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The Gooden Family Scholarship Fund (GFSF) believes that all interested
students deserve a chance to receive higher education, regardless of their
economic status. The mission of the organization is to support low-income,
under-represented high school students in the West Contra Costa Unified School
District (WCCUSD) to attend college by providing selected students with
counseling services and financial assistance during the college and scholarship
application process. In this way, GFSF contributes to an increase in the number
of such students on college and university campuses.
The Gooden Family Scholarship Fund was established as a 501-(c)3 non-profit
organization in June 2004 by Andrew M. Gooden to serve the West Contra Costa
Unified School District in Northern California. Mr. Gooden was motivated to start
this organization when he observed that people of color are often in the majority in
university athletic programs, having received generous scholarships due to
outstanding athletic ability, yet are much less represented in the college
population at large. Many bright students of color--particularly those who are
capable academically but come from low-income families--are often left behind
because they and their families are ill equipped to tackle the college and
scholarship application process.
A resident of El Cerrito, Mr. Gooden observed that many under-represented high
students in his local community were also from low-income families. Many were
also the first generation in their family to consider college. The GFSF was
established to offer financial, academic and counseling support to such
low-income, under-represented students and their families throughout the college
and scholarship application process. In this way, GFSF contributes to an increase
in the number of such students on college and university campuses.
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