The Future of Education in our Communities

Meritus believes that higher education is a critical step in addressing income disparity for motivated and talented youth.  Socio-economic circumstance should not limit them from fully engaging in this transformative opportunity.

To this end, Meritus empowers low-income Bay Area youth who possess grit and ambition to succeed in college and prepare for opportunities post-graduation by providing scholarships, individualized coaching and career mentoring and development.

The Need

College provides access to opportunities for low-income and first-generation college students, propelling them beyond the boundaries of their socio-economic circumstances.  For hard working youth in our community, our investment is transformational.

Nearly one-quarter of first-generation students, compared to 10% of their peers with college-educated parents, drop out between their first and second years. Their academic achievement, progress towards degree completion and graduation rates trail that of their peers at all phases.

First-generation students who survive to graduate appear to compete on an equal footing – for the first time in their lives – in regard to employment outcomes for at least the decade following award of their degree.

Our Impact

Meritus’ success lies in its ability to tap into the community, leverage resources, and facilitate direct stewardship of its Scholars. Our grassroots, hands-on approach is a cornerstone for success.

88% of Meritus Scholars graduate from four-year colleges, compared with 23% of low-income students nationally.  Their accomplishments strengthen the fabric of the community.

Meritus Facts

  • Over 600 local youth have received more than $8 million in scholarship assistance
  • 85% are the first in their families to attend college
  • 83% of Scholars attend colleges in California
  • More than 200 Scholars participate in the Meritus program annually
  • 1,000 volunteer hours annually contribute to our students’ success

Meritus Scholars have pursued careers and internships with:

Ayuda Financial Consulting
Barclay’s Bank
Bayview Hunter’s Point Foundation
California Pacific Medical Center
Charles Schwab
CISCO Systems
City of San Francisco
Department of Public Health
Department of Veterans Affairs
Dodge & Cox
Ernst & Young, LLP
GE Energy
Highland Hospital
Hewlett Packard

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jones & Day
J.P. Morgan
Kaiser Permanente
Office of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Morgan Stanley
National Institutes of Health
National Public Radio
PG & E
Publisher’s Weekly
San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
San Francisco Public Library
Symantec Corp.
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, Inc.
Wells Fargo Bank
VA Hospital, San Francisco

Meritus Scholars have pursued graduate programs at:

Academy of Art University
Brown University
Central Michigan University
Columbia University
Dominican University
Georgetown University
Golden Gate University
La Fémis (Paris, France)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Meharry Medical College

Northeastern University
Northwestern University
San Francisco State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Hastings
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Francisco
University of Hawai’i
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas

Next   History