Press Releases

Bank of America Names 10,000 Degrees as Neighborhood Champion to Help Scale Programs for Underserved North Bay Teens to Attend, Graduate College

Program Provides $50,000 Grant and Virtual Leadership Training

SAN RAFAEL, CALIF. – Local nonprofit 10,000 Degrees has been named as the 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work in the North Bay providing programs to help rising high school seniors from low-income backgrounds find a pathway to enter and graduate college.

As part of the Neighborhood Champions program, 10,000 Degrees will receive a $50,000 grant and an opportunity to participate in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, 10,000 Degrees works with students throughout college, providing wraparound support via financial and scholarship aid, career and graduate school readiness, near-peer coaching, and much more. With offices in San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Napa, and San Francisco, 10,000 Degrees reached more than 12,000 students and families last year, supported more than 2,200 college students and recognized 244 new college graduates. All students are from low-income backgrounds and 89% are Latino(a), Black, Indigenous, or other persons of color. Over 80% of 10,000 Degrees’ four-year college students earned bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% of their peers nationally.

“As communities continue to recover and navigate a changing global landscape, local nonprofits are still experiencing significant demand for their resources,” said Jason Foster, president, Bank of America North Bay. “10,000 Degrees helps bridge important educational gaps for students by assisting them in charting a path toward economic opportunity and success. Programs like Neighborhood Champions aid these organizations into growing sustainably and strategically for an even greater positive impact in the community.”

10,000 Degrees will mark its 40th anniversary and honor five alumni, selected through a public voting process, during its 2021 Alumni Changemakers Awards Celebration on December 2. To carry on being a changemaker itself, 10,000 Degrees plans to use its Neighborhood Champions grant to pilot a new program putting more students on a career trajectory sooner, helping them not only attain academic and economic security, but also leadership positions in the communities they return to after college. The nonprofit also expects to add capacity to its career success manager position in order to increase its workshop, resume-building, and internship opportunity offerings.

“Education is the foundation of a just and equitable society,” said Kim Mazzuca, president and CEO, 10,000 Degrees. “This grant allows us to further our mission by helping us ensure more of our college graduates are prepared to successfully transition into their careers and go on to make a positive impact in their communities. The Neighborhood Champions grant also gives us the green light to broaden our student success support, and provide some of our own 10,000 Degrees’ leaders with an excellent opportunity for developing their professional skills and enhancing their network relationships.”

The Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits that are poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee.

The Neighborhood Champions program is now offered across the U.S. and is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders®, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Since the program’s inception in 2019, Bank of America has invested $6.3 million into 126 nonprofits located in 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program.

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About 10,000 Degrees:
10,000 Degrees® is the leading, equity-focused scholarship provider and college success nonprofit in California that supports students from low-income backgrounds to and through college. 10,000 Degrees serves more than 12,000 students and their families each year with comprehensive wraparound support, college and financial aid counseling, near-peer alumni coaching, scholarships, and financial aid management. Unlike most other college success organizations, there is no GPA requirement to participate in 10,000 Degrees programs. Powered by Fellows, near-peer coaches who are recent college graduates and often alums of 10,000 Degrees, they are embedded in high school and college campuses to help students navigate life both on and off-campus and throughout their college success journey. With this innovative support model, 10,000 Degrees achieves unmatched success rates: Over 80% of 10,000 Degrees four-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% of their peers nationally. 10,000 Degrees community college students transfer to and graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that’s three times the national average. 10,000 Degrees students also graduate with 88% less student loan debt than the national average. 10,000 Degrees operates in eight Bay Area counties – San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Lake – and works in 41 high schools, 56 community colleges, and 170 four-year colleges and universities across the nation. For more information about 10,000 Degrees, please visit