Hartnell College
Hartnell College Main Campus in Salinas (Contributed)

MONTEREY COUNTY — The Bright Futures Education Partnership is now a cradle-to-career partnership anchored at the Hartnell College Foundation.

“The Hartnell College Foundation is once again leading the way in innovative thinking and action by taking under its umbrella the Bright Futures program, which will enhance support to communities toward a bright future for every student in Monterey County,” said Bruce Taylor at Taylor Farms. “As a convenor, I am proud to help lead the way toward making the Bright Futures vision a reality.”

The vision of Bright Futures is to ensure that every child is prepared for school, succeeds in and out of school, completes a post-high school credential, and enters a promising career.

“We are excited to continue the important work of ensuring that all of our students in Monterey County can achieve their educational and career goals,” said Jackie Cruz, Hartnell College Foundation executive director and vice president of institutional advancement for Hartnell College. “Bright Futures is an important convener for youth-serving organizations throughout Monterey County and will continue to be a catalyst for change.”

Bright Futures is organized around seven goal areas: early care and education, kindergarten readiness, early reading, critical thinking, youth development, college and career readiness, and career pathways. The goal areas represent key points in the education pipeline for Monterey County and guide the partnership’s activities.

“Hartnell College has partnered with Bright Futures for the last several years on initiatives to help Salinas Valley students get ready for college, access financial aid, enroll in college, complete a degree, and transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Michael Gutierrez, Hartnell College superintendent/president. “Taking on Bright Futures aligns with our commitment to ensuring that every student in our region can achieve their potential.” 

Bright Futures
Tony Amezcua, director of Bright Futures Education Partnership, says the program will be working alongside leaders in Monterey County to share strategies ensuring local students achieve their educational and career goals. (Contributed)

According to Tony Amezcua, director of Bright Futures Education Partnership, the program will be working alongside leaders from K-12 school districts, colleges, childcare providers, youth-serving organizations, local government and philanthropic organizations throughout Monterey County to “identify shared goals, align strategies, identify and address educational barriers and inequities, and celebrate positive change.” 

Bright Futures was founded in 2015 as an initiative of California State University Monterey Bay, which served as the anchor organization for the partnership until July 2023.

“The Bright Futures Steering Partners are thankful for the leadership CSUMB showed in providing the initiative a home since 2015,” said Yuri Anderson, Bright Futures Steering Partner. “We couldn’t be more excited to be moving into the next phase of our work with the Hartnell College Foundation; deeply rooted and connected to the community, the support and leadership of Hartnell will ensure we continue to achieve meaningful outcomes for students in our community.”

The Hartnell College Board of Trustees and Hartnell College Foundation Board of Directors share Bright Futures’ vision of a community where more children and youth achieve their academic and career goals and form a more prosperous, healthy and vibrant community.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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