Student Success


Gabriel Fajardo: Student Success

Gabriel Fajardo successfully completed his Ventura College experience.

Hard at work in the classroom, deeply immersed in a 23-credit-unit final semester as he approached the finish line for graduation in 2023, Gabriel took a moment to reflect on how much everything and everyone has meant to him during his time here.

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Summer smiling at the camera

Summyr Levitoff: Student Success

Summyr Levitoff isn’t afraid to admit it. After several previous returns to higher education had stalled out, she was somewhat afraid to return to college. As a mother of three now raising two young children on her own in the wake of their father’s passing, Summyr had real concerns and hesitations.

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Diego Salas: Student Success

Diego Salas is as impressive a 20-year-old young man as you can meet. He helps his mother run her daycare business. He has earned four impactful scholarships from the Ventura College Foundation while attending Ventura College, where graduated on May 19, 2023. He has a crystal clear vision of where he’s headed next (CSU Channel Islands this fall)—and what the ideal future looks like for both him and his fellow Mexican-Americans.

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Isabel Tenison: Student Success

While a student in Ventura, Isabel received the Bill Miller Memorial Scholarship and the Miriam Schwan Memorial Aquatics Scholarship from the Ventura College Foundation. She competed on the women’s water polo team, playing a pivotal role on a team that posted a sparkling 20-7 record during the 2021-2022 season.

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George Headshot

George Casarez: Leading the Way for Generational Healing Via Education

Single father to two teenage girls. Instructional aid in the Rio School District. Re-entry student and scholarship recipient at Ventura College set to graduate by 2025.

George Casarez is all of this and more—and his life is forever enriched thanks to the Ventura College Foundation.

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OctaviusLicon web feature

Octavius Licon: Dancing into a New Era

Octavius Licon has seen, been, done, and felt quite a bit in his thirty years. From a foster child to a homeless adult alcoholic to a construction worker to a decorated re-entry student at Ventura College, Octavius’ path has danced and darted around like one of his original performance compositions.

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xavier terminello featureimage

Xavier Terminello: Hitting Their Stride Thanks to VCF

Xavier Terminello is grateful for the many memories, friends, and strides they have made in their two years at Ventura College. But one message stands out above all others to the versatile, energetic, and talented 19-year-old Economics and Psychology major.

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Anna Heaton

Anna Heaton: Veteran Scholarship

Anna Heaton came to the United States from Russia at the tender age of five. When she entered kindergarten, she didn’t speak a single word of English.

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Erick Pina

Erick Pina: Phoenix Scholarship

Erick Pina doesn’t have to think back too long ago to remember his darkest days.

“Just a few years ago, I had no direction and felt like I had no purpose,” remembers Erick.

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Daisy Castillo

Daisy Castillo: Textbook Support Spotlight

Daisy Castillo has held a lot of responsibilities in just 19 years. A first-generation college student at Ventura College, Daisy grew up in a low-income, single-parent household in Santa Paula.

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Edward Ramirez

Edward Ramirez: VC Promise Spotlight

Growing up in Santa Paula, Edward Ramirez recalls his parents always emphasizing the power of education.

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Christina Montrose

Christina Montrose: Phoenix Scholarship

Christina Montrose has overcome many challenges in her life. She grew up in a household with an alcoholic father who insisted college was a waste of time and money.

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Elijah Walker

Elijah Walker: STEM Scholarship

Elijah Walker knows exactly what he wants to do. Where he wants to go. And who he wants to take with him. You might say his dreams and goals are pretty far out.

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Vanessa Velasquez

Vanessa Velasquez: Marketplace Profile

Vanessa Velazquez feels she owes a lot to Ventura College – as well as the Ventura College Foundation’s Weekend Marketplace.

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TJ Foreman Athletics Profile

TJ Foreman: Athletics Profile

TJ Foreman found tremendous success at Ventura College. Both on the baseball diamond and inside the classroom. You might even say he was Golden.

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Audrey Castillo Athletics Profile

Audrey Castillo: Athletics Profile

Audrey Castillo is on quite a run.

The 19-year-old Oxnard native turned in a sensational sophomore soccer season at Ventura College, leading the Pirates to a 10-7-5 record…

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Claudia Pariso

Claudia Pariso: Textbook Support

Difficult childhood to medical assistant goals Claudia Pariso was born and raised in Oildale, Calif., a town of about 32,000 just north of Bakersfield.

