Tenderloin Scholarship Fund Program
The Tenderloin Scholarship Fund was established in 1990 by BAWCC, and it provides scholarships for low-income Tenderloin students, ages 16-25, who are pursuing their education after they have graduated from high school (or after they have gotten their GED). Students who are applying may be attending college, university, trade school, business college, or other post-secondary forms of training.
Since the Tenderloin Scholarship Fund was started, more than 250 scholarships have been awarded to students living in the Tenderloin. With these scholarships, students tell us that they are now able to pursue their educations beyond high school.
These are some of the young people who have received scholarships:
Wilson lived in a three-room apartment on Ellis Street his first year in the Tenderloin. Despite the fact that 16 people in his extended family lived in that apartment, Wilson earned excellent grades, and he maintained that quality of his work at UC Davis where he had a 3.9 grade point average. Wilson just completed a graduate program in electrical engineering.
Sharon is the oldest of six children from a limited income, single-parent family. They have lived in a single room apartment in the heart of the Tenderloin for eleven years. Sharon is now a sophomore at San Francisco State University and “loves” her classes.
Jeanette is an 18-year-old sophomore at San Diego State University. She has lived with her mother and sister on Eddy Street for many years. Staff from the neighborhood children’s programs say that Jeanette worked very hard to “make it out”. They also say that her sister didn’t make it and has become a part of the “street scene”. Jeanette is looking forward to graduating from college in one year.
And here is what two students told us about getting these scholarships:
“Education is very important to me. No one else in my family has gone to college because of our financial problem. My parents always encourage me to study hard so I could have a bright future…. With the grant, I will buy books, pens, highlighters, a ruler and paper. I will buy fast passes…..” Dong, Age 18
“The reason why I’m applying for this scholarship is because I need all the help I can get to continue my education. Since both my parents have been laid off, without their financial help, it’s a little tough on me…” Victor, Age 17
We know that BAWCC’s Scholarship Fund is a crucial resource for the Tenderloin Community. The Fund was originally made possible by donations from awardees of the Daniel E. Koshland Awards Program of The San Francisco Foundation, but is currently maintained by individual donations to Bay Area Women’s & Children’s Center.