At Meritus College Fund we strive to make sure low-income youth in the San Francisco Bay Area have the financial resources and community of support they need to not only attend college but also graduate with a degree. Over our last 21-years we have proudly pursued this mission by awarding over $9.8 million in direct scholarship awards alone and our scholars have an 88% graduation rate.
But we also realize that in an ever more competitive world, a college degree is no longer enough. In recent years our staff has worked hard to introduce more in-depth career development offerings. These include pairing Scholars with mentors, assisting them in finding paid summer internships, and helping Scholar’s build valuable social capital.
With the goal of helping Scholar’s prepare for their next steps after college, we recently held our revamped Summer Internship Summit on August 9th at the Salesforce Headquarters in Downtown San Francisco. The Summit gave Scholars a chance to reflect on lessons learned from their internships before heading back to school while also getting practice presenting to an audience of career professionals.
Leading up to the event Meritus’ Director of Programs Ellen Murray, the Associate Director of Programs Nic Rosa and College Success Advisor Mubeenah Shaikh worked closely with Scholars to develop their presentations and PowerPoint slides to accompany it. Meritus’ Program team also worked in preparation of the event to ensure that each Scholar had business cards they could hand out in order to build their professional networks.
On the night of the Summit each Scholar group spent the first hour practicing their presentations in front of Salesforce employees from different areas of the company. During this time Salesforce employees were able to give Scholars feedback. After the first hour, the event was opened up to employees of the companies the Scholars interned at and other Meritus supporters.
Meritus would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to Meritus supporter and Salesforce employee Elliott Robbins for making the entire night possible. We’d also like to thank all of the companies that hosted Meritus Scholars as summer interns.