College Futures Freshman Year: 65 Scholarships ($260,000) Awarded
By Josh Warburg, Community Foundation for Monterey County Program and Scholarships Officer
This year marked the beginning of College Futures Monterey County, a new effort by the Community Foundation for Monterey County to increase college attainment among underrepresented students in our communities.
Currently, only 23% of local residents age 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree, but by 2030 38% of job openings will require a bachelor’s degree. We’re working to help more students complete a bachelor’s degree and prepare to join the workforce of the future.
Scholarships & Support
Our approach combines need-based scholarships with college success services to ensure students have the greatest opportunity to get to and through college.” – Josh Warburg, CFMC Program and Scholarships Officer
In winter 2017, we held a series of workshops for students and parents at our seven target high schools (Alisal, North Monterey County, Seaside, Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield, and King City). Topics included financial literacy, understanding and applying for financial aid, and choosing which college to attend. Some 200 students attended all three workshops and more than two thirds applied to receive a scholarship.
$260,000 Awarded to 65 Students
We are excited to announce that $260,000 was awarded to 65 students with an average scholarship of $4,000. Eligible recipients will have the opportunity to renew their scholarships next year to further support their dream of completing college.
Of the students who received scholarships:
- 92% will be the first in their family to attend college
- 48% are the children of agricultural workers
- 28% are Latino males, a group that is especially underrepresented in college
- Nearly half of their families are not expected to be able to contribute any funding to their education
- Their average GPA was 3.78
- 91% plan to go directly to a 4-year college or university
Here is how two of the scholarship winners expressed their appreciation:
“Being a first-generation college student and being Hispanic meant I had limited financial resources. I’m immensely grateful for your donations to the College Futures Monterey County Scholarship! You just made my pathway to success clearer, and once I walk across that stage in the fall, I’ll be sure to remember you.” -Adriana Jazmin Vargas Mendoza, Soledad High School
“The award gives me an opportunity to learn Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, knowledge and skills that will aid my dream of entering the medical field. Without scholarship patrons willing to support post-secondary education, students like me would be unable to pursue health care degrees. Being honored by this scholarship has boosted my self-confidence.” -Christopher Mandujano, Soledad High School
By investing in promising low-income, first-generation students in our communities and providing them with information and financial support, we are helping students reach their potential and making a difference in college attainment and the economic picture of our region.