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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Peninsula College Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: To assist low-income, underserved and often overlooked first-generation college students from the Mid-Peninsula in their quest to graduate, and to help them achieve their education and career goals.

Results: Since its inception in 2005, the Peninsula College Fund has defied the odds: more than 97% of Peninsula College Fund scholars have graduated from college or currently attend college on the path to completion. Nationally, only half of first generation college students complete four-year colleges in six years.

Target demographics: Motivated low-income students from the Mid-Peninsula who are the first generation in their families to attend college.

Programs: Scholarships: providing college scholarships for talented and motivated low-income, first-generation college students. The average scholarship is $3,000 per student, per year for four years. Scholarship funds are used to pay for college tuition, books, college fees and other educational expenses. Mentoring: providing trained and skilled one-to-one adult mentors to each of our scholars to give them the advice, role modeling and strong relationships necessary to succeed in college and prepare for post-college careers. Each mentor commits to mentoring a scholar from freshman year in college through college graduation. As the first generation in their families to attend college, peninsula college fund scholars gain particular value from the guidance that successful college educated mentors can provide. College and careetr success training: providing targeted and intensive college and career success workshops and individualized assistance to our scholars to enable them to maximize their growth during college and graduate from college prepared to lanuch their careers. Summer internships: providing support in finding and securing meaningful summer employment to prepare for post-graduation careers. Networking and support: providing a variety of on-campus and local opportunites for scholars and their families to build support networks with one another, peninsula college fund mentors, and allies of the program in order to help the scholars successfully navigate college and the path to post-college careers. Events include celebrations, team-building, and informal dialogues.

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will never be able to repay the Peninsula College Fund for everything they have done for me. The Peninsula College Fund made it possible for me to attend my dream school, UCLA. They provided me with the financial support I needed to bridge the financial aid gap. Besides making it possible for me to attend my top choice, they also provided mentors that helped me overcome social, financial and academic challenges. As the first person in my family to attend college I greatly appreciated having someone I could call and ask for help. PCF also helped me land an internship at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, which definitely influenced the path I want to take in my career. They also offered college success workshops and seminars that helped us stay on track and focussed. I am now a proud PCF Alumna and I look forward to all of the great work PCF will continue to do in our communities.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Peninsula College Fund is an amazing organization! PCF impacted my life tremendously in a positive way and it inspired the path of my career in Education and Social Work. PCF provided me with an immense amount of support and because of them I was able to attend my dream school. I received the financial assistance that I desperately needed as well as a mentor and a summer job. They are aware about what it takes to make students successful and competitive in today's economy and they provide a wide range of support services for their scholars. I could have easily become a college drop out statistic without the support of PCF because I was a low income, first generation and underrepresented college student and we all know what those statistics look like. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Chicano Studies and Education in June 2011. I am now a proud alumna and the president of the Peninsula College Fund Alumni Association. I am extremely grateful for the support and guidance I received and I understand the challenges that students face in college therefore I am now working as a college coach to assist first generation, low income and underrepresented students with their transition from high school to college.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Peninsula College Fund for over four years: as a reader, mentor, and now a Board member. Being a mentor to a first generation college student hooked me. My mentee has been an inspiration with the way she made the most of her college experience by getting involved and becoming a campus leader. She now works as a college counselor to first generation students with a local non-profit. PCF provided me and my mentee with tools and training to make sure we had the resources to develop our relationship and to ensure she graduated in four years.

PCF enjoys an extraordinary success rate with 95% of our students graduating from college job ready. We are led by a very talented Executive Director who has been instrumental in helping us achieve these results. The passion of our Founder and Board Chair continues to inspire the entire PCF family. We feel very proud to be associated with an organization that focuses on closing the opportunity gap for our talented and inspiring college students.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Peninsula College Fund is a phenomenal organization. I was PCF's Program Coordinator from 2011-2013, and in my time there I had the great privilege of getting to know all the students in the program as well as the staff and volunteers who make it all happen. I am 100% confident that PCF is changing lives for the better and doing it in a strategic, efficient way. The students build strong relationship with their volunteer mentors, the staff of the organization, and their fellow students. It is a rich, closely knit community where everyone has a home. PCF is there to celebrate student success and provide personalized, compassionate support in hard times. In a world where low-income, first-generation students often don't have the support necessary to persist in college, PCF is unfaltering in its commitment to college completion for its incredibly deserving students.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"PCF scholars are full of life, energy, and ideas. Over the past 6 years, I have seen firsthand how the PCF has directly improved the lives of these talented students and their entire families. Volunteering as a mentor has been an incredibly rewarding experience."

