The San Francisco-based Colleges Futures Foundation has awarded a two-year, $595,000 grant to The Community Foundation, an organization which serves both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
The grant will be used to launch the Foundation’s newly created Graduate Success Program, a partnership with College Futures to help low-income Riverside and San Bernardino County students apply to, enroll in and complete college.
In commenting about the grant, Dr. Jonathan Lorenzo Yorba, President and CEO of The Community Foundation said, “College Futures Foundation understands the importance of our region and the Foundation’s proven leadership on administering scholarship programs to help young people achieve their college and professional dreams.” He added, “Through the Graduate Success Fund, we are committed to making college a possibility for students who are critical to the region's future.”
When the Graduate Success Fund Program begins in 2018, it will award needs-based scholarships as well as support services to students at targeted high schools. In support of students and their families, the Foundation is working with local education partners and donors to build scholarship funds to ensure students gain needed financial aid and college resources. The Foundation is also forging a new partnership with Coachella Valley Economic Partnership/NewOrg for assistance with designing and implementing new ways of doing the Foundation’s scholarship distributions work.
According to research, students awarded scholarships based on financial need stay in college and graduate at rates similar to other students in the same institutions. “Many students have the desire and ability to succeed in college, but lack the means to do so,” said Dr. Yorba. “This investment in our Foundation will enable us to strengthen our commitment to providing more needs-based scholarships to low-income students who have the ability to succeed in college.”
The Community Foundation is one of only seven community foundations in California chosen to partner with College Futures as part of its statewide initiative to improve college graduation rates for low-income and underrepresented students.