Meritus College Fund and Zephyr Real Estate Help Low-income College Students Prepare for Career Success
Posted by Melody J Foster — August 31, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - For the past 10 years, Zephyr Real Estate has contributed to the college success of low-income students from San Francisco by contributing over $150,000 in college scholarships to Meritus College Fund. Past recipients of scholarships include Trevor Chuan, Jorge Pacheco, Pedro Perez, Julian Merino, Bradford Jackson, Sinita Henriquez, Joshua Consul, Allen Huang and Jamarc Allen-Henderson. These students have pursued their higher education at various prestigious institutions including U.C. Davis, San Francisco State, and Sonoma State.
This year, Zephyr deepened its engagement with the local college success organization by participating in Meritus’ Career Development Program. Zephyr employees have engaged in all facets of the program by hosting a Meritus intern, serving as career mentors and speaking at professional development workshops.
On August 5, Zephyr hosted a special event to celebrate the work of the 40 Meritus scholars who were placed at paid internships across the Bay Area. The event showcased the unique, personalized approach that Meritus takes towards career development with field-specific internships to complement academic coursework and help clarify career paths. This event reflected the variety of student interests with representation from 24 prominent Bay Area organizations in fields as diverse as healthcare, public service, business, finance, and technology.
“We were excited to host Ahmed Almabashi, a UC Davis student, as our intern this summer,” commented Randall Kostick, President of Zephyr Real Estate. “We wish him continued success as he continues his higher education and in his future career.”
Ahmed was able to witness firsthand the business environment, shadow several of employees and conduct informational interviews with senior staff. Studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers have proven that students who participate in paid internships are more likely to receive a job offer than those with no internships.
Ashley Bledsoe, a member of Zephyr’s Marketing Department, sits on the Young Professionals Council for Meritus and was instrumental in implementing the Meritus’ Career Development Program at Zephyr. She served as Ahmed’s Internship Supervisor, and has been a huge supporter of the program. “I strongly believe in Meritus' holistic approach--supporting low income college students through financial aid, dedicated internships, mentorship, and many more resources.”
The Meritus College Fund, established in 1996, empowers low-income youth in the community who possess the grit and ambition to complete a college degree and prepare for post-college success. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college. All have succeeded in high school, earning grade point averages between 3.0 and 3.7, and all are now college-bound.
The Meritus plan provides more than a scholarship, however; there are Meritus “buddies,” older scholars who help incoming freshmen learn and understand their college campuses. Meritus staff members provide coaching throughout the year on everything from school assignments to navigating life outside the classroom. Career mentors offer insights into pathways beyond college. Various employers make summer opportunities available to provide exposure to careers. Meritus boasts an 87 percent success rate – far exceeding the 23 percent graduation average for low-income, first-generation youth, nationally.
Bill Drypolcher, Zephyr’s founding broker, originally began Zephyr’s support of Meritus over a decade ago. He has been deeply involved with the program both personally and professionally, and is a firm believer in giving back both to his community and to education for those who may have no other means of further studies. Over the years, Drypolcher has contributed significantly both in time and in financial support to Meritus’ program.
About Zephyr Real Estate
Founded in 1978, Zephyr Real Estate is San Francisco's largest independent real estate firm with nearly $2 billion in gross sales and a current roster of more than 300 full-time agents. Zephyr’s highly-visited website has earned two web design awards, including the prestigious Interactive Media Award. Zephyr Real Estate is a member of the international relocation network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World; the luxury real estate network, Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate; global luxury affiliate, Mayfair International; and local luxury marketing association, the Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco. Zephyr has six offices in San Francisco, a brand new office in Greenbrae, and two brokerage affiliates in Sonoma County, all strategically positioned to serve a large customer base throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.ZephyrRE.com.