Peace through Education

TGF works to reduce violence in our communities by providing education opportunities to youth from underserved populations.

There is a correlation between education and peace: research shows that when kids have more opportunities to better their circumstances through education, rates of violence in the community are lower.

We provide these educational opportunities by offering scholarships and internships, and by partnering with Peninsula Bridge and Acknowledge Alliance.

These two organizations work with students as early as elementary school to support their success in education through mentoring, tutoring, internships, and mental health services.

We rely on annual fundraising efforts to ensure these essential educational services continue for students into the future. You can be a part of this life-changing work by making a gift today.

A History of Support

In 2016, a young man named “Timo” spoke at our Annual Gala. He shared his success in overcoming financial and personal challenges to graduate from high school fueled by the TGF-sponsored Transition Program offered at his school.

The pilot Transition Program began at Sequoia High School, in honor of Tim Griffith, then grew to include all high schools in the Sequoia Union School District.

Timo continued his story of success as he attended college at San Jose State University and worked as an Intern at the Stanford University Math Department. This internship program was started by TGF board member, Debbie Lemos and she’s expanded that program throughout the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Inspired by Timo’s hard-work and inspiring remarks, an angel donor gave a generous grant to establish a TGF scholarship program and help students, who, with financial assistance, would not be able to attend college.

Program Goals

The goals of the TGF Scholarship and Internship Programs are to:
1. Identify high school students with a strong desire to achieve higher education goals
2. Provide those students with internships
3. Provide those students with scholarships to attend college
4. Support them as they graduate and start their careers

TGF scholarships are making a difference. To date, we have:

Supported over 30 students in attending college

Placed students as interns at the Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences

As a result of their hard work, several of the interns have been hired into permanent positions at Stanford University.

The majority of students receiving TGF educational support are the first in their families to graduate from high school and continue on to college.  

These young adults are highly resilient. They’ve learned to stay focused on the future and to see obstacles such as family obligations and financial strain as challenges and motivation to work harder.

Often as students, these young people continue to contribute to the household finances by working during the summer and the school year. All are receiving grants or scholarships from the government or other organizations and have taken out loans as well.

Even so they still face substantial financial gaps to cover tuition, transportation, books, meal plans, and housing. That’s where TGF comes in with funding to reduce those gaps and enable students to attend college for the year.

We are very proud of the students supported by TGF who have already achieved a high school graduation and are working to achieve their college education.

Requirements for TGF scholarship applicants:

• Submit an essay describing their educational goals and how a TGF scholarship would enable them to attend college.
• Demonstrate previous application for college funding via government programs, scholarships and loans.
• Disclose the size of remaining financial gap after all existing college funding is obtained.
• Earn a minimum 2.5 GPA upon high school graduation or maintain a 2.5 GPA during college.

TGF wants to help every scholarship applicant, but our funding limits our selection. Our Scholarship Committee (board members and volunteers) review student applications and determine grant amounts.

Our committee consults with Peninsula Bridge and Acknowledge Alliance for insight into each applicant’s background to help make these extremely difficult decisions.


Crystal Navarro, the first high school counselor funded by TGF at Sequoia Union School District, saw first-hand the impact of the TGF scholarship and internship programs.

“The Tim Griffith Foundation and the Stanford Math Department internship programs are definitely making a difference. I know the dire needs [of students] and the value of others having faith in them when it may be hard for student to have hope in the future. The ripple effect is real and the students we see are quite amazing.”

Crystal is now Executive Director at Acknowledge Alliance a non-profit organization that TGF partners with in our Education efforts.

Vannessa Gurrola – Williams College

As one of four children, attending college was a dream Vannessa Gurrola achieved through hard work, financial aid from Williams College, and a scholarship from the Tim Griffith Foundation.

Like many college students, Vannessa has multiple part-time jobs, while trying to make the most of her time at Williams College. What makes Vannessa special is her dedication to additional volunteer work and her commitment to giving back to the community.

She has worked at Williamstown Youth Center, teaching basketball and soccer to young children, mentors 8th graders weekly, and teaches math and social studies to inmates at nearby correctional facilities.

Vannessa plans to major in Pre-Med with a focus on statistics and continues to excel academically, scoring A’s and B’s in her first year. She hopes to continue her volunteer work in the medical field once she has gained enough knowledge.

Janessa Barragan – San Francisco State

Janessa Barragan became the first graduate of the TGF Scholarship program when received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from San Francisco State University. 

She completed an internship in Media and Marketing at the Palo Alto Arts Center, and her goal is to pursue a Masters’ degree from either Berkeley or SF State. 

We’re so proud of Janessa and look forward to seeing her continue in her successful educational pursuits.

John Wee – University of Santa Cruz

John Wee was just four-years-old when his parents brought him and his older brother and sister to California from the Philippines.

John’s parents dreamed that their youngest child would be the first in the immediate family to attend college - a dream he’s now achieved, with the help of a TGF scholarship.

John’s road to UC Santa Cruz started in middle school. With the help of Peninsula Bridge, which works with low-income students to prepare them for high school and college, John gained the confidence to apply to St Francis High School.

“I worked [for the] high school, where they would pay off the tuition as long as I worked 100 or more hours or more per year,” John said.

“For the first two years I mostly worked over the summer, scraping gum and cleaning the school. I also helped the IT department. For the second two years I worked in the cafeteria.”

John graduated high school with A grades, and is now a Freshman at UC Santa Cruz, majoring in Computer Science where he continues to excel academically.

“My parents have high expectations of me, but in a good way, because they are also expectations that I hold for myself.” he said.
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