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Safia Reazi

Safia Reazi: Scholarship Spotlight

The financial struggle of pursuing education is a reality for so many, including myself Safia Reazi had long wanted to join the engineering field but, upon graduation from high school, her financial situation was tenuous.

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Samuel Ponce

Samuel Ponce: Promise Spotlight

From low-income housing to a double major Samuel Ponce grew up in low-income housing, in an environment where higher education was unobtainable.

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Daniela Orozco Tinoco

Daniela Orozco Tinoco: Textbook Lending

Just four years ago, Ventura College pre-nursing student Daniela Orozco Tinoco was living in Mexico. She never thought about attending Ventura College on a series of scholarships.

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Deonn Crilly

Deonn Crilly: VC Fire Fund

Like so many Ventura County residents, Deonn Crilly was deeply affected by the Thomas Fire during the final days of 2017.

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Shawn McCoy

Shawn Mccoy: Phoenix Scholarship

You might say Shawn McCoy has come through hell and high water. But as far as he’s concerned, the science of water is what matters most.

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Carl DeLa Cruz

Carl DeLa Cruz: Veterans Promise

Born in the Philippines and settling in Oxnard at the age of nine, Carl Dela Cruz never imagined his future would go to the depths of its current course.

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Giovani Bautista

Giovani Bautista: VC Promise Spotlight

Giovani Bautista can remember a time not too long ago when life seemed a lot less certain — and a college education seemed almost surely out of reach.

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Teresa Housley

Teresa Housley:

Teresa Housley’s life has taken an incredible series of twists and turns. From six-figure sales supervisor to living in a campground.

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Student Ambassadors

Jessica Robles

Jessica Robles: VCF Student Ambassador

PROUDLY SERVING AS A VC FOUNDATION STUDENT AMBASSADOR You might now be familiar with the Ventura College Foundation Student Ambassadors ...
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Olivia Vences

Olivia Vences: VCF Student Ambassador

BALANCING PARENTHOOD, A CAREER, AND NURSING SCHOOL Born to and raised by a single mother who emigrated from Mexico, Olivia ...
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Profiles of Giving

George Tillquist

George Tillquist: Legacy Giving Profile

IN MEMORY OF GEORGE E. TILLQUIST (1930 - 2019) George E. Tillquist was born and raised in Illinois. He received ...
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Helen Yunker

Helen Yunker: Legacy Giving Profile

IN MEMORY OF HELEN YUNKER (1921 - 2018) Helen Mathilda Yunker arrived in 1948 in California, from Chicago, where she ...
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Carl Boggs

Carl Boggs: Legacy Giving Profile

Words of Love for VC To say Carl Boggs, Ph.D., is a prolific writer is an understatement. The National University ...
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Ed & Sue Stile

Ed & Sue Stile: Athletics Profile

MENTORED TO MENTOR For Ed and Sue Stile, supporting the students of Ventura College is as rewarding as getting a ...
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Santa Paula Employees Help Students Fulfill Dreams

Santa Paula Employees Help Students Fulfill Dreams

A Dynamic Team Committed to Student Success Nestled in the Santa Clara River Valley is a haven for learning—Ventura College’s ...
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Esmeralda Juarez

Esmeralda Juarez: Marketplace Profile

MarketPlace manager and alumna: Driving the Foundation Economy and Student Success First in her family to attend college, Esmeralda Juarez ...
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Flicia Duenas & Oscar Cobian

Debbie & Len Newcomb: Career Education

CAREER EDUCATION DEAN & PROUD FOUNDER OF MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Student. Professor. Business Development Chair. Student Learning Outcomes Facilitator. Dean of ...
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Flicia Duenas & Oscar Cobian

Felicia Duenas & Oscar Cobian: Career Education

College Leaders Remove Barriers for Immigrant Students As an immigrant from the Philippines, Felicia Dueñas never assumed she’d be in ...
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Miriam Schwab playing Violin


A beloved local philanthropist, passionate classical music champion, and long-time supporter of Ventura College, Miriam Emily Schwab passed away at ...
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Donor Spotlight

college students & flag

The Jordana Ybarra-Telias Emergency Grant

About the Union Bank Grant The Jordana Ybarra-Telias Emergency Grant is in memory of Jordana Ybarra-Telias, who passed away in ...
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