Sunnyvale, CALIFORNIA — Today, Close the Gap Foundation announced that DoorDash has tripled down on its commitment to bridge the opportunity gap with a new $10,000 donation to support scholarships on top of an earlier $5,000 Community Credits award.
DoorDash’s generosity has already enabled Close the Gap Foundation to triple this summer’s Fellowship cohort, admitting the most diverse group of first-generation, low-income (FGLI) high school students in the program's history. It will also serve as an essential component of the program's efforts to encourage student engagement, build community, and reinforce the concept that showing up is the first step to success.
The Lasting Impact of $15,000
“DoorDash’s Community Credits program helps organizations create greater access to opportunity by reducing barriers to entry and encouraging participation in programs like this Fellowship. We are honored to partner with Close the Gap Foundation to support mentorship and learning that will help students reach their potential,” said Sueli Shaw, Head of Social Impact at DoorDash.
DoorDash’s partnership is allowing Close the Gap Foundation to bring validation and recognition to all of its students. In addition to the $5,000 Community Credits award of DoorDash gift cards, the $10,000 donation will be used to award all 35 of this year’s Close the Gap Foundation Fellows with a $250 cash scholarship upon successful completion of the program. This is a significant first for the Close the Gap Foundation community.
“DoorDash is honored to partner with Close the Gap Foundation to support mentorship and learning that will help students reach their potential.” –Sueli Shaw, Head of Social Impact at DoorDash
More Than Just A Scholarship
So much of today’s educational experience is dictated by performance and competition, but Close the Gap Foundation believes every student deserves recognition for their engagement, especially those who are first-generation and low-income and have to overcome so much more to show up.
“This partnership with DoorDash is a game changer for our Fellows. For many of our students, this may be the first time that they hear and feel that their efforts are enough. Knowing upfront that they will receive a scholarship for completing the program is a huge motivator for them to engage throughout the summer,” shared Tai Tran, president and co-founder of Close the Gap Foundation.
The experience of being recognized for executing a project from start to finish and the validation that comes with being celebrated for positive risk-taking helps bring college into view for these FGLI Fellows. Close the Gap Foundation sees these scholarships as a critical opportunity to demonstrate to students that their efforts matter.
Third Annual Social Impact Fellowship
Close the Gap Foundation works to bridge the opportunity gap so first-generation, low-income students can reach their potential and live fulfilling lives. Their flagship Social Impact Fellowship program is one of the primary ways the organization helps high school students build confidence, discover their potential, and expand what they imagine is possible.
Earlier this month, 70 high school Fellows and mentors, the largest and most diverse cohort in Close the Gap Foundation history, began their 12-week structured mentorship journey. Mentors will spend the next several months facilitating project-based learning for their Fellows as they ideate and execute a social impact project.
Fellows will present their final social impact project to a panel of industry leaders during “Pitch Day.” Each year, Close the Gap Foundation has committed to awarding the top project a $1,000 Growth-Mindset Scholarship, and every year a generous donor has allowed the organization to expand the number of scholarship recipients to include second and third place.
With this year’s DoorDash grant, Close the Gap Foundation is finally able to reward every Fellow for their work addressing needs in their communities. For the first time in the program’s history, Fellows know at the start of the program that they will receive a scholarship regardless of where they place on Pitch Day.
Validation and Celebration All Around
This year’s Fellows and mentors were the first to hear the news of this incredible partnership with DoorDash at their Orientation Day held last month. The news was received with great excitement.
“The DoorDash credits and scholarships motivate me to make my project as impactful as possible. The scholarship and credits are such good incentives, especially for [a foodie] like me,” shared Ruby Mora, current high school student and Fellow.
“Having a mentor to help support and guide me as I develop an idea that can potentially benefit my community is huge,” said Irandy Rodriguez Cruz, current high school student and Fellow. “I am extremely happy and grateful to see DoorDash has created scholarships and grants, that will not only enrich my impact project, but also help motivate other Fellows of Close the Gap Foundation and their projects as well!”
DoorDash’s support struck a chord with more than just the Fellows. Many of the mentors were grateful for the comprehensive experience and support this year’s Fellows have to look forward to throughout the summer.
“I can't wait to see the impact of the summer projects and the confidence the Fellows develop when learning they too can make a difference. I was very happy to see that DoorDash will be a sponsor this year to help Close the Gap Foundation meet the level of support of other summer opportunities that might include meals or stipends,” shared Chardae Harris, current mentor, and supply manager & ERG leader at Apple.
"I am super excited to see what the Fellows will present on Pitch Day and the impact each of these projects will have on their communities. It was so amazing to see that DoorDash has sponsored this year's scholarships because it shows the support to the community, the volunteers, and most importantly, the Fellows. It comes as an additional motivator for the Fellows to look forward to throughout this summer," shared Rafael Fulton Fernandez, current mentor, and senior project manager & ERG leader at Lenovo.
A Lasting Impact
DoorDash’s expanded partnership is helping enhance Close the Gap Foundation's support for students on multiple fronts. With DoorDash’s Community Credits and scholarship commitments, this year's students are showing up with their basic food needs met, an incentive to engage, a better way to connect with their mentors, and a more visible pathway to college.
With this DoorDash partnership, Close the Gap Foundation's Social Impact Fellowship is heading into its third year stronger than ever before. The team cannot wait to report back with all the ways their students are able to bring their whole selves to the program and make the most of this opportunity.
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 www.closethegapfoundation.org.
To learn more about their annual Social Impact Fellowship Program, visit www.closethegapfoundation.org/spark.
To learn more about our Summer Fellowship, hosted on Notion:
DoorDash is a technology company that connects consumers with their favorite local and national businesses in more than 4,000 cities and all 50 states across the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan. Founded in 2013, DoorDash enables local businesses to address consumers' expectations of ease and immediacy and thrive in today's convenience economy. By building the last-mile logistics infrastructure for local commerce, DoorDash is bringing communities closer, one doorstep at a time.
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