2015 MVLA Scholars


This year 29 seniors from Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools received multi-year renewable scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000/year, and a personal collegementor, from MVLA Scholars.

“We wanted high achieving, low income, first-generation-to-college applicants, and we received a huge response! Of the 70 qualified applicants, 29 received scholarships – morescholarships awarded than ever before, thanks to the generosity of last years’ donors,”saif Dee Gibson, Co- chair of MVLA Scholars.

“This group of students was incredibly impressive and accomplished”, adds JanetTornow, also Co-Chair of MVLA Scholars, “They all have powerful life stories and a proven resiliency. I am in awe of their ability to overcome even profound obstacles. Many have worked 20, 30 + hours a week to help their families, maintained high (over 3.5) GPAs, and still participated in sports, theater, church, and community service.”

Meet the new stars of the program: Jose Amaya, Genesis Arreola, Jocelyne Marin-Melo, (UC Merced), Lawrence Antiporda (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo),

Alejandro Chavez, Jorge Farias, (CSU Chico), Sharon Wachuka (Cal Poly Pomona), Anamaria Gomez, Victor Macias, Edgar Sanchez Lopez (San Jose State University), Katherine Hamilton, Alexa Lopez (University of California Santa Barbara), Liliana Maldonado, Jose Morales, Vanessa Villavicencio (Sonoma State University), Blanca Casillas, Alexandra Zaragoza-Chavez (San Francisco State University, Elaine Jennings (CSU Long Beach), Perla Luna, Maria G. Munoz Yepez (Santa Clara University), Asaysha Session (CSU East Bay), Edgar Tapia, Jhosseline Guardado (UC Davis), Rita Alejandra Villanueva (UC Berkeley), Michael Viray (UC Santa Cruz),Akemi Yoshida (CSU Sacramento State), Mirella Acevedo Perez, Lesleiy Sandoval, Jamaila Padaong (Foothill, De Anza Colleges). Students hope to enter careers in engineering, nursing, law, teaching and journalism.

MVLA Scholars is a program of Los Altos Community Foundation, a 501(c)3. Visit our website www.mvlascholars.org to learn more about our programs.

Community Roundtable 33 local high school seniors head to college

33 high school seniors from 5 local high schools have been awarded college scholarships through the Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable and MVLA Community Scholars program.

LACF convened these organizations to work together to streamline the scholarship application and evaluation process.

The Community Roundtable program enables students to fill out a single online scholarship application which is then considered by the seven local organizations offering scholarships. By eliminating the need for students to apply separately to each individual organization, the application and evaluation process is more efficient and results in a more balanced distribution of scholarships.

“We are proud that these organizations collaborate on their scholarship programs”, said Joe Eyre, Executive Director of the Los Altos Community Foundation. “A single online application makes it easier for the students as well as school administrators submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts. Also, this process leads to better distribution of scholarships among the applicants.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable, formed in 2003, comprises several service organizations including the Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Quota Club, and Lions Club of Los Altos and Mountain View. Included as well are the MVLA Scholars and other Los Altos Community Foundation-hosted scholarship funds.

If local residents would like to establish a scholarship fund or bring an existing fund into the Community Roundtable, contact the Los Altos Community Foundation for more information.

2015 Summer Solstice Celebration

Solstice 2015 postcard_Page_1


LACF sparks local non-profits with more than $50,000 in grants 

Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) has completed its third grant making cycle this fiscal year, awarding 12 grants to non-profits that serve Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View.

These grants benefit our communities in areas such as health, assisting vulnerable populations, youth, diversity training and support, arts and culture, and community building.

Current grants support activities such as Family Engagement Institute’s (FEI) launch of a tuition-free summer school program, Stretch to Kindergarten – specifically for children who are eligible for Free and Reduced Price meals who live within the LASD boundary, Festival of Light Parade Association’s complete upgrade and refurbishment of the Drummer Boy float – done with the help of local Eagle Scout candidates, Child Advocates of SV’s training of volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for foster children, and Los Altos Stage Company’s artistic and creative programs in 2015.

LACF’s Community Grants program helps sustain programs at established local organizations including:

  • Ye Olde Towne Band
  • Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)
  • Music for Minors,

and new or expanded initiatives such as Family & Children Services LGBTQ ‘Youth Space’ program benefitting youth and young adults in the North Santa Clara County.

“LACF is proud of how its grants have positively benefitted the social, environmental, and economic aspects of our community,” said Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director.

The Foundation has granted over $1.1 million to our local communities since its founding in 1991. Beginning in 2007, LACF has been managing a re-granting program for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and in 2015, began a re-granting program with the Heising-Simons Foundation.


