Where’s James? At Fast Forward’s Demo Day

PVF Executive Director James Higa recently attended Fast Forward’s Demo Day to meet entrepreneurs using and building technology for social impact. As an accelerator, Fast Forward invests in these entrepreneurs, from funding them to creating programs to build capacity for tech nonprofits.

Two tech nonprofits that stood out at the Demo Day were: DREAMers Roadmap and Peerlift—both are headquartered in San Mateo County, founded by promising young leaders, and making a difference for students applying for and attending college.

DREAMers Roadmap

Founded in 2014 by Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, DREAMers Roadmap is an app that helps undocumented students quickly and easily find college scholarships and financial resources.

Undocumented students usually find out during their senior year of high school that they do not qualify for FAFSA and most scholarships. “Many students by this point are discouraged and don’t believe that going to college is a possibility,” says Sarahi. “We believe that all students regardless of legal status should have the same opportunities. We want to be able to bridge the financial aid gap for all undocumented students transitioning to college.”

Peerlift

Founded in 2017 by Julie Chen, Sam Gorman, Sravya Alla, and Jerry Registre, Peerlift’s platform allows people to create microscholarships to fund low-income college students’ expenses that are not covered by financial aid. From books to laundry to dorm room supplies, small incidental expenses can add up and turn into big financial burdens, and Peerlift offers a solution by connecting students in need with people who want to support them.

“This platform allows anyone to create a small scholarship and help fund a student’s education without needing to have a lot of money or worry about large management fees…. You don’t have to be an established philanthropist or years of nonprofit experience. With Peerlift, all you need is a desire to give and make an impact on a student’s collegiate career.”

PVF is excited to give grants to support these two organizations as they launch and grow to serve all students across the country.

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