual LEAP and Techie Camps throughout summer. TSMP will donate the 261 chromebooks to SMUSD at the end of summer to be checked out to families in need for the school year.

Thank you Walmart Store #3494
San Marcos Educators' Association

We are happy to announce that we received a $500 donation from both Walmart Giving & Walmart Store #3494 and San Marcos Educators' Association (SMEA) .

Thank you to both organizations for your generous support of TSMP!
Super Strong Interest inventory
One of our goals as an organization is to help students connect their interests and abilities with different career options. The world of work, with its changes and volatility, can be a scary and uncertain place. However, when students understand themselves and others, they’re better positioned to align their interests, skills, and abilities with the world of work that awaits them. With enhanced self-awareness, they can be confident that they’re headed in the right direction and make the most of their time in school.

The  Super Strong Interest Inventory ® is an assessment that provides insight into a student’s interests, so they're better positioned to consider potential careers, their educational path and the world of work. Built on psychologist John Holland’s theory, it’s backed by more than 80 years of research into how people of similar interests are employed, and what motivates individuals in the workplace.

The San Marcos Promise provides a district license that allows all students, 13 years of age and older, to create an account and take the Super Strong Interest Inventory. This tool delivers effective and powerful results that are a great start in the self and career exploration process. Look for upcoming virtual Super Strong workshops with our Education Coordinators!
Thank You for Your Donation!
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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.