Message from the
CEO/Executive Director

Although I have only been with the Foundation since January 2017, I have learned how scholarships dramatically transform the lives of extraordinary young people (and also benefit their families) by giving them access to the most challenging educational institutions. We give Scholars the ability to follow their dreams and overcome enormous obstacles, such as poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, being undocumented, and trying to raise a family as a single parent. With our help, Scholars have shown they will not allow their past to limit their future. They are living proof that demography is not destiny.

The Southeast Community Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of promising students who have limited financial means. The Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination.

Far too often, students like those we serve in the greater southeast Los Angeles region have been barred from America’s elite colleges and universities – not because they lack the academic ability, but because their families lack the money to give them the many advantages that other students enjoy. This shouldn’t be the way things work in a nation dedicated to being the “Land of Opportunity.”

A Scholar receives not just the chance to go to an outstanding college or university, but educational benefits such as academic counseling, enrichment classes, empowerment workshops, and the ability to take internships instead of working in low-level jobs just to make ends meet.

In the stiff competition for college admissions today, students of modest means struggle because they are not given challenging coursework in many public schools, because the college counseling they receive in high school is almost always inadequate, and because the college admissions process itself is stacked against them. They are not told, for example, that for applicants who are both very smart and lack financial resources, an elite college is often dramatically less expensive than their local state university or community college.

The Southeast Community Foundation is challenging the obstacles facing high achieving, low-income students by educating the public, awarding prizes, making grants to other organizations with similar missions, and conducting high-visibility research.

The Southeast Community Foundation is dedicated to seeing that college admissions are based on talent, hard work and true merit rather than wealth, station and privilege. Thanks to our Founder’s vision and generosity, many more will benefit far into the future.

With all our success in mind,


Eddie D. Tafoya

4555 Everett Avenue
Vernon, CA 90058

(323) 613-1516
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