SBCC student, caretaker, mentor wins engineering scholarship


Angela Buckley

Courtesy art of Student Jeffrey Sorenson receiving the National Engineers Week of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties Scholarship from California District 44 State Assembly Representative, Jacqui Irwin.


City College engineering major Jeffrey Sorenson earned a $1,000 engineering scholarship at the 44th annual DiscoverE Engineers Week banquet on Feb. 23, 2017.

Scholarships were awarded to 10 aspiring engineering students from six different colleges in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The event took place at Cal State University, Channel Islands in conjunction with National Engineers Week, a nationwide celebration of the contributions of engineering to society.

“We were impressed by Jeffrey’s perseverance in addition to his academics,” said Dennis Horwitz, scholarship chair of National Engineers Week of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties. “He is not only a promising student, but also a hard worker and great role model.”

Sorenson was the only City College student selected for the scholarship, and was among 45 applicants throughout eight eligible colleges to apply. Other applicants’ schools chosen included UCSB, Westmont College and Ventura College.

While on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from City College, Sorenson aims to transfer to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering.

Cal Poly is a prominent college for engineering that ranks fifth best among master’s and bachelor’s engineering programs in the country, according to US News.

The 24-year-old student developed an interest in engineering after working for six years at Valley Precision Products, a sheet metal shop in Goleta. He works as a computer numeric controlled machinist, using heavy machinery to cut and manufacture metal products.

Sorenson was inspired by the courses he finished at City College with Dr. Nicholas Arnold, professor of engineering, which led him to this career path. He hopes he can obtain a “good paying job” and believes that his efforts in studying aerospace engineering will help him secure a stable occupation.

“This scholarship will help me by providing financial relief, so I can focus on my studies and focus on what’s important,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson has two younger brothers ages 12 and 4, for whom he acts as a caretaker and mentor. He understands that pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering will help him to achieve his ultimate goal to provide for them throughout their lives.

Although Sorenson said this scholarship will help support his dream of becoming an aerospace engineer, he plans to apply for several more scholarships over the rest of his time at City College.

He believes that each opportunity not taken is an opportunity missed, and while he couldn’t imagine that he would be selected for this scholarship, he knew he had to make the effort.