Dr. Jill Biden Visits MCC to Celebrate the Mesa College Promise Program
Feb, 23 2023
An esteemed group of federal and local leaders visited Mesa Community College (MCC) on February 13, 2023, to celebrate and praise the innovation of Mesa College Promise, a program spearheaded by Mesa Mayor John Giles’ philanthropy efforts. Distinguished guests included First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, Congressman Greg Stanton, Maricopa County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, MCC President Dr. Tammy Robinson, and MCCCD Governing Board members.
“In Mesa, we are overachievers when it comes to workforce development. We’ve welcomed Apple, Google, Facebook, Boeing, and more to our city, and we need to provide a well-prepared workforce for employers bringing high-paying jobs to this community,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “We’re also working at improving higher education attainment in Mesa, and with over 80% of the program participants being first-generation college students, we are moving the needle.”
The event also highlighted MCCCD’s impact on workforce development in Mesa and across Arizona and how the programs offered by Maricopa Community Colleges provide invaluable pathways for students to gain new skills and attain a livable wage regardless of background.
"The Mesa College Promise Program ensures students have access to quality programs, exciting initiatives, and opportunities to continue into the workforce or transfer to major universities in and out of the state of Arizona,” said MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. "It is inspiring to celebrate the flourishing partnership between the City of Mesa and MCC, and I look forward to continuing to leverage local partnerships to expand opportunities for our students across Maricopa County."
MCC Construction Management student Lilly Hernandez introduced Dr. Biden, speaking about her success with the Mesa College Promise and how the program has positively impacted her life. Not wanting her parents to incur debt so she could attend college, Lilly sought the guidance of her former high school vice principal, who assisted her with filling out the paperwork. Inspired by his daughter’s success, her father asked if he could take classes, too, so Lilly helped him through the process. Now, they are both learning together as first-generation college students.
“The Mesa College Promise Program assists those who may believe college is not for them or do not believe they have the resources to attend. The City of Mesa and our MCC team have taken the lead to ensure more and more students have the support and the financial resources they need to attend college and complete their goals,” said MCC President Dr. Tammy Robinson. “We are here to advance the educational and employment needs of the growing state of Arizona and the City of Mesa.”
The Mesa College Promise Program is a commitment by the City of Mesa to its residents that all eligible graduating Mesa high school students can attend MCC for two years at no cost. The program is supported by funding from corporations, businesses, and a match from the City of Mesa and has raised $430,940 to fund scholarships. Since its inception, the Mesa College Promise Program has awarded 283 scholarships totaling $95,339 to Mesa residents. Additionally, 70.7% of students enrolled in the program are first-generation college students. Learn more about the program here.