10,000 Degrees Awards $2.6 Million in Scholarship Funds to North Bay Students

Students from local schools will be going to colleges this fall with the benefit of $2.6 million in scholarship funds thanks to donors to 10,000 Degrees. The Marin Community Foundation’s Buck Trust, local civic organizations, and individuals all provide scholarships that make Marin County students’ college aspirations possible. Scholarships from 100 Black Men of Sonoma County, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Sonoma County, the John Jordan Foundation and Kendall Jackson are among those awarded to Sonoma County students.

“Every day we read about the amount of debt that college graduates are carrying across the nation. Since we aim to improve students’ lives and reduce levels of poverty in their communities, we are committed to helping them identify and apply for grants and scholarships from a variety of sources, including the ones we administer,” says President Kim Mazzuca.

Partnering with North Bay high schools, 10,000 Degrees gives local students not only the funds to attend college, but the guidance and support to get and succeed there. Some students participate in the 10,000 Degrees Institute, which includes both a weeklong Summer Intensive on the Sonoma State, Dominican University, St. Mary’s College, and Cal State East Bay campuses, and ongoing counseling through the year.

10,000 Degrees College Advisors in Sonoma County work directly with students at Casa Grande, Petaluma, Elsie Allen, Piner, Healdsburg, and Sonoma Valley High Schools to help them not only apply for college, but for financial aid of all types. In Marin County, 10,000 Degrees College Advisors work directly with students at Novato, Marin Oaks, San Marin, San Rafael, Madrone, Terra Linda, Tomales, Tamalpais, San Andreas, Redwood, and Sir Francis Drake High Schools to help them not only apply for college, but for financial aid of all types.

“Scholarship funding is key, but it is not enough to ensure college success for students like ours, 90 percent of whom will be the first in their families to graduate from college,” says Mazzuca. “They need ongoing support, and our advisors, mentors, and college ambassadors–who work on college campuses—provide just that.”

10,000 Degrees students graduate at a rate 30 percent above the national average. 84 percent of those who enter four-year colleges graduate from them in six years, as opposed to 54 percent of the population nationwide.