Southwestern College Foundation

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Success Starts Here

Living in their car was never the plan for Jacob Campbell and his family, however a series of unfortunate events made it their reality. The family vehicle became their most essential asset; it was their shelter, transportation, warmth, safety, and connection to opportunities.

Often relying on paper routes to make money for basic needs, Jacob and his siblings would be up before dawn, tossing newspapers onto front porches and working together to get through to the next paycheck. The family car was the lynchpin that kept their heads above water, so when there were issues it meant everything was potentially compromised. How were they going to finish their paper route? How were Jacob and his siblings going to get to school? How were they going to stay warm and safe?
As a necessity, Jacob and his family became good at diagnosing and fixing issues with the car. Working together, they managed to get by, and by the time he reached middle school age, his mom’s hard work got them into a home of their own. The darkest years were behind them, but the impact of that time in his life made an indelible mark and would become the inspiration for Jacob’s future success.
Jacob went on to graduate from Chugiak High School and joined the Navy, honorably serving for seven years. After he was discharged in 2019, his path led him to Southwestern College’s Automotive Program where everything would finally come together. Armed with his experience from the Navy, the patience cultivated in his early years, and a childhood full of maintenance and mechanics, Jacob excelled in the Automotive Program. He got to know vehicles in a new and more intimate way than ever before, and his passion grew, not only for fixing cars, but for supporting the people who own them.
More than most, Jacob knows the importance a vehicle can have in someone’s life. One of his goals is to one day be able to offer free car maintenance and repairs for unhoused individuals and families in San Diego, offering critical support and care to those who find themselves in circumstances similar to his own.
Jacob’s excellence and hard work resulted in him winning several scholarships, including both the Ray Brock Automotive Scholarship, and the Ray Brock Automotive Toolkit Scholarship, gaining critical support on his academic journey and beyond. In spring 2022 he successfully completed Southwestern College’s Automotive Program and is currently working at a local body shop, where he is gaining experience and know-how while he saves to open his own business.
It is thanks to partnerships with generous alumni, community donors, corporate sponsors, and more, that have helped ensure Jacob’s tale of triumph and success is not a novelty. Inside each student is a story, and for so many, it has been Southwestern College that provided the turning point they needed to succeed.
You are invited to visit www.swccd.edu/foundation where you can learn how to get involved and join the Southwestern College Family. Let’s drive student success together.

 

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Esteban Villanueva
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