When he was a senior at Valley High School, Dany knew many things. He knews he needed to work hard to get the grades he wants. He knew he could turn to his teachers, mentors, and friends should he have needed any help. And he knew he wants to go to college to make his family proud – especially his parents, because he knew another thing, too: “I know the sacrifices they made to get me where I am today,” he said
At the Foundation, we know that ensuring academic opportunities are available for all local students is critical to our region’s future economic and civic viability. We also know that many of the students in our college-going pipeline – students like Dany, from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in higher education – encounter barriers to attending college, and traditional scholarship approaches are not keeping pace with economic realities.
To launch our innovative CAP Scholars program, we were awarded a significant grant from College Futures Foundation, a statewide philanthropic organization that has studied the achievements of 20,000 low-income California students who have received counseling services and scholarships.
That is why we are leading a collaboration of highly effective nonprofits to help more of our region’s young people achieve their college dreams, the Capital Area Promise (CAP) Scholars program. Part of our Preparing Students to Succeed in the New Economy initiative, this innovative program pairs scholarship awards with comprehensive advising services designed to help students enroll in college and complete their degrees.
As he prepared for college, Dany knew of the barriers he and his peers might face as they pursue their college dreams, but as a student in the inaugural cohort of the CAP Scholars program, he was prepared to best whatever challenges he encounters. “College isn’t like high school, so I know I will have to manage my time well and be self-sufficient,” he said, highlighting some of the college-ready skills he mastered with help from Improve Your Tomorrow, one of the program’s nonprofit partners.
Dany knew that paying for college isn’t easy, but as a CAP Scholar, Dany was eligible to receive scholarship awards that complete his financial aid package, closing the gaps in funding that too often prevent students from achieving their college degrees.
Of course, Dany also knew that graduating from college will help him reach his dreams, like working for the FBI, buying a house, and having a family. As he headed to college to pursue those dreams, we know that Dany will make his parents – and his community – proud.