PCF scholars are talented and motivated local students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, who have a demonstrated record of giving back to their communities or families, and who may be overlooked by other scholarship programs. 

We award scholarships to high school seniors graduating from the following mid-Peninsula schools:  Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, Carlmont High School, East Palo Alto Academy, Eastside College Preparatory School, Gunn High School, Menlo-Atherton High School, Palo Alto High School, Sequoia High School, Summit Preparatory High School, and Woodside High School. San Jose High Schools: Downtown College Preparatory- Alum Rock High School, Latino College Preparatory Academy, San Jose High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, and William C. Overfelt High School.


PCF Scholar Spotlight 

Vanessa Tostado, Wesleyan University

Vanessa Tostado

Vanessa Tostado is a current PCF scholar who is a junior at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she is studying Computer Science.

Here’s how the process is working for Vanessa:

1. Describe your undergraduate career. What have you accomplished so far? What are you most proud of?

“One of the best experiences I’ve had this year was attending the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in Orlando. The GHC celebrates woman in computer science by bringing everyone together to share our experiences. During my time at the conference I met inspiring women, heard success stories, networked and realized the importance of having mentors in your life. I had to do a lot of work to get the best out of the conference. I practiced my elevator pitch, updated my resume, and made sure I had my PCF business cards with me. I am really proud of myself for landing 2 interviews and an offer from the conference! I hope to be able to return to the conference in 2018!”

2. Recent Internships?

“This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Environmental Defense Fund where I was researching Blockchain technology, carbon markets and supply chain initiatives. Specifically, I was doing data analytics and trying to figure out whether or not block chain technology can solve the double counting problem in carbon markets. I learned so much about impact technology can have on environmental initiatives. As a computer science major, my time at EDF made me realize that there is a need for technology in so many industries. As I finish my final years of college, I want to take these experiences with me and find a job that fulfils my desire to make an impact with the use of technology.”

3. What have you gained from being a PCF scholar?

“One of the components of PCF that I value the most is the events held every year dedicated to helping us grow as students and professionals. These events are filled with useful knowledge, opportunities to network and the ability to get closer as a PCF family. During this past college and career success weekend we were taken to VISA. During my time there I spoke to many employees and learned so much about Visa’s projects and company culture. Because of this positive experience, I applied for an internship and accepted an offer for this summer! I will be working as a software engineer for VISA.”

Our current scholars served include: 

  • Alexis Aceves, UC Los Angeles
  • Elias Acosta Mendoza, Santa Clara University 
  • Mayte Aguilar Cruz, UC Merced
  • Edgar Aguirre, UC Irvine
  • Joscelin Aguirre, Sonoma State University 
  • Ca'Shea Airy, Los Angeles Valley College
  • Nicholas Alvarez, UC Irvine 
  • Dalia Angel, San Jose State University
  • Brenda Anguiano, San Diego State 
  • Flor Aquino Ortiz, UC Merced
  • Laura Arceo Madriz, UC Riverside 
  • Mariela Arceo Madriz, UC Merced
  • Diego Arceo Peregrino, University of Southern California 
  • Katia Guadalupe Arciga, UC Riverside 
  • Jocelyn Arellano, San Francisco State University
  • Cesar Avalos Diaz, UC Merced
  • Ingrid Avila, Willamette University
  • Martha Avila-Zavala, Whittier College 
  • Graciela Balino, UC Berkeley 
  • Viviana Barragan, Foothill College 
  • Dalia Barrientos, University of San Francisco 
  • Marina Betancourt Santoyo, UC Merced
  • Adam Bonilla, Cal State Fullerton 
  • Jovana Cala Vella, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 
  • Grisell Canas, UC Merced
  • Diana Carranza, San Jose State University  
  • Araceli Castaneda-Ramirez, San Francisco State University
  • Agueda Chavez Gama, UC Merced  
  • Paul Santiago Chavez, UC Merced
  • Leslie Civil, Dominican University of California
  • Laura Contreras, Notre Dame de Namur University 
  • Stephanie Contreras, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Jose Corado, UC Riverside 
  • Miguel Cornelio, San Francisco State University
  • Jennifer Cuevas, Santa Clara University 
  • Lizette Cuevas, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Aureliano Davila-Valente, UC Irvine
  • Karla Delgado, UC Davis
  • Oscar Delgado, Loyola Marymount University 
  • Luis Del Rosario, San Jose State University 
  • Cristian Diaz, UC Merced
  • Mikayla Dones, Howard University, D.C. 
  • Corine Forward, Georgetown University
  • Serena Galindo, UC Santa Cruz
  • Graciela  Garcia Vasquez, UC Davis 
  • Mayra Garcia, UC Riverside
  • Smriti Gautam, UC Santa Cruz
  • Andre Gomes, Boston College
  • Jordan Gomez, UC Santa Barbara
  • Elisa Guizar Chavez, UC Riverside 
  • Yarely Guzman-Lopez, San Francisco State University
  • Angel Hernandez Mora, San Jose State University 
  • Blanca Jaime, UC Merced 
  • Malia Langi, Sacramento State 
  • Abigail Lopez Ramirez, UC Santa Barbara
  • Dalia Lopez, CSU Dominguez Hills
  • Julisa Lopez, San Francisco State University 
  • Yunuen Lopez, UC Santa Cruz


