Madera Community College graduate Marisela Maciel was featured in the college's grant-winning marketing video.
Written by Ben Hensley
Madera Community College was named the winner of the Lumina Foundation’s Million Dollar Community College Challenge.
Out of hundreds of submissions, the Foundation announced the winner of the Million Dollar Community College Challenge on Wednesday, with Madera Community College taking home the grand prize of $1 million to go towards branding and marketing for the college.
“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.”
The college will use the funds to create physical spaces on campus to celebrate the region’s heritage and culture. They will also establish community events embracing adult students and their families as well as community partners.
The marketing will center on the theme “Sentido de Pertenencia” — a sense of belonging.
“Sentido de Pertenencia is a belonging that instills pride, bolsters confidence, and creates opportunity,” said Madera Community College President Dr. Angel Reyna. “The word pertenencia goes beyond making sure students feel welcome.”
The competition took place in two phases. In phase one, community colleges submitted proposals highlighting their college and their vision for the grant. Ten finalists were selected, with each submitting video presentations outlining their commitment to adult students.
Each of the other nine finalists received $100,000, as well as assistance in brand building and marketing. Madera Community College and Long Beach City College were the only California finalists.
“We are so excited for Madera,” said Lumina Foundation Strategy Director for Community College Participation Shauna Davis. “They brought to life the spirit of this challenge through their focus on brand building, community engagement and generational transformation.”
The two-minute video submitted by Madera Community College featured recent graduate Marisela Maciel. In Spanish, Maciel describes her financial challenges and success as an immigrant with three children. She also encourages fellow and prospective students to “do it for your family; do it for you.”
“When I started college I did not speak English. I did not have financial security and stability,” she said. “I was a person looking for opportunities.”
The video was filmed and edited by Jennifer Hernandez, Madera Community College student ambassador.
In the video, Maciel explained how Madera Community College presented her with the opportunity to achieve her goal of graduating college. Se is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree.
“We have a responsibility to our students to create a place where they can change the course of their lives and generations to come,” Reyna said. “And it’s through students knowing in their heart of hearts that they belong at Madera Community College that lives are transformed and our community flourishes.”
The Lumina Foundation aims to work with community colleges and employers to help adult students earn quality, short-term credentials. They also help adult community college students earn associate’s degrees, and also work with colleges and universities to help at least 1 million more adults earn their bachelor’s degrees.