Sacramento, CA- The Sacramento Region Community Foundation (Foundation) was recently awarded a $1.1 million grant to advance the early success of its Capital Area Promise (CAP) Scholars program, which aims to improve access to higher education for local students-particularly young men of color, who encounter the greatest barriers to college success.
“The gender and racial disparities we see in local students’ readiness to attend college and graduate with a degree underline the necessity and urgency of this work, and the timeliness of this grant,” said Linda Beech Cutler, the Foundation’s chief executive, noting that data from the California Department of Education show nearly three-quarters of African-American and Hispanic/Latino male students in Sacramento County are not prepared for college when they graduate from high school.
The investment from College Futures Foundation (College Futures) will fortify the CAP Scholars program’s collaborative partnerships and data-driven efforts to help local educational institutions adapt their policies and practices to more effectively serve students in the capital region.
In partnership with Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), for example, the CAP Scholars program is helping educators explore how they can use data to begin addressing educational equity in their schools, and even identify college-ready students who might otherwise be overlooked.
That systems-oriented approach is aligned with the Foundation’s leadership role in local and state-wide efforts to ensure young men of color enjoy equitable opportunities to live flourishing lives, according to Cutler, and it complements the CAP Scholars program’s strengths-based and student-centered beginnings. Since 2016, the program has provided comprehensive college-readiness training to help local students develop the skills and strategies they need to adeptly navigate college, and its need-based scholarships have closed the financial gaps that can derail students’ success.
In two years, more than 240 local students have received scholarships through the program-nearly 60 percent of whom were young men of color in 2018-and their successes are informing future work.
“The consequences of educational inequity are devastating for young people, for their families, and for the future of our community,” Cutler said. “But by fostering partnerships and using data with educators, with community organizations, and with the students themselves, we know can make a meaningful difference.”
The funding from College Futures capitalizes on its significant support of the CAP Scholars program since its launch. In total, College Futures has awarded more than $2 million to address educational inequity in the Sacramento region as part of the Foundation’s Strategic Initiative to Prepare Students to Succeed in the New Economy.
In addition to College Futures and SCUSD, the Foundation’s CAP Scholars partners include Sacramento State, Improve Your Tomorrow, Youth Development Network, California Student Opportunity and Access Program, and PaperWings Creative.
To learn more about the CAP Scholars program, visit www.sacregcf.org/caps.