This June, Silicon Valley Community Foundation awarded 133 foundation-managed scholarships totaling over $695,000. Annually, SVCF administers more than 45 scholarship programs, which grant a total of about $1.4 million a year. This recent round of awards targeted graduating high school seniors and current college students from the greater Bay Area. The 110 recipients represent six Bay Area counties and 24 cities, and the average scholarship amount is $5,000, which helps students reduce their unmet financial need.
These scholarships are a critical part of SVCF’s work in education, benefiting both the recipients and their families. The students receiving these scholarships come from diverse backgrounds and have faced unique challenges. Taytianna Leggett, who lives in San Jose and received the Ralph Hale and Martha L. Ruppert Educational Scholarship, is one such example.
Taytianna suffered a family loss during her freshman year of high school. As she grieved, Taytianna’s GPA suffered, disqualifying her from many scholarships. Yet she worked hard for the next three years, juggling challenging school work, tutoring sessions, a work study job, community service, plus various extra-curricular activities, and was able to improve her GPA considerably by the first semester of her senior year. The Hale & Ruppert Educational Scholarship was designed to uniquely target “late bloomers” – students who struggle early in high school yet demonstrate academic promise, as Taytianna does.
Students receiving scholarships often send thank-you notes; this year, SVCF also received a letter from Taytianna’s mother, Jennifer, expressing her hopes for her daughter and her gratitude that SVCF offers an inclusive assortment of scholarships.
“I am so grateful to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for offering a wide variety of scholarships,” she wrote. “It is evidence that the foundation’s scholarship committee understands not every student’s journey through high school is the same. Some students just need a little time to get their footing before excelling to their full potential. I thank you for allowing Taytianna to give you a glimpse into her strengths and for your help in making her dream of attending college attainable.”
Taytianna has accepted an offer to attend Marymount Manhattan College in New York, where she will study communications and work towards her dream of becoming a journalist.
Receiving heartfelt letters of gratitude and hearing from scholarship recipients is an annual highlight at SVCF; two meaningful excerpts are included below.
“You are helping me become the best engineer that I can be, so that I may most effectively serve our community and environment.” - Brian
Brian is the recipient of the Latinos in Technology Scholarship and is studying mechanical engineering at San Jose State
“This scholarship has majorly reduced my financial gap for the next four years. My family and I are very grateful. We will be able to spend the next few months before I leave for college focusing on family time instead of financial worries. The benefit of having a mentor is also priceless.” – Abisaid
Abisaid is the recipient of the Abby Sobrato Scholarship and a graduate of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy in Santa Clara. She plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania.
For interested applicants: The 2018 scholarship deadlines have passed; however, we encourage you to view each scholarship’s profile and application instructions to prepare for the 2019 scholarship season, which will launch in early December 2018.