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Campaign for College further helps youth reach potential


Helping to ease financial burden

The possibility of achieving higher education post-high school can be stressful and financailly difficult. California-based organizations are doing their part to help ease the financial burden for students so they can focus solely on school and figuring their lives out. The Campaign for College Opportunity organization has been helping the youth achieve new heights in education for years.

The organization was created in 2003 after founders  David Wolf and Steve Weiner realized the governor's budget for the state needed to include more funds for colleges to provide scholarships and adequate funding for the institutions to support the staff and students.  After meeting with several education leaders across the state, they decided to create an organization that prioritizes the next generation of college students. This coalition would focus on three core beliefs:  (1) California needs to invest more money into public higher education; (2) students and families willing to spend more to finance their education; (3) colleges and universities operating more efficiently with state resources. 

“It was always apparent to me as a young woman that if I wanted different opportunities, I would need a college education to get them,” said Michele Siqueiros, current president (Since 2008) of the organization, who has spent decades working to make college both more accessible and more affordable, while supporting students on their path to graduation. 

The organization has created several initiatives to help Black and Latino students. They have raised over $6.5 billion in yearly investments for students since 2004 while advocating for inclusion and diversity in California colleges. Siqueiros has built a strong, independent, and influential organization by raising more than $30 million, assembling a team of experts and leaders in the field, championing major budget appropriations, securing historic higher education legislation, and establishing a broad and influential network of over 12,000 coalition supporters. Under her direction, the campaign has released critical higher education research, including prominent reports on college access, success rates, and the lack of diversity among college leaders and faculty. 

Siqueiros’ efforts have resulted in her receiving the 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, which includes a $350,000 grant to support the Campaign’s work expanding college access and completion for Latino and Black students. The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize innovative and exemplary leaders.