SMC’s Adelante Program receives a gift of $ 325,000 from a private donor to help create more opportunities for students
Santa Monica College (SMC) Latino Center and Adelante Program, which has provided a structured academic and counseling / support environment to SMC’s Latinx / Chicanx students for 32 years, has a donation of $ 325,000 from private donor Ann Wang received. Wang’s gift will be used to create a program fund that will expand the opportunities for Adelante students to survive and thrive in college and prevent adverse circumstances from setting them back.
Ms. Wang – who oversees the Wang Joint Living Trust founded by her in-laws – also donated $ 25,000 to a lending library for the newly opened Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School (operated by Growing Place and part of a collaboration between SMC, the City of Santa Monica and from RAND Corporation) and $ 25,000 to the SMC Foundation’s Gift of Books Fund to provide textbook vouchers for students in need of additional assistance.
“I am so grateful to Ann Wang and the Wang family for this tremendous and generous gift that will be given to our deserving students for many years to come. Words will never be enough to express my gratitude, ”said SMC Adelante Program Faculty Director Maria Martinez. “The impact this gift will have on our Adelante students is enormous. Ann Wang, may God always bless you! “
Wang’s donation will help provide psychological counseling, emergency funds, food security programs, and more.
This is Ann Wang’s third major gift since her first gift in January 2020 when she donated $ 325,000 to the Umoja community of SMC’s Black Collegians Program, also to set up a program fund to expand opportunities for Black Collegians, and a subsequent $ 200,000 startup funding gift to start the SMC Foundation’s Meal Project in March 2020, which will deliver nutritious, fresh meals straight to the home of SMC students in need. Recipients include foster children, veterans, insecure residents, and seniors.
“It’s been almost two years since I first met Maria and learned about her Latinx student program at SMC. I’ve been thinking of her ever since. I am pleased that I can now provide the Latinx Group / Adelante with a foundation that will fund large and small program initiatives for years to come, ”said Wang. “I’ve seen what a foundation did for the Black Collegians, and I know that in Mary’s capable hands, that money will change lives. I feel really privileged to be part of such a rewarding effort. “
“There really are no words to describe the immense kindness that Ann Wang showed our students; Your generosity will have a profound, transformative effect on those who pursue their academic endeavors at Santa Monica College, ”said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, Superintendent / President of SMC. “The way in which she has opened up service and opportunity for our students through this gift – it’s just great and will have an impact in the years to come.”
Established in 1989, the Adelante Program is an academic support program launched by the SMC Latino Center to provide structured counseling and academic experience to promote student achievement, cultural awareness and personal growth. It’s a support system that helps Latinx / Chicanx students – who make up 37% of SMC’s student body – navigate college successfully and prepare them for their academic / career journey beyond SMC. Adelante requires counseling and participation in workshops, and the counselors intentionally use relevant cultural knowledge to address student needs and create a supportive and inclusive environment. There are also special Adelante priority enrollment courses that highlight Latinx culture and historically underrepresented student experience wherever relevant.
Lizzy Moore, Dean of Institutional Funding for SMC, commented on another aspect of Ms. Wang’s latest gift. “Ann’s generosity and passion for books include the ages served by SMC programs,” said Moore. “This new gift includes helping students with textbook vouchers as well as establishing a number of classroom libraries at SMC’s Early Childhood Lab School to support infants, toddlers and preschoolers on the new campus.”
For more information about SMC’s Adelante Program and the Latino Center, visit smc.edu/adelante. For more information about the Santa Monica College Foundation and opportunities like the Meal Project and more, visit santamonicacollegefoundation.org.