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Reaching Out to Help First-Generation College Students

February 2020

The Reach Foundation is a local nonprofit charity that offers individualized coaching to guide low-income, first-generation-to-college, high school seniors in Santa Clara through the college application and financial aid process. The organization offers renewable scholarships of $2,000 to $6,000 yearly for the course of a student’s university experience. The foundation supports students by providing long-term mentoring which is clearly successful as it boasts an 85 percent college graduation rate.

The mission of The Reach Foundation is to reduce the opportunity gap between those who can afford college and those who cannot by funding and mentoring students who demonstrate a strong work ethic. The financial assistance allows students to focus less on financial hardships and more on their academics.

Students must be motivated and hard working to apply for assistance from the foundation. Applicants must be Santa Clara High School seniors currently enrolled in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and must have a GPA of 3.0 or more. U.S. citizens and DACA students can apply. The foundation hopes to expand the program to Wilcox High School seniors in 2021.

Why focus on first-generation college students? According to The Reach Foundation, “first-generation college students are 8.5 times more likely to drop out of college than those who have parents with higher education degrees.”  

To date, The Reach Foundation had raised a total of $200,000 allowing them to support 4-5 students through their five years of college. Scholarship applications are now open for the 2020-2021 school year — visit The Reach Foundation website for more information. Spread the word if someone you know would be interested in this opportunity.

How can you help? The foundation is currently looking for parent and community mentors for students. For more information please contact Melinda Dibb.

Santa Clara High School Graduates