Community

Cal Coast Cares Foundation

Our mission is to help local educators and students by providing grants for teachers and scholarships for college-bound high school seniors, including a special program for foster youth in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

Supporting Local Educators and Students

Since its founding in 2015, the non-profit Cal Coast Cares Foundation1 has had an outsize impact on the lives of students and teachers across the region.

The Foundation, established by California Coast Credit Union as a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit, provides grants for teachers and scholarships for college-bound high school seniors, including a special program for current or former foster youth, in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

“Our board of directors felt strongly about helping foster youth,” said Todd Lane, Vice Chair of the Foundation and CEO & President of California Coast Credit Union. “The board established a special set of criteria for foster applicants including fast-tracking first year recipients to allow them to easily qualify for a 2nd year scholarship as long as they met some very basic requirements. We feel this provides these students with an added degree of certainty and support that is probably lacking in other parts of their lives as they work through their special set of challenges.”

One of those former foster students to benefit from the Cal Coast Cares scholarship is Alexis Tenney, who is attending Grossmont College in La Mesa. She’s applying her scholarship to pursue a career goal inspired by her parents. “Being awarded this scholarship validates all my hard work is paying off. Because of the money I received, I will be able to earn my degree in Forensics with little or no student debt leftover,” said Tenney.

The Foundation has also directly impacted countless classrooms in the area through grants to teachers for classroom projects in the STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Arts and Math) topics. Grants have helped with everything from hydroponic greenhouse projects to robotics, chemistry kits and much more.

Teresa Basin, 4th grade teacher at Rail Ranch Elementary School in Murrieta, is one of the recipients of a recent classroom grant.  She credited the Foundation with helping her inspire young minds. “The learning that takes place in the classroom should not only be academically rigorous, but also fun and engaging for students. Because of (the Foundation’s) generous donation, my students will be able to use the Robotic Legos as they collaborate in teams and solve real-world problems as they explore the world of engineering and science.”

The Cal Coast Cares Foundation hosts two signature annual fundraisers: a popular golf tournament and the Illuminate Pathways reception. The Foundation has been able to increase the number of scholarships and grants provided each year thanks to the generous financial contributions of community and business supporters. 

How You Can Help

Thank you for considering a donation to the Cal Coast Cares Foundation to help us continue our efforts to support our local San Diego and Riverside county educators and students through our grant and scholarships programs. 

Donate Now

Donate Online

Support local students and teachers by making a secure credit/debit card donation here.2

Amazon Smile

Shop on Amazon

Select the Cal Coast Cares Foundation as your charity on smile.amazon.com, and part of your purchases will support our local education community.3

Donate Now

Donate by Phone

Call (877) 495-1600 to donate from your account.2

Student Scholarships

High School—This scholarship award program recognizes outstanding students for their dedication to academic excellence and community leadership. The James L. McPheters Scholarship Program honors former California Coast Credit Union President/CEO James L. McPheters who retired after 21 years of service to the credit union. These scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors in San Diego or Riverside Counties to help further their education.

Current College Students—This scholarship award program provides monetary support to current college students in need of assistance with academic expenses (see eligible items for support on application form). Please visit your college's Finacial Aid Department for guidelines and applications.

Foster/Former Foster Youth—This scholarship award program is for high school seniors and current college students who are in, or have been in, the foster care program in San Diego or Riverside Counties. The purpose of the scholarship is to assist foster youth in furthering their education.

Applications for scholarships are typically available in January / February each year. For questions related to student scholarships, please contact Allie Kosciak: akosciak@calcoastcu.org or (858) 636-4233. 

Educator Grants

The purpose of the Cal Coast Cares Foundation Educator Grants is to provide teachers in K-12 public, private or charter schools, community and state colleges/universities in San Diego or Riverside Counties with monetary support for class projects in any of the STREAM fields (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math).

Eligibility Requirements

Grants are awarded for projects that have clear objectives, a strong evaluation component and indicate heavy student involvement with a goal of enhanced learning outcomes. The following are applicant and project eligibility requirements:

  1. Grant applicant must be teaching in K-12 public, private or charter schools, community or state colleges/universities in San Diego or Riverside Counties.
  2. Project must:
    • Be STREAM related (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, or Math) for class projects 
    • Demonstrate a clear and compelling need
    • State well-defined, measurable, and realistic objectives and goals
    • Have a detailed budget for the project
    • Lead teacher must provide evidence of teaching experience and knowledge of the project subject matter

Funds can be used to purchase equipment or project materials, but cannot be used for the following: 

  • Routine school supplies such as pens, pencils or paper
  • Field trip expenses
  • Transportation costs
  • Teacher salaries, compensation and/or incentives
  • Teacher training/development program expenses
Evaluation/Reports

Award recipients are required to submit a report on project outcomes to the Cal Coast Cares Foundation within one year of receipt of funding. The evaluation form is also required to apply and be eligible for future funding.

Selection Committee

The selection committee is made up of Cal Coast Cares Foundation Board members. Selection criteria includes: 

  • Meeting eligibility requirements as outlined
  • Clarity and quality of the application
  • Educator credentials and experience
  • The need (financial, teacher, and student needs)
  • Project impact and relevance in STREAM areas
  • Agree to submit a report within a year of the grant award
  • Agree to allow Cal Coast to use grant project outcomes, stories, educator name, and picture in various Cal Coast community education and promotional communications

Download Application

Educator Grant FAQs

No. Being a member is definitely encouraged, but not a requirement to apply. Remember, becoming a member is as easy as opening a checking or savings account.

Nope! The application process is free and does not require a fee.

Here's what's required to verify legibility of teaching status: 

  • School I.D. card
  • References from the school

Only one application per educator per year will be accepted. If your application is unsuccessful, you may reapply the following year.

No. The Educator Grant is only for activities or projects that are STREAM-focused.

Possibly! The improvement would need to met the eligibility requirements listed in the criteria for the grant.

Typically, applicants are notified around late August to mid-September.

We ask that grant recipients reapply after one year from receipt of grant funds. Grant cycles typically begin in the first quarter of the calendar year.

  1. The Cal Coast Cares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Federal Tax ID Number 47-5249703.
  2. Cash donations are tax-deductible as applicable by law. Consult your tax advisor for additional information.
  3. Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax-deductible.

Don't be a stranger, we're your neighbor

Have a question about your account, applying for a loan or perhaps you're ready to talk refinancing? Whatever your question or need, our Member Service Center is always happily available to walk you through every step of the process with your best interest at heart. 

Not a Cal Coast member? Join now or learn more

We look forward to hearing from you!

Are you an existing member?