U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier will be the keynote speaker at the Peninsula College Fund‘s first annual Community Engagement Luncheon on Thursday, October 27 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park.
Since 2005, the non-profit PCF has awarded four-year college and university scholarships to 157 local, low-income, first-generation college students. With PCF’s additional support of one-on-one mentors, summer internships, and college and career success training, an exceptional 92% of its scholars have graduated or are still in college on a path to completion.
“College is essential for good-paying jobs, but crushing student debt has turned this American Dream into a nightmare for too many students, especially for first-generation college students who struggle with the most severe economic disadvantage,” said Congresswoman Speier. “That is why the scholarships, and other support provided by the Peninsula College Fund (PCF) over the last 11 years is so vitally important. PCF is not only helping to build a strong foundation for the future of these students and their families, but for our communities and country as well.”
First-hand accounts of a PCF graduate, a mentor, and an internship sponsor will also be on the program. In addition, PCF’s Leadership Award will be represented to Kip and Becky Witter of the Witter Foundation as community members making a difference.
Currently 84 PCF scholars are attending college and 61 have graduated. “We are so proud of these graduates who are giving back to community through careers that range from teaching in underserved areas to work in cancer research, tech, and local government,” says PCF CEO Phillip Powell, himself a first-generation college graduate. “Thanks to our generous donors over 150 volunteers, we continue to expand opportunities: The new 2016 class of 21 scholars is our largest yet.”
Scholarship recipients are chosen each year from 10 select high schools in Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City, and PCF is expanding to include four more in Belmont, San Mateo, Mountain View, and Atherton.
PCF students have attended many campuses of University of California and Cal State colleges, as well as Notre Dame de Namur, Georgetown, Boston College, Wesleyan, Emory University in Atlanta, Loyola Marymount, and St. Mary’s, among others.
The PCF 1st annual Community Engagement Luncheon is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To register, donate, or learn more about becoming a volunteer, please go to the website, www.peninsulacollegefund.org.