Sánchez delivers $28 million check to Río Hondo College as part of American Rescue Plan funding for higher education institutions

July 8, 2021
Press Release

NORWALK – On Thursday, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) delivered a check in the amount of $28,887,516 to Río Hondo College to highlight the funding the College received through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III).

HEERF III, authorized by the American Rescue Plan, provided $39.6 billion to help institutions of higher education serve students and ensure learning continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is part of Congresswoman Sánchez’s efforts to meet with city councils, school boards, colleges and universities, business owners, essential workers, and other community leaders across the 38th Congressional District to discuss relief funds and ongoing efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Colleges, universities, and students have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year,” said Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. “As we recover from this pandemic, we must ensure our local colleges and universities safely reopen for in-person learning while giving students the resources they need to continue their education. This funding, which I voted for as part of the American Rescue Plan, will do just that. I am glad to be here to highlight the $28 million Río Hondo College received through this relief package.”

“Thank you to Congresswoman Linda Sánchez for providing Río Hondo College with this COVID-19 relief fund,” said Río Hondo College Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “This money will go a long way in assisting our students who have been impacted by the pandemic, giving them more opportunities to succeed while also providing additional safety and upgrades to the College campus. Fifty percent will go directly to our students in the form of grants to ensure their financial stability, while the other 50 percent will be used to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, computer hardware and software, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and other safety items to support the hybrid reopening of our campus this fall. This relief fund demonstrates the dedication by our elected officials to support the needs of the Río Hondo College community. We applaud the Congresswoman for this act, which will undoubtedly help thousands of our students and faculty members during this time of transition.”

“We are appreciative of this COVID-19 relief fund and are grateful for the advocacy of our representatives, including Congresswoman Linda Sánchez,” said Río Hondo College Board President Rosaelva Lomeli. “Congresswoman Sánchez graciously visited our campus today to present a check of more than $28 million to benefit Río Hondo College students. As the pandemic has created many obstacles, these funds will allow our students to continue their success in all of their endeavors. This relief fund is a major boon for our community, and it will be the catalyst for student success at Río Hondo College.”

Congresswoman Sánchez continued: “One important aspect of the American Rescue Plan is it provides direct relief to students and institutions for higher education. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency financial aid to help students who are facing hunger, homelessness, and other hardship as a result of the pandemic. Supporting our students is critical to building back better for everyone in Southern California.”

HEERF III provided $5 billion for schools across California. In addition to Río Hondo College, seven institutions in California’s 38th congressional district will benefit from this funding.


The following institutions in the district are receiving funding under the American Rescue Plan’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund:

  • Southern California University of Health Sciences
  • Biola University
  • NTMA Training Centers of Southern California
  • Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America
  • Cerritos College
  • Río Hondo College
  • Whittier College
  • ABC Adult School