BCF was established in 1991 by a philanthropic group of friends committed to narrowing inequities within the Berkeley community. For the first 17-years, it gave grants to a wide variety of Berkeley organizations that aligned with its mission and awarded small scholarships to college-bound Berkeley High School seniors. It changed its mission in 2008 and, since then, has given Berkeley youth from lower income families and underrepresented groups access to greater opportunities by providing scholarships, connections, and other support instrumental to success in college and beyond.
- BCF has awarded more than $3.6 million to 268 students since 2008. Its programs also provide mentoring and other support around college persistence and career development. It has a warm and inclusive culture that supports students throughout their college careers.
- Its High Hopes Scholarship Program currently supports 108 students attending 4-year institutions throughout the U.S. From 2008-2018, 90% of the scholars in this program have either graduated or are persisting in college.
- The BCF Promise Scholarship Program, launched in 2017, currently supports 45 students who attend Berkeley City College and plan to transfer to a 4-year institution. Students who succeed in transferring have the opportunity to apply to the High Hopes Scholarship Program.
- Most of our scholars (86%) have parents who never attended college.
- BCF collaborates with the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley and corporate partners.