Our Story

Peninsula College Fund (PCF) began in 2005 as the dream of local high school teacher Charles Schmuck, who felt impelled to address the troubling college drop-out rate among local low-income youth.  With the help of friends and neighbors, he began offering college scholarships and mentoring to three motivated local students. This grassroots effort has demonstrated remarkable success.  Since then, we have expanded to provide four-year college scholarships, one-to-one mentoring, college and career success training, and summer internships to 157 students from ten partner high schools in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Belmont and Redwood City.  

As the organization grew, PCF moved into its first office and hired its first independent Executive Director in 2012, added program staff and expanded its board, partnerships, and fundraising. We are now poised for greater impact. We currently serve 86 scholars and have graduated 61 scholars from our program starting in 2010.

PCF has an outstanding record of meeting local needs. 92% of the scholars who have participated in the program have graduated from college or are on track to graduate from four-year colleges.