Madera Community College is the winner of the “The Million Dollar Community College Challenge” the Lumina Foundation announced Aug. 17 with the winning video submission entitled “Sentido de Pertenencia” – a sense of belonging – created by student ambassador Jennifer Hernandez featuring recent alumna Marisela Maciel, an immigrant and mother of three children.
The award announcement was live streamed by Lumina, a Central Valley Higher Education Consortium
partner, during a special watch party on campus where Madera Community College President Ángel Reyna joined several campus and community members who erupted in joy when MCC was shown as the winner from out of 10 finalists nationwide.
“Sentido de Pertenencia is a belonging that instills pride, bolsters confidence and creates opportunity,” said Dr. Reyna, who sits on the CVHEC Board of Directors representing California’s newest community college.
“The word pertenencia goes beyond making sure students feel welcome,” the president explained. “We have a responsibility to our students to create a place where they can change the course of their lives and generations to come. And it’s through students knowing in their heart of hearts they belong at Madera Community College that lives are transformed and our community flourishes.”
The goal of The Million Dollar Community College Challenge grant is to help community colleges position their brand to gain the attention of adults who often have competing demands but could benefit greatly from a college degree, credential or certificate.
Grant funds will be used to fulfill four main goals:
- Creating physical spaces on campus that celebrate the region’s heritage and cultural experience
- Establishing signature community events to embrace adult students, their families, and community partners
- Improving processes that bring to life the concept of “pertenencia” at every point on a student’s college journey.
- Building community pride in the college
Shauna Davis, strategy director at Lumina Foundation, said Madera went beyond just an advertising message by depicting the college experience in its video message.
“All of the finalists did a great job. Ultimately there could only be one-million-dollar winner and Madera really impressed us by their focus on creating a visceral sense of belonging on campus and in their message of generational transformation,” Davis said. “This challenge isn’t about advertising, it’s about the intentionality that goes into connecting with the community and creating a college experience that is great from the website to the parking lot and to the classroom.”
The national grant competition included two phases. In phase one, community colleges wrote proposals highlighting what makes their college exceptional and provided their vision for how a million dollars would help them transform their brand building efforts.
Ten finalists were selected and in round 2, each finalist created a video sharing their promise to adult learners.
President Reyna said in the winning video, Jennifer and Marisela brought to life the spirit of Madera and created a project that captured the vulnerability and tenacity of the student experience.
“We are beyond excited for our students, faculty, staff, and community members,” said Michele Corbett, director of marketing and communication at Madera Community College. “Being selected for this grant will not only make a big difference for Madera Community College students but the entire region.”
For more info, contact Monica Armenta at Madera Community College: firstname.lastname@example.org or 559.930.0801. For more information about the challenge, please visit luminafoundation.org/challenge.
About Madera Community College
Madera Community College is located at the edge of the city of Madera on Avenue 12 east of Highway 99, serving approximately seven-thousand students annually. The college provides an affordable, quality education for residents of Madera County and nearby communities, and is a proud member of the State Center Community College District.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.
Madera Community College’s winning video, “Sentido de Pertenencia” – a sense of belonging – was created by student ambassador Jennifer Hernandez featuring recent alumna Marisela Maciel, an immigrant and mother of three children.