Seema3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PCF is helping shape our future by giving kids who want to make a difference actually achieve their goals.
I volunteered for their career workshops and was thoroughly impressed by the staff, the organization of the event and how well prepared the kids were as they interviewed us. They are successfully empowering students who need some assistance to achieve their dreams. Their program is clearly effective as majority of their students graduate. I hope to volunteer for their career workshops again and/or help PCF in many more ways. Kudos to PCF!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

PCF is comprised of amazing staff that go above and beyond so that students can succeed academically and in their respective careers. Every year they bring excellent professionals to practice mock interviews, they provide networks to obtain summer internships, and they have set up a great mentoring program. This is an amazing organization that has helped many students, including myself, continue their education and to develop into the great leaders of tomorrow.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with PCF earlier this summer, and have been extremely impressed by the organization. They have strong leadership and a focused vision/mission. With a small staff, they seem to be doing a great job of dedicating their time and resources in the right places. They have outstanding results (almost 100% of their students graduate college, which is really extraordinary) and are in the process of expanding to meet the growing demand for their program. I highly recommend this organization as a place to make considerable impact - whether as a mentor, a volunteer, board member or donor.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PCF is a fantastic resource that smiles on the world and empowers students to achieve their dreams. I had the privilege of meeting and working with the leadership, as well as the students at a recent workshop, and I was impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of everyone I encountered. I feel proud to be associated with this wonderful group of people. I hope to be able to contribute my time and talents to this worthwhile nonprofit again in the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just recently attended my second PCF award ceremony and had a grand time! It's wonderful to see the dedication and commitment PCF has in our young future leaders. My daughter was a PCF scholarship recipient. The Scholarship made the difference of her ability to afford to attend college. The staff is a "Dream Team" they provide a wonderful support system for the students to help them have some skills to make their college experience a little smoother. My daughter was paired with the perfect mentor that gave an ear, and a hand when needed and went above the call of duty. The organization is showing by example the power of giving young people a hand up, teaching them how important it is to invest in education, serve and give back. Thank you PCF for your commitment to make this world a better place one student at a time and stressing the value of education.

Comments ( 1 )

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Catherine Crystal Foster 07/01/2013

Thank you for all you do and for this wonderful review. It's a privilege to know both you and Lauren.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure to serve as a PCF mentor for the past year. This organization does so much for our young leaders. PCF provides the services and support necessary for student success - mentorship, training, internships, support, community, and a scholarship. I'm constantly impressed by our scholars - they are so driven, mature, and inspiring. Alumni continue to be involved with the program, which says a lot about the value and quality of PCF.

PCF also provides training and support to volunteers. We receive updates from program staff about the organization and our students, guidance if there are any questions about our students, tips on how to best help the students based on their year in college, and we are involved in organization events and celebrations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful opportunity to experience an amazing ceremony with PCF! It was lovely and very inspiring! PCF is an amazing organization with true impact in our community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had an unbelievable experience while serving on the Board of PCF. Extremely rewarding opportunity for anyone that believes in extending the same opportunities they have had with a college education. The students we touch with our program are incredible. Being first in their family to go to college, you can just imagine the excitement and appreciation for being one of the selected for a PCF Scholarship. I highly recommend the experience of volunteering for this fantastic organization, we need mentors, committee and Board members and of course donors. Please contact us if interested in getting involved, we'd love to have you!

Marisol G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a scholar for PCF, I am so grateful for everything they have provided me with. The assistance, the comfort, the solidarity, everything has truly inspired me to proceed with my success. The Peninsula College fund has pushed me to my limits in order to better myself. A truly phenomenal organization. I would be lost without them to this day. It has been a privilege to continue with the organization even after my time in college. From the bottom of my heart, thank you PCF for everything you continue to do for all the students!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

