Sofia Gotthold (left), Towbes/Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship recipient and Alejandra Ceja, President's Scholarship recipient | Credit: Courtesy

Press releases are posted on as a free community service.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – The SBCC Foundation awarded approximately $1,037,775 in scholarships to more than 770 SBCC students for the 2022-2023 academic year.

“The success of every student is our goal, and scholarships play an important role in that effort. We are honored to support these scholars and grateful to the generous donors who continue to invest in our community’s college and its students,” said Geoff Green, CEO of the SBCC Foundation.

The President’s Scholarship and the Towbes/Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship were among those awarded. The two scholarships, each a $10,000 multi-year award, are the top prizes available through the Foundation.

Alejandra Ceja is this year’s recipient of the President’s Scholarship, which is endowed through the estates of Janet and Eugene Aiches and by the Luria Foundation. The scholarship recognizes an outstanding student who has demonstrated service to others, academic and personal achievement, leadership, resilience in the face of hardship, and potential for future success.

“This award means a lot to me because it has given me a chance to prove myself. Receiving such a prestigious award has validated all of my efforts, and given me the confidence to succeed and help those around me, which has always been my dream,” says Ceja, a first-generation student who transferred to UC Irvine this fall to continue her studies in Criminology, Law & Society.

The pool of candidates for the President’s Scholarship was so competitive that the selection committee decided to award a runner-up with additional funds from the Aiches and Luria endowments. Milton “Sam” Greenberg, a Film Production major, received $5,000 in recognition of his achievements at Santa Barbara City College. The award will transfer with him to Loyola Marymount University.

Sofia Gotthold is this year’s recipient of the Towbes/Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship. The award, supported by Carrie Towbes and Kandy Luria-Budgor (through the Luria Foundation), recognizes a standout student in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline. Sofia graduated from SBCC with honors, earning three associate degrees—in biology, chemistry, and liberal arts and sciences with an emphasis in science and mathematics. 

Of her selection as this year’s recipient of the Towbes/Luria STEM Achievement Scholarship, Sofia said, “As a Latina immigrant, I have taken a winding road in pursuing my dreams and aspirations. I’ve had to overcome the barriers of learning a new language, navigating the educational system, and even homelessness. This award represents not only a recognition of all the efforts and challenges that I have faced throughout my academic career, but it gives me the courage and strength to keep growing into the person I want to be—as a student, a professional, and a member of this community.” Sofia, who aspires to be a medical doctor, transferred to UC Santa Barbara in the fall.

The SBCC Foundation congratulates all of the scholarship recipients, and thanks the community of generous supporters who make these opportunities possible.

About the SBCC Foundation

The SBCC Foundation has provided Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support since 1976, serving as the vehicle through which individuals and organizations may invest in the college and its students.

As an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization and partner to SBCC, the SBCC Foundation awards more than $5 million annually for student success programs, scholarships, book grants, emergency funds, and other critical needs of the college. For more than four decades, the resources raised and managed by the SBCC Foundation have supported SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities, and pursue lifelong learning goals.

In 2016, the Foundation launched the SBCC Promise, offering all recent, local high school graduates the opportunity to attend SBCC full-time at no cost. The SBCC Promise relies entirely on private support and covers all required fees, books, and supplies for up to two years. To date, more than 6,500 students have participated. By removing financial barriers, the SBCC Promise ensures that SBCC’s life-changing educational programs are fully accessible to all local students.

For more information, visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.