A Leader in Orange County Giving Recognized for Culture of Giving
Santa Ana, CA-based CNI College was awarded the 2020 California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) Excellence in Community Service Bronze Award (https://www.cappsonline.org/scholarships-awards/community-service-awards/). This award recognizes CNI College’s community service initiatives, service learning, and civic engagement by the school’s administration and students. CNI College’s contribution to the greater Orange County community was demonstrated through their 2019 Year of Giving and has been an integral part of the school culture since its inception in 1994.
CNI College Founders Jim and Colleen Buffington had a vision to provide excellence at every opportunity within their community and made this a foundation of the institution, instilling this core value in each student. The Buffingtons wanted to make a difference in Orange County by educating and preparing their students and graduates with the knowledge and skills they will need for their careers to bring healing, wholeness and compassion to the patients and their entire families throughout the healthcare industry.
“Our vision for CNI College graduates, as they become employed as BSN’S, ADN’s LVN’s, MRI Techs, Surgical Technology Techs, and Medical Assistants, is they have the character and maturity to identify the needs in their own community and carry on the mission to serve,” said Colleen Buffington, Vice President, CFO and Co-owner. “One of my highest hopes is that students and graduates of CNI College become involved in giving back and touching lives through the various services, opportunities, and this would become a part of who they are, and therefore create a ripple effect throughout the local community, the state, the country, and the world.”
Throughout the year, CNI College’s community initiatives range from fundraising and volunteering for the American Heart Association Orange County Heart Walk, the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, the OC Rescue Mission, Operation Gratitude, Earth Day, the American Red Cross, Charity on Wheels, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Superhero Day at HealthBridge Children’s Hospital, Coastal Clean Up Day, and Patriots and Paws. The variety of charities and opportunities brought awareness, an assortment of volunteer experiences, and raised funds. A video of CNI Cares initiatives can be viewed here (https://youtu.be/sLfMItgWEBE).
The impact of these experiences on the faculty and students of CNI College is immense. The spirit of giving is an integral part of the school culture that extends the school’s core values to the greater community in a meaningful way. A few examples from the school community:
Raquel Carrasco, Director of FA stated that, “Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House was a great experience, to be able to assist in a small way the families and kids was humbling. I loved the opportunity to sit and converse with the families, to get to know how the Ronald Mc Donald House has had such a big impact in their lives by lessening their struggles of everyday life and for them to be able to concentrate on the well-being of their child.”
Sam Pham, student, stated that, “I never knew programs like the Orange County Rescue Mission existed. It gave me insight to how determined people are willing to change after being involved in drug abuse. I value the program for making all their residents work and do their part, not only to save the organization money, but to help build their future career. It was inspiring to see their ethics and friendliness since they seem like regular friendly people. I see hope for drug abusers now and know that there is always second chance for everyone.”
Daisy Aispuro, faculty, stated that “the Ronald McDonald house was a great experience, serving the families of sick children was an extremely rewarding and fun place to volunteer. It felt good to be able to help meet the needs of each family during this very difficult time for them. It was a great experience, especially with me being in the medical field. I talked with families to help them cope with the situation they were going through. It helped me develop great relationships with the families. I enjoy the experiences I have gained working within a nonprofit. It is reassuring to know that the work I am doing is a having a greater impact on the community!”