San Jacinto College raises $360,500 for students in need


PASADENA, Texas — The San Jacinto College Foundation raised more than $360,500 with its 2020 Gala with a Twist fundraising campaign, announcing the campaign’s success at the College’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday, June 15, 2020.

“Fundraising campaigns like this are critically important to our success,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor. “These generous donations enhance our ability to help students in the ways they need it most. Some face an unexpected emergency and need immediate help, and others are working day in and day out to overcome ongoing obstacles like food insecurity and homelessness. It’s our mission to help every student achieve their educational goals, and we are so grateful to the community, our partners, and our employees for helping us do that.”

One hundred percent of the funds raised will benefit San Jac students with immediate needs.The funds will offset costs such as tuition, books, food, clothing, transportation, and child care for student recipients, and will also help the College continue to provide students with access to vital campus resources.

“Fortunately, this year’s fundraising gala—launched in January—was originally planned as an online campaign, so we were able to continue our efforts during COVID-19, which has directly impacted so many of our students in complex ways,” said Ruth Keenan, the foundation’s executive director. “Our fundraising efforts became even more critical in light of the pandemic.”

The campus food markets will be one of the benefactors from the funds raised, serving the San Jac student populations by distributing food and meal vouchers to those in need, even during the College’s period of altered operation and online classes. According to the United Health Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 14 percent of Texas households are experiencing food insecurities, meaning they cannot easily afford or have limited access to food.

Other campus resources like the College’s coat closet will be bolstered by donated proceeds, as many San Jac students utilize the resource for winter clothing.

Students experiencing temporary obstacles with their living situations due to the pandemic or homelessness will also be aided by the funds through transportation support, child care access, and tuition assistance, in addition to the food markets and coat closet resources. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), there were an estimated 25,310 homeless individuals in Texas in 2019, with nearly 1,400 unaccompanied young adults ages 18-24. San Jacinto College’s student population of nearly 45,000 each year reflects the statewide demographics of these at-risk populations, and the College continues its mission to meet the needs of its diverse student body.

In addition to the $360,500 raised by the College’s Gala with a Twist fundraiser, the San Jacinto College Foundation approved $200,000 in emergency funding in March to assist students with $250 scholarships during the COVID-19 crisis, and nearly 1,200 students have received the emergency aid to date. Students affected by the pandemic also have access to San Jac emergency aid grants through the Federal CARES Act.

Over the past decade, the San Jacinto College Foundation has raised more than $15 million, awarded more than 12,000 student scholarships, and helped fund campus and faculty programs that play an integral role in helping San Jac students reach their educational goals.

About the San Jacinto College Foundation

The San Jacinto College Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to enhancing the level of student achievement and excellence at San Jacinto College. Our purpose is to receive donations, bequests, and gifts, and to raise private funds to benefit the people of East Harris County, Texas. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. For more information about the Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit, or call 281-998-6104.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.