PNC Foundation Donates $100,000 to SEO Scholars San Francisco

Grant dollars will support SEO’s Instructor Bootcamp

SAN FRANCISCO, (Nov. 2, 2023) – The PNC Foundation has provided SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity) Scholars San Francisco with a one-year, $100,000 grant to fund the organization’s Instructor Bootcamp for teachers. Those teachers provide high school students who participate in the SEO Scholars program with additional after-school instruction and coaching to help them successfully enter and graduate from college.

Each semester, SEO Scholars employs up to 40 part-time, local instructors, many of whom are just beginning their teaching careers. As part of the bootcamp, the teachers receive professional development to prepare them with critical skills. The bootcamp also lays the foundation for coaching and professional development each semester. Additionally, the PNC Foundation grant will support teacher observation tools and technical certifications for instructors.

“The teachers that SEO Scholars employs are critical to the success of our overall mission, because they give our students coaching and instruction that extends the learning our program participants receive every day at their high schools,” said Omar Wandera, SEO Scholars San Francisco Executive Director. “This generous grant from PNC Foundation will enable us to continue serving low-income, first-generation high school students who are furthest away from opportunity, while providing valuable training to many Bay Area teachers who could benefit from supplemental professional development. That’s what we call a win-win.”

High school students join SEO Scholars as ninth graders and progress through a rigorous after-school program that includes Core Academics, College Readiness & Admissions, and College Persistence & Success. 90% of the students who complete SEO Scholars graduate from college. That far exceeds the national graduation rate of just 11% for low- income, first-generation college students.

“PNC is committed to supporting and strengthening the communities where we live and work,” said Megan Schoettmer, PNC Regional President for Northern California. “We are proud to support SEO Scholars San Francisco, which provides deserving students with the education, skills, and mentoring necessary to succeed and thrive in college and ultimately in the professional world.”

SEO Scholars San Francisco will hold its annual Achievement Benefit on Nov. 9. The event provides crucial funding for the organization to continue its work. To become a sponsor, donate to, or attend the benefit, you can get more information here.