Resiliency Fund

The Resiliency Fund

Join us. Preserve the dream of a college education.

of our students are food insecure and have limited access to nutritionally adequate food

1 in 5
students are homeless, living on the streets, in their car, or in a shelter

For these students, one unexpected expense can put their entire education at risk.

Join us – and help keep these students in college!

The Resiliency Fund will provide one-time emergency loans and grants to students experiencing financial setbacks that put them at risk of dropping out.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 so that we can help at least 1,000 students stay in college.

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Double Your Impact

For every dollar you give, we will donate another dollar to the Resiliency Fund. We are matching up to $75,000 between now and November 28th.

Give today to double your impact.

$1 from you

+ $1 from us

= $2 for students

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showcase of happy Mesa students

Double your impact.

Be there for our students when they need it most.

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The Resiliency Fund

For many of Mesa’s hardworking students who are making it on their own, there is no lifeline that they can call when life throws them the unexpected. Surviving on such tight margins means that when an unforeseen expense pops up, the only available choice may be to drop out of college to focus on immediate needs.

That's resiliency – at a cost.

At Mesa College, we believe that the resiliency and hard work of our students should be rewarded, and shouldn't come at the cost of a college education. That's why we created the Resiliency Fund, which will provide emergency grants and loans of $50-$500 to our most vulnerable students, so that they can overcome financial setbacks without dropping out of college.

Why the Resiliency Fund?

A short-term problem shouldn't get in the way of long-term success

How much is a college education worth? By some estimates, based on national average yearly salary data, a college degree may increase lifetime earnings by over $2.2 million.

Too many Mesa students are forced to give up on a lifetime of higher earnings when faced with one small, unexpected expense.

Without savings or family to turn to, a flat tire could eliminate the entire grocery budget for the month. A missed day at work due to illness or injury might make paying rent on time impossible. Caught in a downward spiral, dropping out of college may be the only option for financial relief.

Money is the #1 reason that students give for dropping out of college without a degree.

One in four students have dropped a class because they could not afford the required textbooks.

70% of students are working to support themselves and their families while in school.

How Will Funds Be Used?

100% of donations for the Resiliency Fund will go directly to helping students cover financial emergencies that put them at risk of dropping out. Through small grants and loans of $50-$500, we will focus on ensuring students have:

  • The needed textbooks and study materials - vouchers for textbooks, gifts of backpacks, and basic school supplies.
  • A safe place to stay (and study) - subsidies for utilities, one-time eviction prevention grants, and vouchers for discounted or fully-funded hotel stays for those facing a short-term housing crisis.
  • The means to get to class - bus passes and loans or payments to cover the cost of car repairs.
  • Enough food to get by - gift cards to grocery stores, access to both grocery staples and free fresh produce.
  • Resources to stay well - subsidies for copays and prescription glasses/contacts.

The difference you can make

By investing in those who are investing in themselves, you have the power to preserve the opportunity of a college education.

With an investment in the Resiliency Fund, you can help students regain financial stability—without dropping out. Your gift will send a message to students that their hard work matters, and bring hope that the sacrifices they are making today will secure a much brighter tomorrow.

The Mesa College Foundation will match every dollar you give up to $75,000 by November 28th.

To donate via check, please make payable to San Diego Mesa College Foundation indicating “Resiliency Fund”

Send to:

7250 Mesa College Drive
Foundation, A-111
San Diego, CA 92111
Attn: Resiliency Fund

For questions, contact Krista Stellmacher at or 619-388-2285.

Here’s what your investment can do:

$50 donation

$100 impact

replaces a flat tire or provides a bus pass for a student to get to class

$100 donation

$200 impact

covers lost pay for a student making minimum wage who is sick for 2 days

$250 donation

$500 impact

provides 4 nights of a safe place to stay for a student experiencing domestic violence

$500 donation

$1,000 impact

covers repairs for 2 students living out of their car so they don’t end up on the street

$1,000 donation

$2,000 impact

helps preserve the dream of a college education for 10 students

$5,000+ donation

$10,000+ impact

transformative gift that will change the future of at least 50 students

Meet Our Students

Mesa students come from all walks of life. Many face barriers to accessing higher education, and community college offers a path to a college degree that wouldn’t otherwise exist. We serve many first generation, single parent, veteran, homeless, and recently immigrated students.

  • 9 of 10 San Diego students are from underrepresented communities
  • The average student has an unmet need of $10,281
  • About 1/2 of students come from families with a household income of less than $40,000 a year

Despite these challenges, Mesa College students show up eager to learn, ready to work, and committed to building a brighter future. Our Resiliency Fund honors their commitment to education.

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Meet Margarita

Margarita says the San Diego Mesa College gave her a “new purpose in life.” She is determined to make the most of her education and wants to one day run her own IT company.Learn more