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Grant expiration means funding loss

SCV School and Business alliance helps students explore career choices

Posted: June 19, 2009 8:40 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Valley School and Business Alliance, a career exploration non-profit organization for local students, expects to lose a third of its funding for the upcoming year when a two-year grant expires this month, the organization’s executive director said Friday.

The grant was awarded to College of the Canyons from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office two years ago, said Adriana Estrada, executive director of the SCV School and Business Alliance.

The grant, known as the seventh- and eighth-grade career exploration grant, was then given to the alliance, she said.

Funding went toward events for junior-high students and the Career Central Web site, she said.

Estrada declined to comment on how much the grant is worth.

The alliance will have a planning meeting on Friday to discuss funding options for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

“It really is an opportunity for us to sit down as a group and focus on what our direction will be with respect to fundraising and coming up with a fundraising campaign,” Estrada said.

Estrada anticipates the grant funding will most likely be made up through new grants, corporate and private donations and community partnerships, she said.

The organization, formed in 2001, receives funding from College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union High School District.
“It is through their generosity that we function, along with corporate and private donations,” she said.

“The School and Business Alliance provides career exploration resources to Santa Clarita Valley students at all educational levels,” Estrada said.

The organization also focuses on workforce development by building communication, team-building and decision-making skills in students, she said.

The alliance hosts multiple events throughout the year, including the “College: Make It Happen” program, in which 500 seventh- and eighth-graders from the Hart district visited College of the Canyons and met with professors and learned about academic programs.

Another event is Discovering Careers, which brought more than 2,500 students and parents to College of the Canyons to meet with local businesses and learn about career paths.

The alliance launched a Web site,, where students can use the Choices program to determine which careers best fit their personalities, she said.

This year’s Groundhog Job Shadow Day gave 140 local junior-high and high-school students a day to tag along and find out what a day in the life of a business owner is like.



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