Helping Make College Dreams a Reality for Low-Income Students

Opportunities abound with a strong start at college. Yet for those who struggle to pay for college, these opportunities can diminish drastically. Even pursuing a 2-year vocational degree can be cost prohibitive.

Through PVF’s Charles and Connie Meng Scholarship, we aim to lessen the financial burden that barricades many low-income students from their vocational dreams. This program provides Alameda County community college students with $1,000 scholarships to offset costs such as vocational tools, textbooks, transportation, and rent.

Many of the Meng Scholarship recipients come from disadvantaged backgrounds. One student shared with us: “I missed out on most of my high school years due to moving around a lot with my single mother, who is also partially disabled.” Many of our scholars are also single, working parents who struggle to make ends meet while juggling their studies and raising families. These scholarships are therefore crucial in allowing them breathing room so they can focus on their studies: “Between going to school and raising a beautiful daughter as a single mother, I don’t have time to work so I really depend on scholarships like this in addition to financial aid available to low-income students.”

Neither of my parents have a degree, and I will keep going until I have broken that tradition. – Meng Scholar

Despite hardship, these students are motivated to be successful academically and professionally: “Neither of my parents have a degree, and I will keep going until I have broken that tradition. I want to make a good example for my three year-old daughter.” Through 18 years of administering this program, we have found that these small scholarships can have a big impact by opening up opportunities for low-income students who dream of successful futures.

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