By Lauren Mar ’25
Leadership, service, integrity, and creativity—these core values outlined in Scripps College’s mission statement are demonstrated by past and present students through diverse avenues and disciplines. On campus, current students and the broader Scripps community come together to carry out these values annually in the time-honored Phonathon fundraiser.
“Giving to The Scripps Fund through Phonathon is essential in providing tangible support for Scripps students,” says Bianca Torres-Hamlin ’22, current student supervisor with Phonathon.
Through her involvement with the program, Torres-Hamlin says she’s developed her own skills and character, as well as a passion for philanthropy. She attributes her nascent interest in giving to one of her earliest memories of tithing at her church—at the end of service, a basket would be passed around the congregation collecting donations for a specific cause within the community. Her family and their involvement in community groups centered on giving also influenced her perspective. “My mother is a high school teacher, so she gives back to others every day,” Torres-Hamlin explains. “Giving is not always about money, but can be providing emotional support or access to education.”
When she first came to Scripps, Torres-Hamlin didn’t necessarily seek to become involved with philanthropy on campus. “Being on an almost full-tuition scholarship, I joined Phonathon mostly because I needed work,” she says. “What I got out of joining the team was more than just a job—I gained an appreciation for the students and wider Scripps community.”
A quiet but busy program, Phonathon connects Scripps alums, parents, and other potential donors to current students via phone call. During fall semester, the program raised $113,000 from 270 generous donors, much of that support going to The Scripps Fund, the College’s main operational fund that impacts every student.
According to The Scripps Fund Leadership Annual Giving Officer Andrew Ur, Phonathon has already exceeded last year’s entire fundraising haul of $99,000—all of which was done while student callers were operating remotely. The success of Phonathon is a reflection of the deep bonds shared between those who are connected to Scripps.
“The strength of the College community is what motivates alums and parents to support the future of Scripps, and it’s what I love so much about being a caller,” Torres-Hamlin says. “I have had countless conversations with alums where we’re able to feel so close to one another as Scripps students, even though our times here never overlapped. I can feel on the phone that we’ve shared experiences in the same space, and this connection inspires alums to give.”
Torres-Hamlin herself has benefited from and been inspired by this connection, and notes that her experience working with Phonathon has helped her grow as a leader. After she graduates, she hopes to designate her future gifts to areas she’s passionate about—especially to scholarship aid. As for why giving to Scripps is so important, Torres-Hamlin says it’s a powerful tool to support the next generation.
“Giving back to Scripps is a direct way to support our tight-knit community,” she says. “It’s how you ensure that future students have the space and opportunities to learn and grow, just as prior generations have.”
Scripps’ Day of Giving is an opportunity for you to set students like Bianca up for success! To join in, click here to give.