San Francisco, CA, August 21, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- On July 15, 2008, the Glow Foundation, a provider of financial education, mentoring, and "unmet need" scholarships to high-potential, college-ready students from under-resourced communities, awarded its 2008 scholarships to twenty six students in the Bay Area. The award ceremony and celebration was hosted by Silicon Valley Bank in its Santa Clara Headquarters.
A crowd of 130 attendees, including students, their families, volunteers, mentors and donors gathered to celebrate their success. It was a culmination of a year’s work with Glow, but for many of these students, they have been working towards this dream all their lives. “I feel very prepared to move on and get a college education because it is not only my hope for a better future, but the hope of my entire family," says Rosa Alverez, a 2008 Glow Scholar. "I will be the first in my family to even graduate from high school and to attend college. I want to be able to set an example for many kids like me who are not fortunate enough to have someone close to them show them the way to success.” Rosa will be attending Santa Clara University this fall and wants to major in communications.
Rather than simply handing out scholarships, the Glow Foundation offers financial education to students, providing them basic financial literacy skills and helping them understand the costs associated with attending college and how to obtain funding. Working with financial education partners such as Wells Fargo, Silicon Valley Bank, Citibank and Lenders for Community Development, Glow strives to provide students with the tools to proactively plan and seek out the financial resources needed for college. To qualify for Glow scholarship, students must attend rigorous financial planning classes and submit a budget and a plan for attacking and narrowing their financial gaps. Glow’s “unmet need” scholarship is intended to bridge any financial gap that may still exist after students’ own efforts including government grants, loans, scholarships and work studies.
“The financial barrier is not just about money,” says Glow’s Executive Director Joohee Rand. “Students typically do not have the basic financial skills and awareness of financial aids to take advantage of the financing options that are out there. We need to start by giving them the skills and knowledge to help them financially plan and find funding for college on their own. College is only a beginning, and we want them to succeed beyond college by having these financial life skills.”
Majority of Glow’s students are low income, qualifying for federal subsidized lunch programs at schools, and will be the first in their family to attend college. Almost 100% of the students are from racial/ethnic backgrounds historically under-represented in higher education. Glow is also unique in that, rather than finding the 4.0 GPA superstars that have access to many other scholarships, it seeks out high potential students from under resourced communities that might have fallen through the cracks. The majority of the students are in the 2.7 to 3.7 GPA levels. These students have demonstrated remarkable ability to overcome personal, economic and other challenges and are committed to obtain college education and become leaders in their communities.
"Throughout my life, my family and I have run into obstacles that no one should have to endure,” says Jonathon McNair, another 2008 Glow Scholar. “But I've crossed these obstacles each and every time and learned that there are bigger and better things that I can and will amount to. Going to college would be the first step in achieving my dreams of living a fulfilling life – one where I am free to make my own decisions, not being held back by social or economic barriers. I want this more than anything."
Vital to Glow’s mission is its strategy of partnering with strong, proven high school programs for applicants. Partnering with organizations such as BUILD, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), and East Palo Alto Academy’s Early College Program, ensures Glow that its applicants are highly motivated and success-ready. These partnerships and the student track record they provide give Glow a deeper understanding of applicants beyond GPA numbers and application forms.
“I really feel like the foundation gives the student’s the necessary tools to seek out and find opportunities in the future” says Glow mentor Mike Chen. “It is exciting to see the change in my students starting from being overwhelmed by the general college application process to acquiring the skills and confidence to apply what they learned in other aspects of their lives.”
Glow was able to increase its scholarship recipients this year to 26 students from 11 the year before.
The Foundation continually strives to expand its reach to help more students reach their dreams of a college education.
About the Glow Foundation: Founded in 2006, the Glow Foundation addresses the financial barriers that high-potential, low-income students face in attending and graduating from college. Glow’s mission is to provide financial education, mentoring, and “unmet need” scholarships to high potential, college-ready students from under-resourced communities.
For more information, visit www.glowfoundation.org or call 415-309-4576