LACF welcomes two new board members

Jean Limbach
Community Volunteer

Jean has been involved in community service for over 20 years. As an active member of the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula, Jean has served on the Board of Directors in a variety of positions including: Community VP, Administrative VP, Finance VP and President as well as chair of the League’s Endowment Fund.

Within the Los Altos community, Jean has served on the board of the Los Altos Education Foundation, as President of the Almond PTA, and as Secretary of the Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council. She is currently on the board of the Stanford Hills Chapter of National Charity League. Jean is an 18 year resident of Los Altos where she lives with her husband and daughter. In addition to serving on the board, Jean is helping LACF as part of a team evaluating how we could manage and incubate programs even better.

Julie Mahowald
CFO Consultant

Julie has worked as a Corporate Treasurer, Controller and CFO for several technology companies and continues to consult in Corporate Finance for small to medium sized companies. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Lauder Institute Fellow. She earned her BA at Tulane University.

Julie currently serves as Vice President of East Palo Alto Kids foundation where she has been a board member for eight years. She is also a Sustainer of the Junior League of Palo Alto.

Previously Julie has volunteered in many capacities in her children’s schools: PTA President of Almond Elementary School, Parliamentarian of the Los Altos High School PTSA, and Chair of LAHS’s Writers Week. Julie was also an Advisor to the Rosalie Rendu Center in East Palo Alto. Julie is now LACF’s Treasurer and chair of our Finance Committee.

We are very thrilled to have both Jean and Julie on the LACF Board!

CAFE hosts Climate Change summit

CAFE Climate Change and Healthy Aging

Applications for the 2015-16 program are now open

E3 New Member Photo

Apply to Join E3

If you are currently in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade, a Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, or Mountain View resident, or attend school in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, or Mountain View, we invite you to apply to become a member of next year’s E3 program. The program runs from late August, 2015 through early June 2016. As a program member, you will:

  • Develop your leadership and communication skills
  • Design and participate in monthly service projects
  • Connect with local nonprofit organizations
  • Learn from local philanthropists about the potential impact of giving
  • Become an effective grant-maker and strategic youth philanthropist

The E3 program term is for two years. We will meet on Wednesday evenings 7-9pm, from late August -early June. We have an all-day retreat in August and service projects (weekends and/or evenings) throughout the year.

Applications (and letters of recommendation) are due by 9am April 27 2015.

The fee to participate is $150 per year. Financial assistance is available.

Questions? Contact Program Director: Skye DeLano or Advisor Catherine Herzog   e3youth@gmail.com

2015 Gardner Awards Dinner in Pictures

Liz Simons of Heisings-Simons Foundation to speak at Gardner Awards Dinner

LizPic2014ALiz Simons is president of the Heising-Simons Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to sustainable, research-based solutions in early childhood education, climate/environment, and science. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the UC Berkeley and a Master’s in Education from Stanford, Liz taught high school English and, subsequently, English as a Second Language in elementary school.
She founded Stretch to Kindergarten, a summer program that facilitates the transition to kindergarten for children without significant preschool experience. Liz currently serves on the Leadership Council of Too Small to Fail, which focuses on improving the health and well-being of America’s youngest children.
She is on the board of the Foundation for a Just Society and a member of the advisory council for Stanford’s Graduate School of Education.
She and her husband, Mark Heising, have two children: Caitlin and Matthew.

Gardner Awards Welcomes Back Jeff Applebaum

After 20+ years in California, this New York City native is finally learning to understand the local language. Jeff’s comedy examines his particular life experiences, which include being the only white kid on his Little League team in Queens, moving to Long Island for high school, having a Chinese wife and raising children who calls themselves “Jewnese,” because he says it sounds better than “Chine-ish.”
Jeff made his national U.S. TV debut on CBS as a comedian on the “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”  He has also appeared on Comics Unleashed and Comedy.TV, Byron Allen’s nationally syndicated Entertainment Studio programs, ABC-TV, and opened for and performed with comic legends Robert Klein, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Kevin Pollak, Jake Johannsen, and more.  He’s also a frequent guest on KGO Radio, AM810.
Jeff was cast by Sandy Hackett, the late Buddy Hackett’s son, to play the principal role of Joey Bishop in the long-running musical tribute “The Rat Pack Is Back,” in San Francisco, Chicago, Manchester, NH, and Las Vegas. Jeff is also credited and appears in the blockbuster film “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith.
Prior to comedy, Jeff worked as an engineer, using his two degrees from MIT. Along with performing, he is currently developing Comedy Apps, and lives with his wife and three children in Silicon Valley, California.  Learn more athttp://www.jeffapplebaum.com