The Bakersfield College Foundation received a significant financial gift from the Clifford and Patricia Mettler estate to support 120 students enrolled in BC’s Agriculture Pathways Early College program.
From this gift, students will have access to instructional materials and programming support that will allow them to earn associate degrees in agriculture as they complete their high school coursework.
“We are tremendously grateful for the generous gift offered through the Mettlers’ estate," President Sonya Christian said in a news release. “This gift comes at a time when our community is experiencing uncertainty in many respects. Knowing that future generations of our rural Early College Renegades will be provided the support to pursue their educational dreams is certainly a ray of light for the future of our agricultural community.”
The Mettlers grew up in Kern County — Clifford in Shafter and Patricia in Bakersfield — and both attended local schools. The economic and physical landscape of Kern County was greatly impacted by the Mettlers, in large part due to Clifford’s farming operations in the Edison and Mettler areas, according to a news release.
Their legacy will now continue through BC and its agriculture students, as they prepare for the next generation of farming in Kern County.
The Early College Program originated in 2013, and today BC has 36 high school partners. The agriculture program is offered at Wasco High School and the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano.
“Early College is changing the landscape of education for local students. This gift will ensure students have the resources they need to complete their college degree, while they are earning their high school diploma,” said Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation. “This benefits our entire community and I am proud to be the steward of such a generous endowment.”
The Bakersfield College Foundation was established in 1975 and currently manages funds for more than 400 campus organizations, individuals and endowments. In 2019-2020, more than $500,000 in scholarships and student aid were provided.
For more information visit www.supportbc.org.