Diana Adamson’s Letter to the ScholarMatch Community
by Diana Adamson
Ten years ago, ScholarMatch started as an idea from Dave Eggers and a simple crowdfunding website with one goal: Disrupt college access and level the playing field for low-income, first-generation students of color. When I was hired, ScholarMatch was a small, scrappy organization with just two staff members. We were small but mighty, and we had big dreams.
Just one decade later, ScholarMatch has accomplished big results. We have a national reach and developed a program providing seven years of support to students with individualized advising, career services, and targeted financial support all the way to college graduation. Our diverse team of 26 has hosted countless student workshops, and our army of volunteers has advised over 5,000 students applying to college. We have assembled and mailed over 800 freshmen care packages, delivered thousands of hours of advising support, and awarded nearly $6 million in scholarships to our college students. We built systems, created processes, collected data, scrutinized our results, and continually refined our program, all in the name of driving outcomes for our students.
Today, we have students attending schools near and far, and they are graduating college at over three times the national average of their peer group. Our 280 alumni are Ph.D. students, writers, lawyers, programmers, social workers, organizers, pharmacists, and even ScholarMatch staff members.
They are the change in the world.
It has been my privilege and honor to lead this organization from its infancy to this point. I have loved working with the ScholarMatch team, community, and supporters to collectively create this impact on a journey filled with learning, growing, and grace. Today, my tenure leading the organization is coming to an end, but our work at ScholarMatch is truly just beginning. Ten years of learning has set the stage for a new era of an equity-driven program, a new clarity of student needs, and new leaders at ScholarMatch. We look forward to introducing you to our new Executive Director, Karla Salazar, this month.
Thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve our community in this deep and meaningful way. I will always be a champion of the mission, our students, and ScholarMatch, and I hope you will too — the best is yet to come.