First of all, I want to thank PCF for all the amazing hard work and interest they put in to help students like me achieve their goals. I am a PCF scholar myself, and I feel very honored to be part of this new family. I am lucky to be part of the PCF family because we support one another and we always know how to have fun and enjoy the activities we do. They offer many things like support, financial help, mentoring, advising, and so much love! Thanks to this organization I am attending college and continuing my education!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started out as a reader of applications and interviewer for selecting new scholars. I was so inspired by the students that I became a mentor. My mentee is now a senior and we have become friends. I am so proud of her and how she has grown as a student and as a person who gives so generously of her time to others on campus. I became a Board member two years ago and can't say enough about the dedication and commitment of those on the Board as well as all our amazing students and volunteers who make up the Peninsula College Fund family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Peninsula College Fund has aided me in so many ways through college. One of the most significant being the mentor program and the support I received during stressful times in school. PCF matched me with a mentor who I felt I could talk to openly. My mentor did not judge me for my choices and opinions, and rarely told me what to do. Instead my mentor advised me on asked me questions that I was unable to ask myself. Because of this I experienced tremendous personal growth by getting to the core of problems. My freshman year after a dismal first semester I felt out of place to say the least. However after talking through my concerns with my mentor I was able to not only understand what I needed to do, but what I was capable of doing. And that has made all the difference. I have gained confidence and a true understanding of my place. This means a lot to me because the answers that I found, I was allowed to come to through my own reflection of my choices, rather than simply being told what I did wrong and right. Since graduating I look back on my experience and wonder how I succeeded where so many have either not had the opportunity to venture or have tried and failed. I thank PCF everyday for not allowing me to fail. For keeping me focused on my goals and for making me a priority. What they have given me is priceless.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a PCF scholar myself, I know first hand how helpful this organization is to many people. Not only do they offer financial help, they also set us up with a personal mentor to guide us and help us out through out our education journey. This organization gives underprivileged high school kids a chance to get an education that other we would not be able to get. This program is truly life changing.

