Growing up, Armando Ibarra dreamed of going to college, but did not think it was an option. Today, he is enrolled at Santa Barbara City College and has new, bigger dreams. He plans to become a mechanical engineer. Armando’s parents moved to Santa Barbara from Mexico with hopes of providing their sons a better life. Despite their hard work, the family struggled.

“My family’s income barely kept food on the table and a roof over our heads. I thought that right after high school I would go straight to working a job making minimum wage, join my father in landscaping, or perhaps join the military to no longer be a financial burden on my family. But I learned I could go to college through the SBCC Promise.”

The SBCC Promise provides Armando with free tuition, fees, books, and supplies for two years, and he is taking full advantage of the opportunity. He is a member of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program and the SBCC chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), for which he serves as Internal Vice President. He plans on transferring to Cal Poly, SLO and earning his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. He also plans to return to Santa Barbara and encourage other young people to pursue college degrees.

“I can’t begin to express how deeply honored, humbled, and thankful I am for the SBCC Promise,” he says.

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