People’s Self-Help Housing Student Receives Full-Ride to University of California, Santa Cruz


Central Coast, CA, June 23, 2021 – Recent Arroyo Grande High School graduate and People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) Camino Scholar, Dana Alvarez has received a full-ride scholarship to University of California (UC) Santa Cruz.

The oldest child of immigrant parents, Dana recalls, “For plenty of years growing up, I doubted my ability to graduate from college. Nobody in my family has ever attempted to attend.” She continues, “I also want to attend college to show my younger sisters that if they work hard, they too can achieve what they set their mind to.”

Dana is graduating this month with a weighted GPA of 3.79 and will be pursuing a major in Psychology in the fall at UC Santa Cruz. She has received multiple, generous scholarships through the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo and a private family foundation in San Luis Obispo County. These investments in her education will allow Dana to graduate debt-free as she pursues her degree.

“Dana is an exceptional student and has worked so hard to go to college,” said PSHH Director of Education Joanna Dominguez. “This award could not have gone to a more deserving student. During our recent university field trip, Dana served as a role model for the younger students. She is always lending a helping hand and it is an honor to work with students of her caliber!”

People’s Self-Help Housing’s Camino Scholars program includes a College Club, which prepares college-bound students for higher education through application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, campus visits, mentorship, and continuing support while enrolled in college. To date, College Club students have maintained a 100% enrollment and graduation rate from post-secondary programs, and with most students graduating debt-free. College Club students have shown a 100% college admission and graduation rate and have gone on to pursue successful careers in nursing, engineering, technology, and education.

To learn more about Camino Scholars, visit

About People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)

Founded in 1970, PSHH is the longest-serving nonprofit affordable housing organization on the Central Coast. With a mission of building homes and providing services to strengthen communities and change lives, PSHH serves low-income households, working families, seniors, veterans, farmworkers, those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless. It also provides homeownership opportunities through a self-help, “sweat equity” program that has seen over 1,200 homes successfully completed. PSHH has a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Monterey counties, manages over 2,000 rental units, and employs over 200 staff members. For more information, visit, email or phone (805) 781-3088.


Media Contact:, (805) 548-2340

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