Share Our Selves, a Costa Mesa-based community health center and social services organization, honored 29 college-bound high school seniors in a ceremony Friday evening.
The students from Costa Mesa and Estancia high schools are all the first in their families to attend college, SOS organizers said.
The ceremony took place at SOS’ health center on Superior Avenue.
Students received a new laptop, $100 book vouchers, backpacks filled with school supplies, logo clothing from their colleges, $25 Amazon gift cards and $10 Starbucks cards.
Those attending four-year universities, or are living in on-campus dormitories, received luggage filled with sheets, hangers, towels and other items for their new rooms.
“School-readiness is one of the most important factors in achieving academic success,” SOS Chief Executive Karen McGlinn said in a statement. “Without the proper tools, it is very difficult for students to live up to their potential. We are so blessed to be able to send these students to college with all the essentials to begin their next phase in life. They all worked so hard to get here and we know they are going to do great things in the future.”
Among the honorees were Costa Mesa High seniors Jason Gonzalez and Gabriel Godinez.
SOS organizers said Gonzalez, one of seven children in a family that relies on one income, plans to attend Cal State Monterey Bay in the fall.
Godinez is attending UC Santa Barbara on a scholarship to study electrical engineering. He was on the Mustangs’ junior varsity football team and worked on the yearbook.
The Costa Mesa native said his parents always encouraged him to attend a university.
“I honestly appreciate the push,” Godinez said.