Cal Coast Cares Foundation

The mission of the Cal Coast Cares Foundation is to help local students attain their goals of earning a college education. The foundation, which was established by California Coast to honor the legacy of the teachers who started the credit union, provides scholarships for high school seniors, foster students, and college students and grants to educators in San Diego and Riverside Counties. Since its inception in 2015, the foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants! This year, we are proud to be awarding an additional $260,000.

Student Scholarship Application Period Now Open

The Cal Coast Cares Foundation is excited to announce that scholarship applications are now being accepted through April 15, 2024, for college-bound high school students and current or former foster youth.

In 2024, the Cal Coast Cares Foundation is pleased to provide $186,000 in scholarships to deserving college students, graduating high school seniors, and foster students who are in or have been in the foster care program in San Diego or Riverside counties to pursue accredited degrees. The Foundation also supports local educators through grants for classroom projects.

California Coast Credit Union was founded in 1929 by local educators, and the non-profit Cal Coast Cares Foundation was created in 2015 to continue their legacy by supporting the local education community, including teachers, students, and staff.

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.


Application Checklist

High School Applicants - Apply Now

Current and 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.


Application Checklist

Current and Former Foster Youth Applicants - Apply Now

For questions related to student scholarships, please contact Brittany Rodriguez:

Scholarship FAQ's 

Tips for a Successful Application

Current College Students—Through partnership with local colleges, scholarships are awarded to provide monetary support to current college students in need of assistance with academic expenses. Please visit your college's Financial Aid Department for guidelines and applications.

Giving Back

Congratulations to the 2023 student scholarship recipients!

The Cal Coast Cares Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded more than $160,000 in scholarships to support college-bound high school seniors, foster students and current college students in San Diego or Riverside Counties! A list of the 2023 student scholarship awardees is below (note that foster youth names have been omitted for privacy).

View Recipients

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 ranging from $500 - $2500 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. Grant applicants can request $500 - $2,500 to support their STREAM related project.

3. A maximum of two (2) teachers from the same school will be eligible to receive funding within the same application period.

4. 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

5. Cal Coast Credit Union employees and their family members, and Cal Coast volunteer officials are not eligible for grant funding.

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

  • Routine school supplies such as: pens, pencils, glue, markers or paper
  • Field trip expenses
  • Food or prize expenses
  • Transportation costs
  • Teacher salaries, compensation and/or incentives
  • Teacher training/development program expenses

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
Education Grant Application Period Now Closed.
Applicants will be notified by the end of November of their grant application status.

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. 

Want to help us spread the word about the foundation? Share the link below with your friends and/or family members that are interested in learning more about our scholarship and grant program.

Learn More

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

Donate Now

Donate by Phone

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

Donate Now

Donate a Vehicle


Cal Coast Cares Foundation, has partnered with CARS3, another reputable non-profit organization, to collect vehicle donations of all kinds (even ones that are no longer running!)  

80% of the net proceeds for each vehicle donated will go back to supporting the Cal Coast Cares Foundation.

  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. Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that administers and also benefits from this donation.

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