The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades…

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

As August rolls to a close, students everywhere are settling back into the learning saddle to create their best and brightest future.  From our vantage point, nothing is more rewarding than giving young people a leg-up on their future by supporting their journey to adulthood.

We invest in youth through every age and stage. We identify and support the most effective programs that build academic and leadership skills to take students from preschool to college.  And, once there, we provide scholarships that ease financial fears and help dreams become reality.

This summer alone, we’ve invested more than $520,000 in local youth:

  • $173,375 in grants were awarded to an array of programs that level the academic playing field and expand the college access pipeline, including: bilingual kindergarten readiness programs; a high school construction and welding program for at-risk students; programs to help students prepare for studies and careers in the digital industry; and mentorship for community college students, among others.
  • $347,500 in 105 scholarship awards, an increase of nearly $70,000 over last year thanks to the addition of two new scholarship funds, opened by a generous anonymous donor. Most of our recipients come from low-income families and 78 percent of our scholarship awardees identified as first-generation college students.  Many of our scholarships follow students for every year that they are in school.

When it comes to scholarships, as meaningful as the money is, it is the impact that it will have on the lives of our young students that is so powerful. Their stories are both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Many have overcome significant barriers and challenges to achieve their education and hopes for a college degree.

Sam is one such example.  Coming from a childhood fraught with foster homes, focusing on learning and homework was a constant challenge.

But Sam’s determination to “be better than what he had come from” ignited a resolve in him to fight for his education and work with his challenges to achieve academic and life success.  Through his hard work, Sam was able to get into AP classes, join leadership activities, and raise grand champion lambs. His efforts paid off — accepted into a private college Sam’s Lenore Hirsch-Jay Falk Scholarship will help him achieve his life’s desire of becoming a beacon for others.

And his is just one story of hope.  Thanks to our constellation of caring donors, more than 100 young people are headed off to college full of hopes and fears, yet ready to forge onward toward their futures. Watch the video in the next section for a glimpse into their greatness.

Applications for the 2023 Scholarships will be available beginning January 9, 2023 and due by March 6, 2023. To learn more about those awards, or other resources for students, visit: NapaValleyCF.org/im-a-student/what-we-do/

If you are interested in supporting Napa County youth, we’re here to help!  We work with donors every day to create lasting impact for students throughout the Valley.  For more information, please contact Giving@NapaValleyCF.org.






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