Early in 2008, after a series of meetings, the program founders, Mike and Linda Dorn, announced their desire to see a new scholarship and mentoring program that they called “Pay It Forward”, with the various program commitments and mentoring that remain in place today. They funded the first class of program recipients entering CSUMB in Fall 2008. The program has grown and continued since that first entering class.
The Program watchwords – Commitment, Accountability, Excellence and Graciousness – are built into the Program itself and instilled into the students throughout their four years as they maintain their commitments to the Program and to the younger students they mentor.
Since inception, the program has been dedicated to serving the local Monterey Bay community, changing and building the community by changing one life (and family) at a time. The impact of local students graduating from the local University and going back into the local community will be felt for decades and generations to come.
In 2013, the program formally began its current affiliation with The First Tee of Monterey County and came under the umbrella of the Future Citizen’s Foundation. It was immediately apparent that this was a perfect match for both programs, with both focusing on the development of local youth and thus of the local community.
The program has been funded solely by private funds donated generously from individuals and private foundations. From its inception, every dollar donated to the program has gone to scholarships. Through a 2013 partnership agreement with the University Corporation, the foundation arm of CSUMB, the administrative costs have been covered by non-gifted funds.
The partnership between the Future Citizen’s Foundation and the University Corporation continues. Currently, forty-three students are scholarship- recipients committed to the program requirements. Each has a mentor from the community, and each remains on a four year graduation track.
Fall 2015 also saw the first student who had been a participant at The First of Monterey County, and himself a mentee of a Pay It Forward student, now himself become a Pay It Forward scholar and have his own mentee at The First Tee of Monterey County!
The program’s future is bright and will be limited only by the funds available for scholarships. There is and will always be room for additional funding sources to identify and fund students from other than Monterey County. It is part of the plan for the future to have more participants of The First Tee of Monterey County move from being mentees of Pay It Forward scholars to becoming Pay It Forward scholars themselves.