The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program students are supported and are given the tools to succeed while they are enrolled at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). Just ask the 70 students who recently received a windfall of donations including a brand new laptop. 
Thanks to the partnerships facilitated over the years between SBVC and its local community partners, CalWORKs students were recently gifted 70 new laptops. CalWORKs & Workforce Development Manager Shalita Tillman said the donor, the Great Harvest Community Center, has worked alongside SBVC and CalWORKs students for years. This particular donation, however, will change the lives of all of the students who received the laptops. 
“This type of donation is a tremendous weight off of their shoulders knowing that they’re going to have their own technology,” said Tillman. “I think the feeling of the ownership that they got from receiving these laptops is something that is going to elevate their education, and it was just phenomenal. You could just see the appreciation in the students’ faces. This donation represents empowerment to our students.” 
Additionally, the CalWORKs students received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer from the San Bernardino branch of the Census Bureau and gas cards from the CalWORKs program. 
“These donations represent the partnerships in our community and how we all work together to lift up people in San Bernardino and in the surrounding areas we serve,” said Dr. Diana Rodriguez, president of SBVC. “We are incredibly grateful for the donations from the Great Harvest Community Center, the San Bernardino chapter of the Census Bureau to help our students continue to be safe and successful while they learn with us at SBVC.” 
Tillman and other organizers set up a drive-through for the CalWORKs recipients and implemented county-level COVID-19 safety measures during the distribution. With more than 20 years of experience helping SBVC students, she is the go-to person for helping CalWORKs students get the access they need to resources in their communities. She has served as the Workforce Council Chair for the Inland Empire Job Corps for more than five years and regularly received feedback from industry partners which she then takes back to enhance the trade programs at Job Corps. Tillman has also been the Inland Empire Job Corps Work-Based Learning Site supervisor for more than a decade. In this role, Tillman works with Job Corps students enrolled in six-week internships, placing them in on-campus departments that align with their trade. 
The Inland Empire Job Corps recognized her service in 2015, when she received a Partner of the Year award. She also received an award in 2018 from the national level of Job Corps, and she won another local award in 2019.