Siobhan Holden, an SBCC Promise student and art studio major, is already paying it forward. By making a gift to the SBCC Foundation, she’s helping to ensure that future students can enjoy the same benefits she is receiving through the Promise.

“The SBCC Promise has been incredibly helpful to me. It made me much less stressed about applying to college – thanks to the Promise, I decided to attend SBCC for two years before deciding on a four-year university or art school,” said Siobhan. Prior to learning about the Promise, she worried about the cost of attending college. “I love my classes and teachers here at SBCC, and I feel like I can learn and grow, and ultimately take my education further, without worrying about my financial well-being. With my general education classes out of the way, I will be able to focus on my art at a university, which is a really freeing idea. Every class I’ve taken is transferable.”

Siobhan’s studies at SBCC are focused on art and obtaining an associate degree in studio art for transfer, with an emphasis in ceramics. “In addition to my art classes, which have been great, I’ve taken classes that I probably wouldn’t have elsewhere, such as astronomy and anthropology. My astronomy classes, taught by Sean Kelly, were incredibly fun and interesting. I wasn’t expecting that in a science class!”

Siobhan started at SBCC in fall 2019, but she has been taking ceramics classes through SBCC’s School of Extended Learning since she was 15. She explains that the art department at SBCC offers all the tools one needs to learn and experiment. Her other studio courses, in 3D design and drawing, have also been excellent and helped broaden her portfolio. She’s thrilled with the art history courses taught by professor Joy Kunz, and has been enrolled in one almost every semester so far.

Another avenue of learning and creativity for Siobhan is her role outside of college as co-owner (along with her mother), of the Santa Barbara Cookie Company. They were featured in an SBCC Channels article, which described them as a “small, but mighty duo.” They make, deliver, and sell the cookies themselves.

When asked how she feels about the SBCC Promise, and her decision to help support the program for future students, Siobhan said, “I think the SBCC Promise is a great opportunity, as it gives all local high school graduates a chance to go further than they could have on their own. I want the Promise to continue and thrive; I think that free college is something everyone should have access to, since a degree is so necessary nowadays for getting a well-paying job. I feel so lucky that the Promise gave me this opportunity, and I want to help other people (including my younger friends) pursue their education.”

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