  • David Lozano Camacho, San Jose State University 
  • Lupe Maafu, UC Davis
  • Kevin Maravilla, Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Jose Martinez Luna, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Samuel Medrano, Wesleyan University
  • Hector Mendoza, San Jose State University 
  • Nitzia Mendoza, CSU East Bay 
  • Jennifer Mora, Mills College 
  • Carol Joselyn Murguia Hernandez, UC Merced
  • Gexsy Nava, UC Irvine
  • Victor Nieto, UC Santa Cruz
  • JoAnne Norman, University of San Francisco 
  • Melissa Olvera, University of Redlands
  • Sharon Ontiveros Cuevas, University of San Francisco 
  • Erik Ortega, UC Berkeley
  • Cristal Ortiz-Valencia, CSU Chico
  • Melissa Ortiz, San Jose State Unversity 
  • Tiffany Palomar, UC Riverside
  • Carla Paredes, UC Riverside
  • Virginia Parra, UC Davis 
  • Alejandra Pelayo, University of Redlands
  • Gabriela Perez, UC Riverside
  • Dennise Puente, Mills College 
  • Rossmeri Ramirez, CSU Sacramento
  • Ariandy Jimenez Reyes, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Destiny Rivers, CSU East Bay
  • Briseyda Rodriguez, UC Davis 
  • Evelyn Rojas, UC Santa Barbara 
  • Hector Rosas, San Jose State University 
  • Amanda Russell, Diablo Valley College
  • Daniel Sanchez, Chapman University 
  • Rogelio Sanchez, UC Riverside 
  • Zaira Sepulveda Ochoa, UC Merced 
  • Alicia Shristie, Redlands University 
  • Halemah Shuman, Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Xochilt Silva, CSU Chico
  • Roshana Smith, Whittier College
  • Christabel Soria Mendoza, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 
  • Talmai Soto Abarca, Canada College
  • Karolina Soto Villa, UC Merced
  • Alexis Straiten, Loyola Marymount University
  • Alejandra Tinoco Bonilla, Brandeis University 
  • Jose Torres, University of Redlands
  • Vanessa Tostado, Wesleyan University
  • Francisco Trejo, San Francisco State University
  • Roger Trejo, Bowdoin College 
  • Ana Trevino, UC Santa Cruz
  • Diana  Truong, UC Santa Barbara 
  • Estrella Urena Cuevas, UC Los Angeles
  • Gemma Urena, UC Santa Cruz
  • Francisco Valencia Arroyo, CSU Sacramento 
  • Rosalia Valencia, UC Merced
  • Samuel Vasquez, San Francisco State University 
  • Stephanie Vasquez, CSU Chico 
  • Susana Vasquez, UC Santa Cruz
  • Lyla Washaha, UC Santa Barbara 
  • Ashley Washington, San Francisco State University
  • Esmeralda Yepez, UC Irvine
  • Brigitte Yerena, San Jose State University