**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2017**
MERGER OF PENINSULA BRIDGE AND BUILDING FUTURES NOW
Two Bay Area College Access and Completion Non-Profits Merge to Deepen Impact in Underserved Communities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
PALO ALTO, Calif. – April 26, 2017 – The boards of directors of Peninsula Bridge (PB) and Building Futures Now (BFN) have agreed to merge operations in May 2017.
The merger brings together two college access organizations supporting low-income students, each with over 25 years of experience. The combined entity, called Peninsula Bridge, will provide 600 socioeconomically disadvantaged students with essential academic and social emotional support in a 12-year program model to help them succeed in college-preparatory high school programs and four-year colleges.
“We are bringing together two Bay Area nonprofits with similar missions and goals to better serve our students,” said Alan Austin, who will serve as Board Chair of the combined organization. “Together a larger, combined organization will support more students with higher service levels and greater efficiency.“
The combined organization believes that all of its students, if given equal access and opportunity, can reach their full potential and graduate from high school and four-year colleges. Peninsula Bridge anticipates that 90% of the students enrolled in its combined 12-year program will graduate from college (as opposed to 10% nationwide for first generation low-income students).
“Building Futures Now is excited to merge with such a compatible partner and we are thrilled for our students to benefit from the robust academic and social emotional support offered by Peninsula Bridge,” said Penny Gallo, BFN board chair. “We are delighted with the warm welcome Peninsula Bridge has extended to our students, families, and staff.”
“Of course, the combined organization will continue its commitment to supporting students and families from East Palo Alto. Together about 200 students from East Palo Alto will be served by the Peninsula Bridge 12 year college access and completion program,” said Jocelyn Swisher, Co-Executive Director of Peninsula Bridge.
The new combined board will be stronger than ever before with key board members, including the two founders each with over 25 years of institutional history. BFN board members Penny Gallo, Chi-Chao Chang and Peter Dumanian will join the Peninsula Bridge board of directors.
"We can achieve even more impressive results for our students and families when we leverage each other's strengths and work together to address the achievement and opportunity gaps in our communities," said Randi Shafton, Co-Executive Director of Peninsula Bridge.