Who we are…

History

Founded in 2010 by award-winning author and philanthropist Dave Eggers, ScholarMatch was launched in response to the large number of qualified applicants to the college scholarship program at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit that serves students age 6-18, which was also started by Mr. Eggers. Over the years, quality applications to the program exponentially increased, leaving a large number of talented youth in need of scholarship funds.

ScholarMatch was created to provide an innovative online platform for connecting donors with students and crowdfunding scholarships for college. ScholarMatch was incubated as a project of 826 National for two years and established as a separate 501(c)3 in 2012. Since its inception, the organization has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and developed programs to provide free comprehensive support services for any low-income college-bound student and their family offered at several locations around the city.

Staff

Diana Adamson, Executive Director   (diana@scholarmatch.org)

Diana Adamson is dedicated to closing the achievement gap in education through nonprofit work and has been part of the ScholarMatch team since 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Public Policy from Saint Peters College and The London School of Economics. Her experiences as a former Teach For America Corps Member and inner-city secondary teacher drive her passion for increasing access to higher education for under-resourced students.

Noel Ramírez, Program Director   (noel@scholarmatch.org)

Noel Ramírez is the son of Salvadoran immigrants and grew up in East Palo Alto, California during its most turbulent period. After graduating from Seattle University, he worked as an admission counselor at Marquette University and the University of San Francisco and is excited to bring his wealth of knowledge about the college and financial aid process to assist under-resourced students through the workshops ScholarMatch offers. Noel also works with college access partners and the community to provide comprehensive service to ensure that students attend a college of their choice and graduate with their Bachelor’s degree.

Noel habla español entonces si tienes una pregunta, estoy aquí para servirle sobre el proceso para atender la universidad y obtener el título universitario.

Selina Weiss, Communications Manager   (selina@scholarmatch.org)

Selina Weiss is a native of San Francisco. After attending City College of San Francisco, she graduated from San Francisco State University in 2011 with a BA in Urban Studies and Planning. She has worked for the Mayor of San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Selina is thrilled to be part of the ScholarMatch team and finds great joy working with our wonderful students and dedicated donors.

Selina habla español y está aquí para ayudarle.

Monica Mendez, Program Associate   (monica@scholarmatch.org)

Monica Mendez is passionate about higher education and assisting first generation students with achieving college and professional goals. Originally from Southern California, she participated in a similar high school program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), which gave her the tools to gain acceptance into Saint Mary’s College of California. Previously, she worked as Career Advisor and Internship Site Developer at Heald College, as well as volunteered with Americorps (Jumpstart Member) and the Bay Area Crisis Nursery. Monica is excited to join the ScholarMatch team to assist students during their transition to college and to support professional development.

Hannah Bardo, Program Coordinator (hannah@scholarmatch.org)

Hannah Bardo joined ScholarMatch in September as our first New Sector Alliance Fellow. She graduated from the George Washington University, where she studied International Affairs and Women’s Studies. She was a Research Assistant at Promundo-US last year and spent the summer teaching English as a Foreign Language and Writing for Success to high school students at Phillips Academy Andover. As the daughter of two teachers, she feels dedicated to supporting equal opportunity to higher education. Hannah is thrilled to work directly with ScholarMatch’s ambitious students, as well as help build the capacity of our program services to expand services.

Hannah habla español y está aquí para ayudarle. Também fala portugues se precisar!

Stacy Le, Program Assistant Intern

After graduating from high school in Sacramento, Stacy attended Sacramento City College, earned her A.A. and then transferred to the University of San Francisco. She’s currently a junior studying Politics, is a first-generation college student, and has native fluency in Vietnamese.

ScholarMatch also has fabulous interns, college students, and independent contractors who help out with seasonal needs.

Board of Directors

Rose Arbulu
Rose Arbulu is a Financial Aid Counselor/University Scholarship Specialist and AB 540 Advisor at San Francisco State University, which is also her alma mater. She has a Master’s degree in Education and is dedicated to helping all students have access to higher education.

Tom Conrad
Tom Conrad is the cofounder of Pandora and now leads the Pandora product organization. He has led engineering and product design teams at a wide range of companies, including Berkeley Systems, Relevance Technologies, Pets.com, and Kenamea. He began his career at Apple Computer and holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is the Founder of ScholarMatch and several other organizations, including nonprofit 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s Publishing Company. Dave is a graduate of University of Illinois and is also an award-winning author and educator.

Christy Higgins
Christy Higgins is Founder and Operator of Christine Higgins College Counseling. She has worked as a Speech and Language pathologist at various locations and is a graduate of Boston University and University of the Pacific.

Leif Isaksen
Leif Isaksen graduated from Occidental College and holds a PhD in Complexity from USC. Prior to retiring, was the CEO and Chairman of his own research and consulting firm. Leif has experience in planning, management, information systems, research, analysis, and marketing skills.

Diana Kapp
Diana is a magazine journalist who writes about a broad range of political, educational and cultural topics. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, ELLE, MORE, San Francisco Magazine, and other pubs. She holds an English degree from University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Jon Keehn
Jon Keehn is a Managing Director at Maverick Capital. He previously worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co. and has been a long-time supporter and volunteer at ScholarMatch. He holds degrees from University of Detroit Mercy and University of Notre Dame.

Dante Noto
Dante is Director of Resource Development for Education Partnerships at the University of California Office of the President. He is responsible for fundraising strategies for programs, initiatives, and services that support college access and preparation efforts that raise student achievement and close the achievement gap. He received his MA degree from Duke University and studied English Literature at Oxford University.

Meghan Reynolds
Meghan Reynolds is the Vice President for TPG Growth Funds at TPG Capital. She has worked in finance for numerous firms across the country, holds a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Ben Steinberg
Ben Steinberg is the Director of Development at the Tehiyah Day School, an independent Jewish community day school in the East Bay, as well as an entrepreneur focused on using technology to benefit underserved students. Ben is a graduate of UC Davis and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

Ron Turiello
Ron is a graduate of Cornell Law School and has over a decade and a half of experience in law and technology in Silicon Valley and New York. He is active in education reform efforts here in the Bay Area, serving as a member of the advisory board for New Leaders for New Schools Bay Area chapter from 2009 to 2013, from 2011 to the present on the Board of Directors of Helios New School, an independent school for gifted learners, and as a member of the Education Circle of Full Circle Fund.

Mary Williams
Mary Williams is a native of Oakland and serves as a trustee of the Fonda Family Foundation. Her passion for education has inspired her to be an instrumental supporter of ScholarMatch from its beginning.