Sunnyvale, CALIFORNIA — Close the Gap Foundation proudly launched its fifth annual Social Impact Fellowship program with a virtual orientation day on Zoom on Sunday, June 4. This event introduced 36 first-generation, low-income high school students and their mentors from across California, Oregon, and Washington, who will embark on a three-month immersive experience aimed at driving positive change in their communities.

Co-Founder Jessie Salas reflects on the inaugural day, "It was a richly rewarding day of networking and learning, We're so thrilled to be able to extend this program to another class of Fellows this year, and so proud the upgrades to our curriculum and operations the team has worked on so hard."

At the heart of the Fellowship program is project-based learning, structured mentorship, and tailored workshops, which empower rising 11th and 12th-grade students to actualize their potential. This year, the program features an innovative approach with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creating a tailored curriculum for each Fellow.

Close the Gap Foundation is pioneering in its use of AI to develop a unique learning path for each participant. The AI-driven curriculum consists of six base guides and four custom guides, selected from a pool of 20+ guides. These are designed to adapt to the learning style and aspirations of each student, creating a personalized, interactive, and effective learning experience.

In addition to the AI-assisted curriculum, this year's Fellowship is enriched by a generous donation from Airbnb. The company has provided refurbished laptops to support the Fellows' work. "We’re thrilled to support the Close the Gap Foundation with a donation of refurbished laptops," said Airbnb in the joint press release.

This year's mentors bring a diverse range of experiences from industries such as academia, accounting, education, finance, and technology, and represent major employers like Stanford, Ernst and Young, KPMG, Deloitte, Instacart, LinkedIn, Meta, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Visa.

The Fellowship will culminate in September with Pitch Day, providing Fellows the opportunity to present their social impact projects to a panel of industry leaders and compete for the coveted Growth Mindset scholarships, over $2000 of total scholarships awarded.

Close the Gap Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Sunnyvale, California, dedicated to equipping first-gen, low-income students to attain their fullest potential.

About Close the Gap Foundation

Close the Gap Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Sunnyvale, California. Founded with the vision to create an equitable future without opportunity gaps for low-income youths, Close the Gap Foundation works to empower first-gen, low-income students to build lifelong confidence and reach their fullest potential. Close the Gap Foundation Close the Gap Foundation’s President and co-founder, Tai Tran, has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 and LinkedIn Top Voice.

Close the Gap Foundation’s flagship program, the Social Impact Fellowship, is a three-month all-expenses-paid program that helps first-generation, low-income high school students find mentors, grow their confidence, and give back. Through structured mentorship and project-based learning, Fellows work with mentors from renowned organizations like Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and UCSF to tackle a self-directed social impact project to pitch to a panel of industry leaders.

To learn more about Close the Gap Foundation, visit

To learn more about the annual Social Impact Fellowship Program, visit

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