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CEFCU Goes Above and Beyond to Support the Caltech Y Rise Tutoring Programs

The Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union (CEFCU) delivered a remarkable “two for one” gift to the Caltech Y Rise and Y-Tutor Programs. CEFCU granted $10,000 to the Y’s tutoring programs for public school students, and then CEFCU applied for a grant from another organization on behalf of the Y, which matched its $10,000 contribution. CEFCU’s efforts brought $20,000 to the Y’s innovative and important tutoring programs for Pasadena Unified School District and Pasadena Community College students.

The expansion and success of the Caltech Y’s Rise Tutoring Program in response to COVID-19 proved to be the most influential factor for the grants. The Rise Program moved online in April 2020 and at the same time, expanded with a new Y-Tutor Program component to serve a wider audience of students in the Pasadena Unified School District. By shifting quickly to an online platform during the spring of 2020, the Caltech Y was able to serve more students to support the educational needs of the community.

“In 2020, 224 Caltech students tutored 177 PUSD and PCC students for 1.5 hours per week in math and science, a total of 6716 hours of tutoring in one year! We work with students who need extra help to perform well in STEM subjects. Our Caltech student volunteers are uniquely suited to work with community youth—they are young, interesting, and from all over the world,” according to Caltech Y Executive Director Athena Castro.

Liz Jackman, Associate Director of Student Programs, added, “Our Caltech students also benefit tremendously through their tutoring relationship. Learning to communicate math and science concepts to teens in a clear and digestible way is an increasingly important skill as scientists take leadership roles in our world today. And learning how to build a trusting and respectful relationship with others different from yourself is invaluable.”

The Caltech Y and CEFCU’s partnership began in 2004 and has included both continuing financial support and hands-on support at Caltech Y events over the years.

CEFCU’s leadership values social responsibility and actively seeks opportunities to contribute to the overall Caltech community. Rich Harris, President/CEO of CEFCU, affirms, “As the exclusive financial institution serving the extended Caltech community, giving back is part of CEFCU’s broader mission and commitment to our sponsor. We are proud of our partnership with the Caltech Y and will continue to support its mission to serve Caltech and the local community.”


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