Coast Hills

Changing the odds with our expanded scholarship program

by Joshua D. Scroggin
June 24, 2016
Group Shot

It took a prison sentence and nearly a decade away from school for Daniel Cisneros to realize his father was right.

Getting an education is one of the most important opportunities in life.

So after being paroled, Cisneros enrolled at Oxnard College, where he pursued a certification in auto repair.

But an interesting thing happened on the way to his vocational career.

Daniel took an algebra class. Then another. Then another. And he was good at it. After a while, he didn’t have a single automotive course on his schedule. Then he aced biology, chemistry and calculus in the same semester.

Once he got rolling, he became a fixture at the top of the class. He raised his GPA to 3.64, and now, he is on his way to UCLA to study chemical engineering and become either a pharmacist or pharmacologist. 

“I want to make my dad happy,” Cisneros said. “He passed away years ago, but he actually motivated me to go back to school. He always preached the importance of education to my brothers and me. When I get my degree, it will be in honor of his memory.”

Joined by fellow Oxnard student Laura Barajas, Cisneros is one of 18 regional community college students to receive the 2016 Gold Standard Scholarship Award from CoastHills Credit Union.  

The award grants $2,500 each to two students from nine colleges within CoastHills’ field of membership, which ranges from Santa Cruz County in the north to Ventura County in the south.

In all, CoastHills awarded $45,000 of scholarships to local college students and hosted each recipient and their guests at a special luncheon held at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. We even gave them a night's stay, so they could fully appreciate the experience.

To honor the class of 2016, CoastHills also pledged to donate $216 in each recipient’s name to a charity of his or her choice to help each fulfill the credit union’s mission statement: “We make a difference in our neighbors’ lives.”

Supported by the CoastHills Community Foundation, the Gold Standard Scholarship program underwent a big expansion this year.

It was the first year scholarships were awarded to students in all five counties of the credit union’s field of membership, which includes Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. And the awards were increased from $1,000 to $2,500.

It was also the first year that community college students received the awards, and hearing their inspirational tales of overcoming the odds has impacted the staff at the credit union in a very inspirational way.

“There’s no better investment our scholarship program could make than to support the hardworking and dedicated students found in the community college system right here at home,” said CoastHills President/CEO Jeff York. “Recognizing these students’ stories of triumph over adversity has greatly touched the lives of my entire family and all of us at CoastHills.”

2016 CoastHills Gold Standard Scholarship Award Recipients

Allan Hancock College
Victor De Alba
Oula Samaan

Cabrillo College
Pablo Romo
Melisa Tao

Cuesta College
Mia Alexander
Ashley Erden

Hartnell College
Stephanie Fierro
Jairo Perez

Monterey Peninsula College
Rebecca Morrison
Ian Tayler

Moorpark College
George Caranica
Cole Rose

Oxnard College
Laura Barajas
Daniel Cisneros

Santa Barbara City College
Miguel Cruz
Samantha McVee

West Valley College
Alexa Bernard
Ashton Rounds



Welcome to our Blog!

We provide the tools to build a smart financial future.

Why pay fees? Click here to learn more about Freedom Plus Checking.


Follow Us