Jordana Ybarra-Telias Honored At Ventura College Celebration/ Veterans’ Emergency Grant Program Named In Her Honor
Jordana Ybarra-Telias was honored by Ventura College and the Ventura College Foundation on December 13 in a “Legacy Celebration” on the college campus. Ybarra-Telias was the coordinator of the Ventura College Veteran Resource Center and president of the Ventura College Classified Senate until her passing in May 2022.
Ybarra-Telias was in the process of establishing an emergency grant program for veterans to receive “mini-grants” to help pay for emergency expenses. The Ventura College Foundation took on the fundraising efforts. The grant program was established and named in Ybarra-Telias’ honor.
The Jordana Ybarra-Telias Emergency Grant program will distribute more than $20,000 in emergency mini-grants to students until the funds are exhausted. Veterans can request emergency financial assistance to help pay for such expenses as medical bills, rent, utilities and car repairs. The goal is to not let a financial emergency prevent students from focusing on their studies.
To qualify, students must be enrolled in six or more units at Ventura College and fill out the required forms. The mini-grants are being coordinated through the Ventura College Basic Needs Center. The Ventura College Financial Aid Office will review and process applications to determine if students are eligible and the amount of their award. Award amounts vary based on the student’s need and availability of funds.
Major program donors include Union Bank, Associated Building Supply, Inc., William Scarpino, Jeff Kudlac, Ken Collin, Jim Cowell and the Ventura College Classified Senate.
“Our donor base was quick to respond to our requests to help fund the program,” says Gerry Pantoja, Ventura College Foundation Director of Philanthropy. “Many students live paycheck to paycheck. One unexpected expense can quickly disrupt their personal and educational lives.”
Speakers at the December 13 event shared their experiences working with Ybarra-Telias. A memorial plaque was unveiled honoring Ybarra-Telias that will hang in the Veterans Center. “The plaque will be a way for military-connected students to learn about the impact Jordana had on the campus and on creating this emergency grant,” says Tina Secrease, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator.
Ybarra-Telias was a fierce student advocate, especially for veterans and their dependents. “Jordana’s passion for her role as a Veterans Resource Center program coordinator and for her students was evident to all she met,” says Secrease. “Students knew they could come to her for assistance with stressors inside and outside the classroom that affected their classwork. Colleagues knew that Jordana would give her all to put her students first and ensure that they knew there was a place (the VC Veterans Resource Center) and a person that would not rest until their needs were met and they received the support they needed and deserved.”
The Veterans Resource Center provides personalized service to veterans, active duty members including National Guard/Reserves and dependents of veterans. For more about the center, go to www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student-services/veterans-resource-center.
For grant information, go to https://bit.ly/JordanaYbarraTeliasVeteranGrants.