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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

A Small But Mighty Campus Driven to Serve its Central Coast Community

January 6, 2022

In the three and a half years since opening its doors to the first students in 2018, the SJVC campus in Atascadero has actively sought to build a strong relationship with its more rural community in the beautiful hills of the Central Coast. Through a variety of fundraising drives, they have succeeded in spreading the word that SJVC is a vibrant part of the area, that it is a source for career education, potential employee talent, and gladly gives back to the community.

 

SJVC Atascadero participates in community serviceSJVC Atascadero has held many different kinds of community support drives, from collecting nonperishable food donations for San Luis Obispo Food Bank to feeding the community’s unhoused through ECHO (El Camino Homeless Organization), creating a team and raising funds for Out of the Darkness (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention), collecting toy donations for Toys for Tots, and more. Just last Thanksgiving, they surprised themselves by exceeding their goal on a food drive for the SLO Food Bank, with several large donations from community members.

 

The latest successful fundraiser, held on December 15th, was a mobile blood drive with Vitalant. It was the very first all-day blood drive on the SJVC campus since the pandemic began almost two years ago.  Radio station WILD 106.1 FM helped to alert the area by setting up their broadcast on campus. It was quite exciting for the students, who loved interacting with the DJ. By the end of the day all appointments had been booked!  They were thrilled to announce 13 units of blood collected, the equivalent of 39 lives saved.  The event was such a success a second blood drive is scheduled for June 22, 2022.

 

Barbara Holt, the Campus Dean, has lived in Atascadero for 25 years and knows and loves the area. She has always felt there was a need in the community for career education that didn’t require a four-year degree.  She believes – even though it is small by comparison to most of the other SJVC campus locations – “the need for entry level career training is just as important to this community.”

 

But the most satisfying goal for Dean Holt is making sure Atascadero employers and those in the surrounding area understand there is a resource of skilled talent right in their own community. She finds it extremely fulfilling to connect local employers to the SJVC graduates who want to work right there.

 

Just as she was delighted by the large turnout for the San Luis Obispo Food Drive last November and the turn out for the campus blood drive despite the pandemic, Dean Holt looks forward to a new year of much more anticipated growth and connection from the SJVC campus to Atascadero and the surrounding Central Coast community.

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