Somerton Educational Grants

Grants for MESA students’ critical needs

Program Details


Any MESA student in good standing, enrolled at College of Alameda or Diablo Valley College.


Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to MESA students to help with expenses for critical necessities which do not fall under other student aid programs. Examples include: eye glasses, computer software, textbooks, supplies needed for coursework, transportation expenses, and limited dental care.


Requests are approved by the MESA Coordinator/Director at your school.
Provide the following information in your request:

  • Notation at the top that the request is for a Somerton Educational Grant
  • Your name, address, email, phone number, and department major
  • Describe your academic status and list your current GPA
  • List areas of your involvement in the MESA program
  • Amount requested and itemization of how the money will be spent
  • A brief personal statement of why this is a critical necessity and how it will help you in your studies
  • A signed letter of recommendation from an instructor, counselor, or MESA program staff at your school

Please forward your request to the MESA Coordinator/Director at your school:

College of Alameda
Leslie Reiman
MESA Coordinator
860 Atlantic Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501

Diablo Valley College
Maitreyee Chandra
MESA Director
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523


There is no deadline. Funding will be immediately available, if approved. Philanthropic Ventures Foundation will issue checks made payable to the student. This is a one-time educational grant.


For questions, please contact us at (510) 645-1890 or

Funding is currently exhausted.



Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we are constantly updating you on which programs have funding and which programs have become exhausted.

The Somerton Educational Grants Program was established in memory of Professor Wilbur Somerton (co-founder of MESA) and Irma Somerton, in recognition of their commitment to young people.

Help us keep this program thriving.

“I give many thanks from the bottom of my heart to the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and Program donors. This grant will provide me with my much needed new prescription glasses and used laptop.


This is a period of tough times, and as a student who was recently laid off, the stress of finances becomes quite looming while trying to deal with the stress of schooling. With this generous grant I will be able to appropriately outfit myself in preparation for higher learning.”


-Recipient of Somerton Educational Grant