CSU Channel Islands is helping its student stay in school and graduate with $500,000 in funding for scholarships and peer mentors from Jeff Green, the CEO and co-founder of The Trade Desk.
Earlier this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Jeff Green Family Foundation gave $250,000 to CSUCI’s peer mentorship programs, which provide mentors for students who are the first in their generation to attend college. The foundation later gave another $250,000 for scholarships that increase in value each year the recipients stay in college, going from $1,500 for freshmen to $5,880 in the final year of college.
During the current semester, CSUCI has hired 15 peer mentors and a staff person to run the program, according to a Nov. 30 announcement from the university.
The Trade Desk, the company Green helped start in 2009, is one of Ventura biggest private-sector employers and one of the tri-county region’s biggest publicly traded companies, with a market capitalization of more than $42 billion.
In a university news release, Green said The Trade Desk has hired a lot of CSUCI students and found them “scrappy, hardworking and well-educated.”
“First, I believe in the students. … Second, I believe in the leadership at CSUCI,” Green said. “Since the school wasn’t founded that long ago, there is a chance to rethink and reimagine higher education. I believe CSUCI is doing what others would do if they could hit the reset button. And they have the leadership to do it.”
The donations to CSUCI actually began in December 2019, when The Trade Desk and the Jeff Green Family Foundation teamed up to give $105,000 to the peer mentor program.
During the spring 2020 semester, the peer mentors served 138 students, and 94.2% of them either graduated or returned for the fall semester, CSUCI stated. Overall, 91.9% of CSUCI students enrolled in spring 2020 either graduated or returned for fall classes.