Pasadena Community Foundation program supports PUSD students in college beyond just finances – Pasadena Now

Omja Moran, now a PUSD alumnus, is one of 37 Pasadena Unified students who have benefited from the Pasadena Community Foundation Scholars program.

After high school, CCP student Omja Moran made an informed decision to “take a path” that would minimize her college debt.

“I hope to transfer within two or three years to a four-year university where I will work to obtain my degree in civil engineering. The community college route will help minimize the total cost of my tuition, while allowing me to receive a quality education,” Moran wrote in a blog post about his educational journey.

In it, Moran credited the Pasadena Community Foundation Scholarship Program for providing financial aid and mentorship as well as a community for new students.

“I am currently in the Ascend, Pathways, and PCF Scholars program, all of which have helped me throughout my college journey,” Moran wrote.

Moran is a graduate of the CIS Academy. After graduating in 2021, he continues his studies at Pasadena City College (PCC) where he studies STEM.

PCF Fellowship Program

Moran is one of 37 PUSD students who have benefited from the PCF Scholars program.

The Scholars Program is a scholarship program that provides financial aid and long-term support from advisors and mentors to help PUSD students achieve their college goals, said Sarah Hilbert, head of marketing and communications for the Foundation.

“The majority (75%) of PUSD students enter PCC with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree, but only 25% transfer to a four-year college,” according to the foundation.

Unlike many traditional scholarships, the PCF Scholars program is designed to meet the needs of individual students and open to those who may not be eligible for merit-based aid, the foundation added.

This program aims to “reduce the number of hours students need to work outside, offset unforeseen financial burdens, and cover the costs of books, computers, fees, and other expenses associated with earning credits. academics, leaving scholars the time and ability to focus on their academic work.


The Pasadena Community Foundation was established in 1953 to support nonprofit organizations whose programs focus on helping PUSD students, families, and teachers.

According to Hilbert, the Pasadena Community Foundation just launched a scholarship program called Petersen Scholars, which will support 28 young transition-aged adoptees.

In addition to donor-directed grants and scholarships, the organization makes annual grants in six areas: arts and culture, community and economic development, environment and animal welfare, health and safety, social services, and youth and education.

Past grantee organizations include College Access Plan, Partnership for Success, Pasadena Educational Foundation, Reading Partners and Stars.

This fall, PCF launched a new version of its education grant program, which expands support for early learning and school-readiness programs at local nonprofits.

Hilbert said the program will continue to prioritize support for foster youth, students of color, and first-generation and low-income students.

“This new program builds on the success of our previous “K-12 Education Grant Program,” which ran from 2013-2021, and funded organizations/programs that support PUSD students. The new scholarship program will continue that tradition,” said Hilbert.

The application period is now open for local organizations to apply for the scholarship program. For more information, read:

PCF Endowment Fund

Using a variety of fund options and charitable tools, PCF helps donors establish endowment funds to manage their giving and achieve their philanthropic goals.

An endowment fund earns interest, and that interest is donated to the designated cause, creating a permanent and ever-growing source of financial support, Hilbert explained.

Currently, PCF has approximately 150 endowment fund builders. Many organizations have also created endowments with PCF.

“We really couldn’t have the profound impact we have in the Pasadena area without our endowment funds,” said Hilbert.

“Our Friends & Fellows fund is another great way to support local PCF grantmaking – we appreciate any dollar amount donated to this fund, which goes directly to support our local grantmaking programs,” said she added.

For more information on how to donate: visit

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper delivered to your inbox. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, 10+ new stories a day, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Comments are closed.