Founded by author Dave Eggers, ScholarMatch began as a simple crowdfunding platform and grew into a full service college-access organization. Our mission is to make college possible for underserved youth by matching students with donors, resources, colleges, and professional networks.
ScholarMatch has expanded rapidly from serving just 39 students in 2010 to working with more than 500 students per year. Though crowdfunded scholarships remain at the core, our college advising, career coaching, and other services are an essential part of each student’s college journey.
ScholarMatch is the only major nonprofit that combines a crowdfunded scholarship platform with game-changing college access and career support for low-income youth. Our typical student comes from a family earning less than $25,000 per year and attends a high school with just one counselor per 500-800 students.
Our unique approach is fueled by community engagement and focused on what our students need most: hands-on help applying to college, financial assistance with tuition, and a support system throughout college.
Diana Adamson, Executive Director
Diana is a native Californian and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She holds Masters degrees from Saint Peters College and The London School of Economics. Her experiences in Teach For America, classroom teaching, and working abroad drive her passion for increasing access to higher education for under-resourced students. Since joining ScholarMatch in 2011, Diana has led it through gaining 501(c)3 status, significant program expansion, and becoming a sustainable, high-impact organization. She is committed to continually analyzing and improving ScholarMatch programs to achieve the best possible student outcomes.
Noel Ramirez, Program Director
Noel is the son of Salvadoran immigrants and a first-generation college student from East Palo Alto, CA. He is a graduate of Seattle University and has nearly 10 years of experience working in college admissions around the country. Since joining ScholarMatch in 2012, Noel has overseen the evolution of ScholarMatch programs and is the driving force behind our Destination College program, providing hands-on support to our students and their families and training our volunteer college coaches.
Noel habla español entonces si tienes una pregunta, estoy aqui para servirle sobre el proceso para atender la universidad y obtener el titulo universitario.
Selina Weiss, Communications Manager
Selina is a native San Franciscan, who attended City College of San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco State University. She has worked for the Mayor of San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and other city organizations. Selina joined ScholarMatch in 2012 and has revolutionized our student communications, scholarship payment systems, and social media outreach. She finds great joy working with our inspiring students, reading their update letters and corresponding with our dedicated donors.
Selina habla español y esta aqui para ayudarle.
Monica Mendez, Program Associate
Monica is passionate about higher education and helping first-generation students achieve their college and professional goals. As a student in Southern California, she participated in a similar high school program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), which led to her admission to Saint Mary’s College of California. Monica has extensive experience in career advising for college students and nonprofit volunteering. Since joining the ScholarMatch team in 2014, she has spearheaded the expansion of our College to Career program—ensuring that all students are given the one-on-one support they need to graduate college and launch a successful career.
Hannah Bardo, Program Fellow
Hannah joins ScholarMatch for the 2014-15 academic year as our first New Sector Alliance/Americorps Fellow and is a graduate of the George Washington University. 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. The daughter of two teachers, she feels dedicated to supporting equal opportunity and increased access to higher education. Hannah works directly with ScholarMatch students and volunteers, and also helps build the capacity of our programs.
Juliana Sloane, Development Director
Juliana leads development at ScholarMatch to support our strategic growth. She is a graduate of Guilford College, holds a Master’s degree from Central European University, and has completed post-graduate work at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnic, Croatia. Over the years, she has championed the work of a variety of organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and also works with individuals, organizations, and schools as a coach and workshop facilitator. Since joining the team in 2013, Juliana has been instrumental in shaping organizational growth, increasing financial stability, and planning for the future.
Jazzy, Scholar Dog
Jazzy was rescued in 2011 and has been bringing joy to the ScholarMatch office ever since. Her fierce commitment to catching flies and laying on your feet make her the perfect addition to the team.
Board of Directors
Rose 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 in Education, has served on the school’s AB 540 Task Force and is dedicated to helping all students have access to higher education.
Tom is the Cofounder of Pandora, and was most recently their Chief Technology Officer. He has led engineering and product design teams at a wide range of companies, including Berkeley Systems, Relevance Technologies, and Pets.com. He began his career at Apple Computer and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Dave 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 an award-winning author and educator.
Christine P. Higgins
Christy is Founder and Operator of Christine Higgins College Counseling; has worked as a Speech and Language pathologist at various locations; long-time volunteer at 826 Valencia, ScholarMatch and numerous other schools and non-profits.
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. He attributes much of his success to scholarships and opportunities he received from his own college journey.
Diana is a 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, San Francisco Magazine, ELLE, MORE, and other pubs. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Jon 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 has an undergraduate degree is from University of Detroit Mercy and a graduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Dante is the recently retired Director of Resource Development for Education Partnerships at the University of California Office of the President. He was responsible for fundraising, initiatives, and services that support college access and preparation efforts that raise student achievement and close the achievement gap. He received an MA from Duke University and studied English Literature at Oxford University.
Meghan 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 is the Director of Development at the Tehiyah Day School, an independent Jewish community day school, 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 is a graduate of Cornell Law School and has over 15 years of experience in law and technology in Silicon Valley and New York. He is active in education reform efforts, serving as an advisory board member for New Leaders for New Schools Bay Area chapter from 2009 to 2013, currently 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 is a native of Oakland, and grew up part of the Black Panther community before going to live with Jane Fonda at age 14. Today, Mary is an author, avid traveler, and currently participating in Peace Corps in Uganda. She also serves as a trustee of the Fonda Family Foundation and has been instrumental in supporting ScholarMatch from the very beginning.