Early in 2008, after a series of meetings, the program founders, Mike and Linda Dorn, announced their desire to see a new scholarship and mentoring program that they called “Pay It Forward”, with the various program commitments and mentoring that remain in place today. They funded the first class of program recipients entering CSUMB in Fall 2008. The program has grown and continued since that first entering class.
The Program watchwords – Commitment, Accountability, Excellence and Graciousness – are built into the Program itself and instilled into the students throughout their four years as they maintain their commitments to the Program and to the younger students they mentor.
Since inception, the program has been dedicated to serving the local Monterey Bay community, changing and building the community by changing one life (and family) at a time. The impact of local students graduating from the local University and going back into the local community will be felt for decades and generations to come.
In 2013, the program formally began its current affiliation with the Future Citizen’s Foundation. It was immediately apparent that this was a perfect match, with both programs focusing on the development of local youth and positively impacting the local community.
The program has been funded solely by private funds donated generously from individuals and private foundations. From its inception, every dollar donated to the program has gone to scholarships. Through a 2013 partnership agreement with the University Corporation, the foundation arm of CSUMB, the administrative costs have been covered by non-gifted funds.
Mike and Linda Dorn
A Letter from Our Founders
Early in 2008, after a number of meetings on the CSUMB campus, it became apparent to us that there is a need for a program to assist some of the many students from area high schools who are first generation in their families to attend college – a program that would provide scholarship funds and mentors, with the mentors being the heart of the program. We wanted to “pay it forward”, and we also wanted the students involved to learn how to “pay it forward.” As a result, we conceived of what is called the Pay It Forward Scholarship and Mentoring Program at CSUMB. Not only was the program to provide four-year scholarships totaling $20,000 to each student, but was also designed to pair each student with a mentor for the four years, AND to require that each student in turn mentor a younger student for at least five hours per month, now through The First Tee of Monterey County. The program provides more than academics; it also provides life lessons that result from the relationship with a mentor.
The program’s growth, and the number of students that it can serve, is limited only by the funds available each year for new scholarships. Watching the students mature over their four-year careers in the program is a gift to us. Please join us. You will be giving a gift to them, but also to yourself. Together, we can make a difference and change the lives of some students, their families and their communities.
– Mike and Linda Dorn, Founders of the Pay It Forward Scholarship and Mentoring Program