SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) November 23, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, Minds Matter San Francisco has continued to provide college and career programming to over 250 high school students and alumni. Most recently, Minds Matter San Francisco’s Class of 2021 matriculated at some of the most prestigious four-year institutions in the country -- from Princeton to Brown to Claremont McKenna.
Students from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately underrepresented across high-skilled, high-paying sectors of our economy. A college degree, especially from a selective institution, is often a necessary ticket for entry into a high-skilled job. Yet, that degree -- that essential prerequisite to career advancement -- remains inaccessible to low-income youth for systemic reasons unrelated to their skills or abilities.
In the age of COVID-19, low-income students have suffered even greater learning losses, due to a shortage of resources at their schools and in their communities. Access to technology and technological skills are more important than ever as education becomes increasingly reliant on virtual platforms. These growing inequities have compounded the barriers that low-income students face, on their path to seeking college admission and career success.
Minds Matter San Francisco (MMSF)’s Mission and Impact
Minds Matter San Francisco (MMSF) exists to address the specific issue of “undermatching”: the underrepresentation of high-achieving, low-income students at selective colleges across the country. MMSF is a mentorship-focused nonprofit that connects driven and determined high school students from low-income families with the people, preparation, and possibilities to succeed in college, create their future, and change the world. Founded in 2010, 100% of MMSF’s alumni have been accepted to 4-year colleges, 77% attend some of the most selective schools in the country, and 97% are on track to graduate from college within 4 years. Compared with similar peers, MMSF students are 25X more likely to graduate from a selective college that prepares them for successful careers and beyond.
Since the start of the pandemic, MMSF has provided live weekly virtual instruction and mentoring sessions for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, focused on college and career preparation, social / emotional learning, and mental health and wellness.
MMSF Receives Recognition and Support from Permira Foundation
Permira, a global private equity firm with 15 offices around the world and one in Menlo Park, has been a long-time supporter of philanthropic causes championed by team members across their firm. Early in the pandemic, the Permira Foundation established a Relief Fund to support local nonprofits in serving communities most vulnerable to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
This Fall, MMSF is the proud recipient of a six-figure grant from the Permira Foundation’s Relief Fund, and plans to apply this grant toward funding technological tools that will enable weekly online and hybrid learning for students, as well as online courses and in-person learning that will help students build digital fluency and explore career pathways in industries including Finance, Tech, Life Sciences & Biotech, Government, Humanities, and Visual Arts.
MMSF’s partnership with the Permira Foundation is an extension of a profound and growing collaboration with MMSF Board member Alex Vander Linde, MMSF Associate Board member Gabrielle Nixon, MMSF Volunteer Mentor Eli Chin, and MMSF Volunteer Instructor Wendy Jo -- all of whom are investment professionals at Permira, and staunch advocates for MMSF’s cause and community. In addition to their generous financial support, volunteerism, and team advocacy, the Permira Foundation has also partnered with MMSF to offer a summer learning workshop series for high school students. The purpose of this summer workshop is to provide students from low-income communities early exposure to the basics of working in Finance.
“Since inception, the Permira Foundation has been an enthusiastic supporter of Minds Matter’s superior outcomes and mission given the close alignment with the objectives of the Foundation including education of young people, prevention of poverty and promoting social inclusion,” said Alex Vander Linde, Board member at MMSF and an investment professional at Permira. “Through the Permira Foundation, Permira volunteers serve in leadership roles of both the San Francisco and New York chapter’s Board of Directors and Associate Board as well as in programmatic roles. The annual Permira Summer Scholars program enables an even wider set of employees to work closely with Minds Matter students and support the next generation of our shared community.”
“This six-figure gift is a tremendous vote of confidence in our impact as an organization, and marks the continuation of a very meaningful partnership between the Permira Foundation and MMSF,” said Irene Shih, CEO of MMSF. “This investment will help MMSF continue its programmatic services to low-income students in San Francisco throughout the pandemic, as we strive to eliminate the systemic exclusion of talented low-income students from careers in competitive fields. Hopefully, this donation will inspire the generosity of other companies across the San Francisco Bay Area who believe in equal access to high-quality education.”
MMSF is currently running a “Raising Minds” holiday giving campaign throughout November and December. To donate, please visit: http://www.raisingmindsmattersf.org. If you would like to volunteer for the organization, please visit: http://www.mindsmattersf.org/join.