SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Valley College Foundation’s annual Valley-Bound Commitment Program: Recognition of Excellence Luncheon took place Friday, March 10, 2017 at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). Thanks to support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the award-winning Valley-Bound Commitment Program (Valley-Bound) has provided a free first year of college to hundreds of local high school students, including the cost of textbooks, transportation, registration fees, and school supplies.
Valley-Bound is designed to create a smooth transition into college for local high school students, preparing them to achieve their academic and career goals. Valley-Bound students attend a week-long summer orientation, meet with an educational counselor, participate in field trips to four-year universities, and fulfill a community service requirement.
Of the 263 Valley-Bound students who have graduated and transferred since the program’s inception in 2008, 55 have earned a bachelor’s degree, 17 will earn their bachelor’s by the end of this year, and the remaining are in the process of completing their bachelor’s coursework. In addition, four students have earned master’s degrees, eight are currently in graduate programs, and one is in a postgraduate program.
Devale Haywood, a current Valley-Bound student, is majoring in psychology and plans on transferring to a four-year university. He is considering pursuing a career in psychiatry or clinical psychology.
“My counselors have helped me really understand what it takes to transfer and be a good student,” he said.
Alumna Natalie Reeves graduated from SBVC with her Associate of Arts and transferred to California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) where she earned her bachelor’s in Health Care Management last year. Her brother, Vance Reeves, graduated from SBVC in 2015 with his associate’s degree and is currently studying at CSUSB, where he will pursue teaching in the field of mathematics.
“(Valley-Bound counselor) Carmen Rodriguez was amazing,” he said. “Whenever I needed her, she was there.”
SBVC President Diana Z. Rodriguez expressed deep appreciation to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for making the Valley-Bound program possible. Rodriguez welcomed the afternoon’s special guest, Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Valbuena reflected on the importance of understanding the challenges facing students from low-income backgrounds and discussed what it meant to give back to the community.
“It makes me so happy that we are here to do this for you,” she said.
The luncheon concluded with a round of applause for Valley-Bound students, faculty, and staff, who gathered for photos with Chairwoman Valbuena.