photo of Brenda and Angel OrozcoIn early 2009, Angel Orozco wanted to study Construction Engineering. He considered applying to Cal Poly, Pomona.

But Angel, a Colton High School senior, saw his older siblings accumulate major debt at four-year institutions and trade schools.

Angel couldn’t afford tuition so his high school counselor suggested community college and SBVC’s Valley-Bound Commitment Program.

“My older sister and brother both attended college at expensive schools and are still trying to pay off their student loans,” Angel said. “My goal is to graduate from college with as little debt as possible and the Valley-Bound Commitment is great because I don’t have to worry about working or paying for school.”

Angel was one of 88 students in the 2009-2010 Valley-Bound Commitment program. His first year of college expenses, which included books, tuition and parking, were covered by SBVC Foundation funds.

“The whole process of college seemed confusing at first. But, in talking with my high school counselors, getting to know my Valley-Bound counselor, and setting up an educational plan, it was almost like that extra help and push made me confident,” said Angel, an SBVC student for more than two years.         

Angel’s younger sister, Brenda, is following in her brother’s footsteps. With the program nearly full, Angel lobbied SBVC administrators on Brenda’s behalf to get her into the Valley-Bound Commitment program.

Brenda, a 2010 Colton High School graduate, has enjoyed her counselor’s proactive approach, working with her beyond her initial educational plan. Her goal is a degree in liberal studies and to become a bilingual second-grade teacher.

The program has encouraged more members of the Orozco family to attend college, including younger sister, Victoria, a potential 2012-13 applicant.

“My brother motivates me,’’ said Brenda. “He has goals for himself and that has been a great example to me. Coming from my neighborhood, people look at college as something they can’t afford. But, this program really works and helps those in need to afford college. The more education we get as individuals, the more it shows our community that you can go to college and succeed.”