Mayra G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Peninsula College Fund was one of the most amazing opportunities I had that enable me to attend college. Winning this $12,000 scholarship that would break down into $3,000/year was definitely the reason why I was able to pay for college. But this isn't it, PFC supported me all throughout college, not only financially but also personally, they provided me with two amazing tutors, they helped get internships during the summers and I was also given an amazing opportunity to work with PCF last Spring. One of the things that most amazes me is their passion and their commitment, I might not attend every one of their events, but I will always keep PCF in my heart. Thanks to their support and constant communication I graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and a minor in Education. Despite the obstacles i faced, I didn't want to let them down, because they showed me they really cared about me. I would give them 10 stars if possible!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Peninsula College Fund is essentially an organization that has a mission and actually achieves that mission. Their mission is that through financial and mental support, they help achieve individual's dreams. Most of these individuals are first generation college students, as I am. They not only know how to pick their scholars, but they know that they pick the right ones because they are givers. All of the scholars are strong passionate individuals who do have a desire to succeed. PCF would love to assist every individual in need, but because of financial situations many students are being denied from obtaining this scholarship as the organization gradually grows. PCF also creates a family setting welcoming every new scholar while achieving success or struggling in school. That is the reason why our mentors are also there for. Sometimes students need that extra support and having someone who believes in them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From my experience, the Peninsula College Fund is an exceptional organization for its mentors and students alike. I initially got involved with PCF at the beginning of 2012 as an application reader and interviewer for the scholarship program. After being incredibly inspired by the students being considered for awards, I applied to be a mentor for the program. Serving as a mentor to such a bright and dedicated college freshman has already been a great joy as well as a valuable learning experience. I am really looking forward to the next four years of working with PCF and being motivated by all that this non-profit does.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer proudly as a mentor with Peninsula College Fund because of the organization's mission to help ensure that bright and determined students can achieve their education and career goals. We are all fortunate that the wonderful staff at PCF and its generous donors are dedicated to providing the much needed resources to PCF's talented scholars, not only in the form of scholarships but also in the equally important personal support that comes with those scholarships.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am student and have been a member since 2010. Since my time with PCF I have grown academically and personally. Through this truly dedicated program I have met the most diligent and passionate students and advisors who share a common goal and together to strive toward success. Every minute that I have shared with the program has become extremely beneficial to my academic and personal success. PCF has proven to be much more than an anonymous program, PCF is a life long friend to my family and I. I would strongly recommend anyone who is able to participate in this organization to do so.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a mentor for PCF has been a very fulfilling experience. It's a two-way street...I feel as if I am able to help a young college student while simultaneously gaining knowledge and insight into the world of a young adult. PCF provides great training for those who mentor and invaluable scholarships and guidance to students in need. It is an incredibly worthwhile organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I act as a mentor to a student. I have found this organization to be focused on it's goals, dedicated and well run. All of the students and graduates I have talked to have been articulate and thoughtful. The organization is continually improving its information to both students and mentors to facilitate those relationships and overall success of the students and mentors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently a Senior at CSU Sacramento, and I can truly say that I would not be where I am today without the help of PCF. They're financial contribution to my education has made all the difference. I am the first in my family to pursue higher education, and the support this organization offers me has made this possible. I am blessed and thankful to be part of such a close group of scholars, leaders and mentors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I come from a low income family, my parents did not get any education and I am also the first one in my family to attend college, and the oldest in my family. PCF basically solved all this problems for me they supported me financially so that I could go to College and make my dreams come true. PCF Gave me a mentor to guide me through college and I would be very lost if it wasn't for my mentor because he is there for me when I need help with something, also he is there for as a friend who helps me when I am feeling down or need someone to talk to.PCF also prepared me for college before I even started college to make sure that I would be successful in college. With out PCF I would not be going to college right now. PCF also makes me feel like I am part of something they come up with events so that we can get to know the other scholars and make us feel like a family and everyone is very nice and friendly . PCF is the best thing that could of had happened to me and I am very grateful for all their help.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I come from a family and community where pretty much I had to do mostly everything on my own. Stress was a vocabulary word I was very familiar with. However, PCF has been one of the greatest things that has ever happend to me. I feel like I am a part of something that is much more than just a program. It's a family. I have met so many people I would have never known existed. Individuals who have inspired me to be more than I believe I can be; be more than just the first to go to college in my family. The help and coaching offered in this program is extrememly helpful and now that I am in college I do not feel alone. A family like PCF is one reason why I am in college and one reason why a lot of my stress about money has been lifted of my shoulders. I am proud to be part of the PCF family. I hope others can see how much a foundation like PCF can change the lives and roads of individuals like myself and give more so that the foundation will only continue to grow.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PCF is one of the only scholarships I have received that makes me feel like part of a family. Everyone is so supportive and friendly, I couldn't ask for anything more. PCF is helping me make my dreams come true. I would delegate a large portion of my success to them. Not only are the main founders of PCF kind and courteous, but the mentors are fantastic as well. I am proud to be a supporting member of Peninsula College Fund.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is my first experience as a mentor and I am enjoying every minute of it. My mentee is delightful and we have established what I hope will be a long term relationship. It has been challenging at times but what teenager isn't a challenge? I am so glad that I was invited to be a PCF mentor. Karen C

Lorenzo G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with PCF and their scholars has been the highlight of my career. When you get a dedicated organization devoted to the true meaning of success for all then volunteering does not seem to be a hastle. This is a true family and we are happy to support each other. Please consider PCF in your future.

Kerry5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peninsula College Fund is so much more than a non-profit - it s a dream come true for its almost 100 scholars, it is a family, a community, and finally, it provides financial, mentoring and job coaching to enable its truly remarkable college students achieve their dreams. As a mentor and volunteer it is the most rewarding of all the volunteer work I have done. To witness, coach, cheer, mentor and support a first generation student is an honor and a joy and after our four years together when he walks that stage, I know how thrilled I will be for him and that our friendship will not end as he moves forward to the next stage of hs young adult life. To support these extremely deserving students from under served Peninsula communities, it takes a small village, funds, mentors, internships, academic coaching and role models. Having now graduated the first three years of scholars in the program, it is a thrill not only to see their pride and accomplishments, but to see the almost 100% retention rate and to see the scholars themselves step into leadership roles in the PCF organization. The hardest part of my involvement is the painful first hand awareness of how trully great the need is for this program and others like it. To read over 20 highly qualified applications each year from just one of the six high schools we serve is excruciating because we would like to award all of them, yet limited resources mean only the very top 1-3 get the chance. Finally, PCF has does a great job at strategically partnering with other resources including established high school and college counselors, great schools like Notre Dame De Namur and Loyola Marymount. Now ask yourself, how can I help? I originally started helping PCF to give back as I myself was first generation to college, but it is the students and the organization that keep me coming back.