Fall 2015 Newsletter: Diana’s Message

Twenty years ago Meritus began as a conversation around the kitchen table and launched by supporting one Scholar with a $10,000 scholarship. Meritus’ first Scholar has long since graduated from the University of Santa Clara, started a family, and is a manager at Google.

Inherent in the Meritus model right from the start was the understanding that success would not result from just “a check in the mail.” Success meant more. It was dependent on emotional support, academic guidance, big-picture insights, and simply the belief that someone without means belonged and could achieve.

Twenty years has brought $9mm in scholarships alone to support 750 local youth. Close to 9 in 10 of our Scholars complete their college degrees thanks to donors, coaching, mentors, businesses and philanthropic partners. Our Scholars continue to live locally and contribute to our community…and as you can imagine, the ripple effect is significant.

This next year is truly exciting for us! Our first goal is to bring 60 new students into our program, topping us out at 250 Scholars (!) receiving scholarships, coaching and career mentoring and internships. Of these awards, 50 will benefit local public school youth; five will again stem from Archbishop Riordan and Immaculate Conception Academy. And for the first time, Meritus will expand its work beyond San Francisco in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club Peninsula. Our success in working with college access programs to build a pipeline from high school through to graduation has been our inspiration.

Thank you for all that you do to support our work! Please join us as we aim to impact more students during this special anniversary year.

Best regards,
Diana M. Wolf
Executive Director