Graduating PCF Scholars Reflect on Their Educational Journeys

Five individuals stand together outside of Pasadena City College posing for a photo. Graduate PCF Scholars, Jeffrey, David, and Hannah are joined by PCF Program Director Jeannine Bogaard (far left) and Cirenia Amador (far right) in April.

PCF Scholars Hannah, David, and Jeffrey met PCF staff members Cirenia, Jeannine, and Sarah on the Pasadena City College (PCC) campus in early April to chat about their educational journeys and how their scholarships from Pasadena Community Foundation had helped their efforts.

All three Scholars learned about and applied to PCF’s scholarship program through College Access Plan, one of five partner organizations that support the program. The three students graduated from PCC in May; two of the three will transfer to four-year colleges. They all agreed that leaning on the resources of the PCF Scholars Program has helped tremendously in meeting their graduation goals.

Learn about each of the scholars’ experiences below and watch a short YouTube video about the PCF Scholars Program.

A group of six adults sit in a semi-circle on the steps of a college library, all in conversation.
PCF staff members share a picnic lunch and lively conversation with three graduating PCF Scholars in early April.

Hannah attended Marshall Fundamental High School. She points out that among the three graduates, she has been at PCC the longest – she joined the program with the first cohort of students in the 2019-20 schoolyear. She has studied computer information systems and would like to work in IT; she is weighing her next steps following graduation.

“I’ve had a lot of financial need. The program helped me get a computer – I only had a MacBook, which wouldn’t work with the computer/IT classes I was taking. PCF helped me pick out a laptop that would suit my studies. The computer felt like a huge obstacle – that stress alone impacted my mental health. I have gotten WiFi and bookstore credits through the program – last semester that was $1,000 in help for my books!  Once I was accepted (into the program), I got priority registration and help with my books. I felt so lucky! Now that I am graduating, I feel good about myself.  I picked a goal to finish PCC, and I stuck with it.”

Jeffrey joined the program from Pasadena High School with cohort 2 for the 2020-21 schoolyear, choosing to major in Social and Behavioral Sciences. His highlight at PCC has been the opportunity to participate in so many clubs, which include the Psychology Club, Circle K Club, and Armenian Club. He says being at PCC with support from the Scholars Program has helped him feel more organized and that gives him the time to participate in extracurriculars.

Jeffrey has received acceptances to several UC campuses and USC; he is still in the process of choosing where he will attend in the fall to pursue a degree in psychology and sociology. He hopes to be a therapist specializing in youth mental health.

“PCF Scholars helped alleviate the stress of juggling finances and academics. The program helped me get a MacBook and helped me work with professionals in the fields I am studying.”


David joined PCF Scholars from John Muir High School, where he was involved with MPYD (Mentoring & Partnership for Youth Development), another one of PCF’s agency partners. He was a member of cohort 3, joining in the 2021-22 schoolyear.  David majored in kinesiology and hopes to be a physical therapist. He wiull attend CalState LA in the fall.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do in high school, I was just going with the flow. But then I joined College Access Plan, MPYD, and the basketball team. My mom is always motivating me. I do this for her and for my parents. I feel like I owe them, they’ve sacrificed a lot. My dad is a construction worker and could not find jobs during the pandemic, so I needed the help. PCF Scholars helped me financially. The program helped me get a computer so I could succeed. At PCC, I am one step closer to being what I want to be and growing as a person.”

A collage shows the photos of the three PCF Scholars: at the left is Jeffrey, in the middle is David, and to the right is Hannah. Each photo shows them standing outside, facing the camera and smiling.
PCF Scholars Jeffrey, David, and Hannah pictured in April 2023, one month before graduating.