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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

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is truly amazing. I'm a mentor of a student and they really have helped prepare me to help my student in the best way possible. We have a great relationship and I'm lucky to be a part of this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peninsula College Fund takes a holistic approach to supporting students, providing not just scholarship funds but a personal mentor and career coaching/prep. They set students up for success not just in college but in the transition to a successful, meaningful career.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peninsula College Fund serves an important function in our community. Rather than simply providing just scholarships, PCF also provides mentoring and job readiness programs that help its students reach the finish line and graduate. The vast majority of first-generation college students do not graduate even if they've enrolled in college. I have volunteered as a scholarship application reader twice now and it's a very rewarding experience. I highly recommend supporting PCF if you believe a college education sets young people and their families on the road toward success. It's the American Dream!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PCF is AWESOME!! A family who loves, supports, guides, and teaches how to get through college and much more!

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.