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Peninsula College Fund

Our mission is to empower low-income, first generation college students to graduate and obtain a job that aligns with their career goals. Tax ID 26-4293269


The Peninsula College Fund (PCF) began in 2005 as the dream of local high school teacher Charles Schmuck, who felt impelled to address the troubling college drop-out rate among local low-income youth.  With the help of friends and neighbors, he began offering college scholarships and mentoring to three motivated local students. This grassroots effort has demonstrated remarkable success.  Since then, we have expanded to provide four-year college scholarships, one-to-one mentoring, college and career success training, and summer internships to 197 students from ten partner high schools in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Belmont and Redwood City.  

As the organization grew, PCF moved into its first office and hired its first independent Executive Director in 2012, added program staff and expanded its board, partnerships, and fundraising. We are now poised for greater impact. We currently serve 117 scholars and have graduated 70 scholars from our program starting in 2010.

PCF has an outstanding record of meeting local needs. nearly 95% of the scholars who have participated in the program have graduated from college or are on track to graduate from four-year colleges. 

While many first-generation students make it to college, fewer than a quarter of them make it through college in under six years. Our innovative and highly effective program helps ensure that our scholars succeed where others falter. We provide four-year scholarships, one-to-one adult mentors, college and career success training, and summer internship placements and stipends. Together, these resources make college more affordable, and help our scholars successfully navigate the journey to graduation and a career.


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