“Mentoring promising students low income “at risk” students throughout high school is the primary focus of the San Mateo Youth Foundation (SMYF). Our modest scholarships, given to graduating 8th graders and other activities are designed to facilitate positive high school experiences and opportunities for the SMYF to provide guidance. Many promising middle school students do not believe that higher education is a realistic option either due to family economics or other disruptive circumstances in their lives, and so they cease striving for academic success when they enter high school. Recognizing the lost potential of these students, the SMYF started the College Mentoring Program 21 years ago.When we began the program we hoped that we would be able to develop community leaders to carry on our vision and we are now very proud of our alumni who are running the program. After guiding hundreds of students on to excellent colleges, the SMYF is now blessed with a core group of the best, most socially responsible and community minded SMYF alumni who have become mentors to the current high school students. Our mentors are multi-ethnic, multilingual, successful college students and young professionals who have succeeded despite facing the same sorts of problems our current high school students must overcome. Our mentors are the perfect role models and community leaders that we hoped to develop when the program began.Successful strong role models like these, who are eager to befriend and guide the high school students, are invaluable and are having a huge impact on the San Mateo Community.”

-Ira Birnbaum, Chairman and Co-Founder

“I am an enthusiastic supporter of the San Mateo Youth Foundation.The SMYF helps deserving “at risk” students from disadvantaged backgrounds at a pivotal time in their lives – as they enter high school – when many kids are facing difficult choices. Through financial incentives and guidance from mentors the SMYF puts these promising youth on the path to successful high school and college careers, in turn preparing them to make valuable contributions to our community.Reflecting the success and importance of the SMYF to the participants are the many alumni who now administer the program and have become mentors to those following in their footsteps.”

– Jerry Hill, CA State Senator, District 13 and Co-Founder