Press Release - October 20, 2015

SVCF Awards 461 Scholarships For 2015-16 Academic Year

More than $2.1 million will benefit local students’ academic futures

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Silicon Valley Community Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded 461 scholarships totaling more than $2.1 million to students enrolled in high school, community college and university programs for the 2015-16 academic year. 

A total of $2,103,570 in scholarship funds was awarded through a variety of programs administered by SVCF. Programs include 17 community foundation managed scholarships, the majority of which are designated for current or former residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and more than two dozen donor involved scholarships, which have external selection committees that are appointed by SVCF and make awards throughout the nation and internationally.

SVCF scholarships have been established by generous donors, corporations and organizations to assist students in pursuing higher education. Each scholarship has unique eligibility criteria, but most focus on students’ academic records, financial hardships and achievements. Each scholarship expresses a belief in the power of education to help young people achieve their dreams.

This fall, recipients of SVCF scholarships will be attending colleges and universities nationwide, including San José State University, UC Santa Cruz, Princeton University, Williams College and Northeastern University, to name a few. Scholarship award amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000. Some of the awarded scholarships provide students with financial support for multiple years to ensure college success and completion. Many of these scholarships are available to both United States citizens and eligible non-citizens, including AB540 students, those that qualify to pay in-state tuition at California’s public higher education institutions.

Noel Cruz, a graduate of Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, received an SVCF scholarship in 2007 as he finished high school and prepared to enroll at UC Merced. After he finished his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering there in 2014, he contacted SVCF to again give thanks for the support he had received and to ask how he could give back to the scholarship process. Noel wrote to SVCF, “I owe my confidence to people like you who believed in my abilities. My accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of you and those like you.” 

SVCF relies on volunteers to read and thoughtfully evaluate hundreds of scholarship applications each year. Noel was a perfect fit for the selection committee for the Abby Sobrato Scholarship, which provides support to students from the Latino College Prep Academy in San José. Noel was a first-generation college student and could relate to many of the challenges that Latino and immigrant students face. And as a recent grad himself, he had a useful perspective about which students were likely to succeed in college if offered financial assistance.

Noel’s eagerness to be a part of SVCF’s scholarship process even after he’d become a working professional points to the lasting impact that scholarship funds can have on the lives of young adults. Jill Rademacher, chief donor experience and engagement officer for SVCF, said she finds the stories of many scholarship recipients inspiring. “Many face great challenges in pursuing an education. We are grateful to the people and companies that have donated the funds to make these awards possible.”

Since 2007, SVCF has awarded more than $11.1 million in scholarship funds to support students who are current or former residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, including those who take non-traditional paths to get a college education. Funding scholarships is one of the many ways that charitable individual, family and corporate donors work with SVCF to make a difference to their communities. 

For a complete list of our 2015 community foundation managed scholarship recipients and the institutions they attend, visit siliconvalleycf.org/scholarship-recipients-2015.

For information about applying for scholarships please contact scholarships@siliconvalleycf.org. For information about establishing a scholarship fund, contact us at donate@siliconvalleycf.org or 650.450.5444.

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About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has $6.5 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at siliconvalleycf.org.