Preparing Students to Succeed in the New Economy

Expanding Equitable Access to Higher Education

Ensuring that academic success is available to all our students remains a challenge for our region. The longer this remains unchecked, our future as a strong regional economy remains at risk. Locally, students experience unacceptable disparities in access to educational opportunity whether during school or after. This is especially true among young men within African American and Latino/Hispanic communities. By Preparing Students to Succeed in the New Economy, the Foundation is taking a thoughtful, intentional approach in addressing this issue to provide equitable access to a quality education for all.

An Improve Your Tomorrow mentoring session at a Sacramento high school.

Closely aligned with our education initiative, the mission of Improve Your Tomorrow aims to increase the number of young men of color attending – and graduating from – four-year colleges.

Research has demonstrated the key areas of focus that can make a huge difference in outcomes for local students: building social and emotional learning programs, identifying challenges and creating interventions as early as 3rd and no later than 5th grades, and creating access to college and other vocational education while ensuring completion of this education are examples. These efforts, grounded in data, offer the greatest chance for our youth to graduate from high school, to enter and complete college or other career learning pathways, and attain the skills required in the new economy to be fully employed and find fulfillment and enjoy a flourishing life. 


  • Most local students are not college ready when they graduate high school. Only 23% of Sacramento County 11th graders are ready for college-level English and only 14% are ready for college-level math, according to the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.
  • The majority of local students are from backgrounds that traditionally face the greatest barriers to college completion. 
  • We need more college graduates to remain economically competitive. California faces a projected shortage of 1 million college-educated workers by 2025, according to College Futures Foundation.


  • Partnering with nonprofits to work with the “forgotten middle” youth in high-need areas, preparing them for college attainment and completion.
  • Granting strategic need-based scholarships that comprehensively support college success.
  • Improving access to federal and state financial aid and scholarships for students with great potential.


Learn more about the Capital Area Promise Scholars program


Capital Area Promise Scholars 
The Foundation's program that aims to increase college completion rates among local students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education

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The Foundation’s Scholarships
The Foundation manages over 40 scholarship funds, which were established by local individuals, families, businesses and organizations.