SBCC Promise student Natalia Sandoval has attended a number of schools in her life and says that so far, SBCC is her favorite. A graduate of San Marcos High School, she started in fall semester of 2021. She’s very thankful for the SBCC Promise, which covers all of her tuition, fees, books, and supplies.

“The SBCC Promise is a huge help, and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to continue my academic journey and accomplish my educational goals. With the Promise providing the resources I need, I’m able to focus on my schoolwork and be one hundred percent ready for opportunities that come my way,” Natalia said.

As a freshman, Natalia was nervous when she first started classes, but everyone has been so welcoming and ready to help that she decided immediately that she loved SBCC. As a business management major, she is exploring various fields. With some business school work already under her belt from a school she attended in Mexico, she explained, “I’m very interested in administration and marketing, and I really enjoy consulting with business owners to help them succeed.”

Natalia is inspired by the SBCC campus environment, the teachers, and her fellow students. Attending college near the beach is also a big plus, as she loves the ocean and studying marine life.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Sea Center recently recognized Natalia as a “superstar” volunteer. She has contributed over 100 hours of service over the past two years, and those who work with her say she “brings a smile to the face of every guest she meets.” They appreciate Natalia’s dedication and passion for educating guests of all ages about the importance of protecting our oceans.

“I’ve had a big passion for the marine world since I was little,” Natalia said. “Volunteering at the Sea Center is so much fun—I never stop learning about marine life, and we help people of all ages interact with the animals, including sharks, stingrays, sea cucumbers, and more. It’s my happy place.”

Natalia plans on graduating from SBCC in two years and then transferring to a university. Northern Arizona University and The University of Arizona are two options she’s considering. Right now, she’s focusing on her schoolwork and getting everything ready to transfer, but next semester she would like to get involved in more activities outside of class. She wants to do as much as she can. “I believe every experience, good or bad, helps me grow as a person.”

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