Staff Report

Generous donors changed the odds for Allan Hancock College students in 2021, by donating a record-breaking total to hundreds of them through the Allan Hancock College Foundation Scholarship program.

This year, 358 students will receive 465 scholarships totaling more than $561,000. In lieu of the foundation’s annual scholarship banquet, recipients utilized Zoom to meet and thank their donors in a safe and socially distanced format.

“Year after year, our scholarship program provides critical support and affirmation for Hancock students as they continue their studies,” said Hancock Executive Director of College Advancement Jon Hooten. “Thank you to all our donors – longtime supporters and new donors alike – who invest in the potential of these students.”

Hancock Class of 2021 graduate Rafael Valdovinos received the prestigious Marian Hancock Scholarship. Named in honor of the late wife of Captain G. Allan Hancock, the $10,000 scholarship is awarded to one outstanding student each year who exemplifies service to the school, scholastic achievement and personal conduct. Valdovinos is the 56th student to win the Marian Hancock Scholarship since 1967.

Valdovinos, a first-generation college student, graduated from Hancock with a psychology degree and plans to transfer to Brandman University in the fall. Valdovinos hopes to earn a master’s degree in social work and pursue a career in helping people struggling with addiction, incarceration and mental health issues. As a full-time Hancock student, Rafael also committed his time to volunteering at the Los Prietos Boys Camp, became a member of the college’s Beyond Incarceration Greater Education (BIGE) Club and worked as a tutor for the Beyond Barriers Re-Entry grant program.

“My goal is to share my own experience and to empower those impacted by systemic barriers, mental health disorders, substance use disorders and incarceration,” said Valdovinos. “I humbly credit my success to my advocates, family and friends for helping me on my journey.”

A scholarship committee comprised of 15 Hancock faculty, staff and foundation board members chose this year’s recipients from nearly 1,000 applications. The Allan Hancock College Foundation has been a resource for thousands of Hancock College students since 1977. The foundation has raised funds over the years that have changed lives through education by touching every aspect of the college’s life, including scholarships, programs, projects and faculty and staff development.