Oakland, CA – Tonight at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, 400 new students will be awarded nearly $3 million in multi-year scholarships linked with persistence supports at the Third Annual East Bay College Fund - Oakland Promise Awards Ceremony, bringing the total number awarded to over 1,000 students. East Bay College Fund, the lead agency for college scholarships and completion for the ambitious cradle-to-career strategy the Oakland Promise, will celebrate its 15th anniversary and will honor 400 Oakland public school seniors as they embark on their journey to and through college.
“Oaklanders are making our city equitable one child at a time,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “The East Bay College Fund-Oakland Promise Awards Ceremony is one of the most inspirational nights of the year for our community. We gather to support and celebrate 400 remarkable public school students — many of whom will be the first in their families to go to college — as they embark on their journeys to-and-through college with scholarships and mentoring support. Join us, Oakland – and let every child know they are supported and valued.”
· Of the 400 scholarship recipients, nearly 75% identify as African American or Latino- the populations least represented in higher education. Graduates will receive $1,000 to $16,000 over the course of their college careers, linked with persistence supports to help them stay on track to complete college.
· There will be a special recognition of the many Dreamers who will be awarded scholarships in a year that has been fraught with confusion, anxiety, and displacement in the immigrant community. Approximately 20% of the students are Dreamers. Janet Napolitano, who wrote the original DACA policy when she served as the Secretary of Homeland Security, is the keynote speaker.
· A second cohort of 20 students will receive scholarships from the Malcolm Kerr Family Scholarship Fund, established by East Bay College Fund in partnership with Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, in honor of his father who was a college president.
2018 marks a record high of over 1,000 scholarships awarded by East Bay College Fund since launching the Oakland Promise in 2016.
“The time to level the playing the field for Oakland youth going to college is right now” ,” said East Bay College Fund Executive Director, Diane Dodge. “The more students we reach, the more diverse graduates we have ready to come back to Oakland and serve as leaders in their communities. This disrupts the intergenerational cycle of poverty and fuels a continuing cycle of college educated Oakland families.”
In addition to financial support, East Bay College Fund pairs each scholarship with an individual mentor, access to on-campus peer support networks, and two retreats a year for professional and personal development. These support services contribute to the success of East Bay College Fund’s scholars: 80% graduate within six years, four times the national average for low-income students.
East Bay College Fund invites the entire community to experience 400 Promises turned into a reality. Join our movement: fund a scholarship, become a mentor, offer an internship.
About East Bay College Fund
For 15 years, East Bay College Fund has operated with the mission of helping more of Oakland’s resilient public school students access college and persist to graduation. East Bay College Fund provides wrap-around services including mentoring, on-campus peer networks, advising, internships, annual retreats, and scholarships to support Oakland’s scholars throughout their entire collegiate experience. Since 2003, East Bay College Fund has awarded more than $14M in scholarships to Oakland youth to over 1,500 resilient students.
About Oakland Promise
The Oakland Promise is a cradle-to-career initiative launched by the City of Oakland Mayor’s Office, in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), East Bay College Fund, Oakland Public Education Fund, and other great organizations. The Oakland Promise combines best practices from across the country to support Oakland students and families at every major developmental stage from birth to career. The Oakland Promise aims to serve every child in Oakland and will provide additional investments to support students historically underrepresented in higher education. The vision of the Oakland Promise is that every child in Oakland graduates from high school with the expectations, resources, and skills to complete college and be successful in the career of his or her choice. The goal is to triple the number of students from Oakland public schools who graduate from college.
About the Keynote Speaker
President Janet Napolitano served as the former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, Governor of Arizona, and Attorney General of Arizona, has led the University of California system since 2013. She was the author of DACA policy and has sued the Federal Government to protect DACA for Californias. She has recently expanded the guaranteed admissions for transfer students from community colleges into the UC systems.