Anonymous $1 Million Pledge Fuels Foothill-De Anza Foundation Initiative
Los Altos Hills, CA — In a remarkable move to bolster the well-being of Foothill College and De Anza College students, an anonymous benefactor has pledged $1 million to the Foothill-De Anza Foundation’s Hope Initiative. This significant donation is designated to match contributions made to the initiative, which addresses basic needs, such as food, housing, and mental health, for students facing challenges beyond the classroom.
“This remarkable pledge not only provides immediate relief but also aligns with research indicating that students facing basic needs challenges are more likely to encounter obstacles in their academic journey, something I personally witnessed as a student at Foothill College,” said Foundation Board of Directors President Ashley Oropeza. “This generous support will empower our students to overcome these challenges and thrive in their educational pursuits.”
Foothill-De Anza Community College District Chancellor Lee Lambert underscored the importance of such donations in helping students persist in their academic pursuits. "Donations like these play a pivotal role in ensuring that our students stay in school and reach their educational goals. By addressing their basic needs, we provide a foundation for success, allowing students to focus on their studies and achieve the outcomes they aspire to,” Lambert said.
The additional funding from the anonymous donor is expected to amplify the impact of the initiative, which the foundation Board of Directors launched in fall 2021. More than $1 million has been raised to date, providing students with access to food vouchers, emergency grants and round-the-clock mental health support that helps keep them in class and focused on their goals.
More than half of the 66,000 California community college students who participated in a 2023 study reported that they worried their food would run out before they could afford to buy more, sixty percent reported housing insecurity, and one in 10 identified as homeless.
The “Real College California: Basic Needs Among California Community College Students” study by the RP Group and the Community College League of California CEO Affordability, Food & Housing Taskforce also found that students with basic needs insecurities were more likely to report failing grades, and the rates of insecurities were highest among historically marginalized communities.
The anonymous pledge comes at a critical juncture as the initiative aims to raise a total of $3 million by the end of the year. This ambitious goal reflects the foundation's commitment to making a lasting impact on the lives of community college students, fostering an environment where they can succeed academically and personally.
Community members and alumni are encouraged to join the cause by making contributions to the foundation. With the $1 million matching pledge, every dollar donated will have double the impact, bringing the foundation closer to reaching its $3 million target.
To make a donation or learn more about the initiative, please visit https://foundation.fhda.edu/.
Posted Jan. 22, 2024