Coasthills Credit Union awards $45,000 to 18 local community college students

All 18 students honored with awards luncheon and night’s stay at 5-star Central Coast resort hotel

LOMPOC, CA (June 15, 2016) — 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.

However, while Cisneros was plugging away on becoming a mechanic, he decided to try an algebra class. The realization of how much he enjoyed math was his gateway to a more challenging course load in chemical engineering.

Now, Cisneros is on his way to UCLA’s engineering program, having graduated from Oxnard College in May with a 3.64 GPA. He aims to 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. An evening stay for each recipient at the five-star hotel were also provided by the credit union.

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 significantly expanded this year in both geographic scope and financial commitment.

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.

“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.”

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


CoastHills Credit Union 2016 Gold Standard Scholarship Award recipients stand with CoastHills Board of Directors Chairman Hugh Rafferty (far left) and President/CEO Jeff York (far right) at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. The credit union chose to award community college students for the first time, increasing the amount of the awards and expanding geographically to encompass the credit union’s entire five-county field of membership.

image012 image013

Above left, Oxnard College’s Daniel Cisneros stands with CoastHills Credit Union Board of Directors Chairman Hugh Rafferty (left) and President/CEO Jeff York (right) after receiving the Gold Standard Scholarship Award. Above right, Oxnard College’s Laura Barajas poses with Rafferty and York.

About CoastHills Credit Union

CoastHills is a not-for-profit Credit Union serving more than 70,000 members in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Ventura and Santa Cruz counties. Founded in 1958 to primarily serve military and civilian personnel at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CoastHills now serves the entire community with 11 branches and a locally staffed full-service call center. With assets of more than $1.3 billion CoastHills is the second largest locally owned financial institution on the Central Coast.  


Joshua D. Scroggin
(805)733-7608 |

More News