October 4, 2017 – San Diego, CA – Escondido Charitable Foundation (ECF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, awarded $231,016 in funding at its 11th Annual Grants Celebration on September 28 to eight nonprofit organizations supporting youth education and development. At the event, more than 200 members and guests were also surprised with a special announcement that an anonymous donor contributed $1 million to ECF for future grantmaking.

“We are thrilled to announce a $1 million anonymous gift that will help enhance the image and overall quality of life in Escondido for those living here today, and into the future,” shared ECF founder Jack Raymond. “For more than eleven years, the Escondido Charitable Foundation and its members have created a proud legacy of giving in the region, and we are excited to see how this donor-advised gift will further grow the impact of philanthropy in Escondido.”

The gift will add to the overall efforts of ECF, which has granted more than $2 million and generated $3.2 million in impact to strengthen the community of Escondido since 2006.

The eight programs funded for the 2017-2018 grant cycle include: Robots, Coding & Digital Interactivity: STEM in the Classroom with Conway Elementary School; Young Emerging Latino Leaders Father/Son Project with Encuentros Leadership; Youth Leaders for Change Academy with Escondido Education COMPACT; Project Teatro Mision with Mission Middle School; Escondido Community Wraparound with Fred Finch Youth Center; Life Skills for Teens with Palomar Family Counseling Service; Girls Who Code with San Diego Futures Foundation; and Transitional Age Youth Program with Voices for Children.

“Over the past 11 years, ECF has granted more than $2 million to 68 programs to strengthen the community of Escondido,” shared Nick Tsoulos, Board Chair for ECF. “Through these grants, our members are making a difference addressing the essential needs throughout Escondido. Our grantmaking speaks volumes about the positive impact that a committed group philanthropists can have on a community.”

ECF was founded to provide community members a vehicle to increase effective and responsible philanthropy in Escondido. Through 11 years of grantmaking, ECF has addressed a wide range of community issues including health and human services; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education; access to the outdoors; advancing arts & culture and more.

To become a member, contact Trudy Armstrong at (619) 814-1312 or e-mail trudy@sdfoundation.org.

About the 2017 Grantees:

Conway Elementary School
Robots, Coding & Digital Interactivity: STEM in the Classroom
Serving a population where 55 percent of the students are English language learners and 83 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged, Conway Elementary School believes that STEM education is vital to the immediate and future growth of Escondido youth. The $21,418 grant will help Conway Elementary School expand its STEM classrooms with educational technology and add to the afterschool educational clubs currently offered.

Encuentros Leadership
Young Emerging Latino Leaders Father/Son Project
Encuentros Leadership works to encourage and support young men of Latino descent to achieve optimal performance in education. The $35,000 grant will support the Young Emerging Latino Leaders Father/Son Project, which is an intervention of five culturally-relevant programs developed by Encuentros Leadership to strengthen the culture of learning, service leadership and self-esteem among Escondido Latino males in grades 6-12.

Escondido Education COMPACT
Youth Leaders for Change Academy
Escondido Education COMPACT is committed to providing innovative youth workforce development programs that remain consistent with the original motto: “Creating Opportunities, Making Partnerships and Connecting Teens.” The $31,574 grant will support the Youth Leaders for Change Academy and provide workforce development, community service/service learning and leadership opportunities for youth ages 13-18.

Mission Middle School
Project Teatro Misión
Mission Middle School addresses the needs of all learners by engaging students in an intercultural, intellectual and autonomous learning environment where they can pursue a growth mindset and skills to thrive outside of the classroom and later in their careers. The $27,000 grant will help grow Project Teatro Misión to promote literacy, self-efficacy, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration among students.

Fred Finch Youth Center
Escondido Community Wraparound
Fred Finch Youth Center was founded on the principle that no one–regardless of their background, financial status, or personal challenges–should be neglected or forgotten.  The $35,000 grant will support the Escondido Community Wraparound program, which creates an alternative for gang-involved youth by bringing together law enforcement, local businesses, volunteer mentors and other existing positive support who are not gang-affiliated.

Palomar Family Counseling Service
Life Skills for Teens
Palomar Family Counseling Service provides a variety of prevention and early intervention, counseling, psychoeducation, case management and other services to North County children and families. The $17,024 grant will aid the Life Skills for Teens program and help local youth acquire the necessary skills to manage and direct their lives in a purposeful, organized, safe, responsible and mature manner.

San Diego Futures Foundation
Girls Who Code – Club Escondido
San Diego Futures Foundation improves lives in San Diego County by making information technology available to underserved populations by providing technology equipment, training, support, IT outsourcing and digital media services. The $29,000 grant will support the Girls Who Code program and help local youth learn various coding concepts and information about careers in computer science from experts and professional mentors.

Voices for Children
Transitional Age Youth Program
Voices for Children recruits, trains and supervises Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, who advocate for the rights and well-being of the more than 5,100 children who pass through foster care in San Diego County annually. The $35,000 grant will support the Transitional Age Youth (TAY) program’s CASAs for 14 Escondido foster youth ages 16-18, for an entire year. Through TAY, specially trained CASAs are matched with foster youth to guide them through various skills and services and help them achieve a successful adult life, while reducing the likelihood of poverty, homelessness and dependency.

About the Escondido Charitable Foundation & the Regional Affiliate Program

The Regional Affiliate program, including the Escondido Charitable Foundation, was established by The San Diego Foundation to create a regional network of affiliate foundations by leveraging local leadership, building endowments, increasing impactful philanthropy, and promoting civic engagement. Affiliates reside in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, and 4S Ranch-Del Sur. The Regional Affiliate program has exceeded 1,000 members, established endowments of more than $4.6 million overall, and granted more than $5 million in total to nonprofit organizations throughout the region.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more on our website, and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego community needs now and forever.


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 336-254-7056, justin@sdfoundation.org