Areas of Focus

Preserve. Invest. Enrich. Fund.


Basic needs, emergency relief, and financial well-being for students.

We recognize that it’s not enough to start college – the real reward comes after attaining educational goals. But what happens when circumstances are so tough that those goals are constantly at risk?

For those living on extremely tight margins without a safety net, every bump in the road has the potential to completely alter the course from college grad to college drop-out.

Imagine giving up on a college degree because you can’t afford a $70 book ... imagine dropping out of school because your car was stolen ... imagine letting go of your aspirations because one unexpected expense meant you had to choose between paying rent or buying food.

The vision of the San Diego Mesa College Foundation is to transform lives by supporting the educational dreams of our students and the communities we serve. We know that to be successful, students must be dedicated, hard-working, and resilient. We also know that even when all these are in place, students may still experience setbacks. To help our students safeguard their educational goals, the San Diego Mesa Foundation supports:

  • Basic needs through The Stand, which offers food, hygiene products, and professional clothing at no charge to students
  • One-time emergency relief to the college's most vulnerable populations
  • Financial well-being workshops to help students gain financial stability

With these supports, students are better able to withstand life’s setbacks and stay in school. Because it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.

The Stand helped over 1,108 students stay focused on the school by providing emergency relief, food, toiletries, and clothes. It also partnered with Feeding San Diego to offer free farmers' markets each month giving out over 18,000 pounds of fresh produce.

In Bright Futures.

Scholarships for students.

San Diego Mesa College students are working hard to build a brighter future. Many are sacrificing short-term needs in order to reach long-term goals.

We respect the sacrifices that our students are making, but don’t want them to have to go it alone

To that end, the San Diego Mesa College Foundation offers scholarships to help students take care of “the now” without sacrificing the future.

To our students, we say:

“If you’re going to put in the hard work and dedication, we are going to invest right alongside you.”

Each year, we award over $160,000 in scholarships to over 100 students through a competitive selection process.

Through The Arts.

World Cultures Art Collection.

The San Diego Mesa College Foundation recognizes that college is about more than a degree. We see that education has the ability to open eyes and expand minds—and that artwork is one of the most powerful ways to do so.

The Foundation is proud to offer a world-class World Cultures Artwork Collection to our students and the surrounding community. This collection, which features over 1,200 pieces from around the world, offers a glimpse into other cultures and civilizations – right on the college's campus.

Each artifact in the collection tells a powerful story of world history, cultural values, and artistic expression.

Our faculty draw upon this incredible resource to bring classroom learning to a higher level, and the Foundation showcases the collection in the broader community.


Innovation grants for faculty & staff.

San Diego Mesa College is renowned for driving innovation, earning its place as the leading College of Equity and Excellence. One of the first community colleges in California to offer a bachelor's degree program, the college embraces any and all opportunity that opens doors for students.

The San Diego Mesa College Foundation funded over $18,000 in innovation grants for 15 student-serving projects in the 2018-2019 school year.

To support this culture of innovation, the San Diego Mesa College Foundation provides innovation grants of up to $1,500 to Mesa College faculty and staff for projects or equipment that promote student success.

Often, innovation grants offer the initial support needed to start a new project or initiative that serves students for years to come.