Student Services

Prospective Students

We provide support for adults who are working low-wage jobs and:

  • completed an ESL program at a local adult school (e.g., Sequoia Adult School, San Mateo Adult School) or tested out of the English proficiency exam, and are enrolled in ESL classes at a SMCCD campus (i.e., Cañada, College of San Mateo, Skyline); or

  • completed a High School Equivalency program at a local adult school (e.g., Sequoia Adult School, San Mateo Adult School) and are enrolled in classes at a SMCCD campus (i.e., Cañada, College of San Mateo, Skyline).

Qualifying students continue their education in community college, get higher-paying jobs and serve as role models and advocates for their children and our community.

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Upward Scholars Applications for New and Returning Students for Fall 2019 are now CLOSED

However, the Application to Request an Upward Scholars Tutor is Still Available HERE

If you’d like to work with an Upward Scholars tutor during the Fall 2019 semester, complete the tutor request form here. If you have questions about the tutoring program, contact Upward Scholars Coordinator, Milena Miyashiro, at or (650) 383-8927. 


Upward Scholars Conversation Club Meets on November 15

This is a great opportunity to chat with English native speakers and have a good time too!

When: Friday, November 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Sequoia Adult School (second floor), 3247 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA

RSVP here. We’ll have pie.


Upward Scholars Food Voucher Program - December 2019

If you are a current Upward Scholars student attending Cañada College, you can also apply for a Food Voucher each month. The December Food Voucher application will be available end of November. Every Thursday, Skyline College will host a Free Community Market from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in front of Building 4.

ESL Conversation Club at Cañada College Fall 2019

Practice speaking English in a fun group. Drop in any time! Clubs are sponsored by Upward Scholars but all ESL students are welcome. 

August 26 - December 5, 2019

When: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. and again on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Where: Learning Center, room 9-251 C

Questions: email

Important Dates for Summer and Fall 2019

PDF Version

Word Version

Where to get help

This chart shows you whom to contact if you receive financial assistance from Upward Scholars and need help choosing classes, finding a tutor, getting your laptop fixed, etc.

Tutoring program

Milena Miyashiro
Upward Scholars
Program Coordinator
(650) 383-8927

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Clipper transit cards, food vouchers, adding or dropping a class

Diana Viscarra
Student Fellow
(650) 260-4131

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Help with any questions about the program.

Linda Prieto,PhD
Upward Scholars
Executive Director
(650) 383-8449

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Help choosing classes, writing resumes, applying for jobs, etc. 

Elizabeth Weal


Cañada College: Academic advice, financial aid, class registration for ESL students

Diana Espinosa-Osuna
Cañada College
Retention Specialist  for students in Level 2 and Level 3 ESL classes
Program: (650) 306-3388
Text: (650) 260-5270

Melissa Martínez
Cañada College

Basic Skills Retention Specialist  for ESL students in Level 4 and 400, or ENG 827 and 847
(650) 306 3356

Janet Ramírez Hernández

ACCEL Transition Coordinator
(650) 306-3473

San Mateo College: Academic Advice, financial  aid, class registration for ESL and HSE studetns

Kelsey Harrison
College of San Mateo

Transition Coordinator
(650) 378-7245

Skyline College: Academic advice, financial aid, class registration for ESL and HSE students

Andrea Vizenor
Skyline College

Dean of Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development
(650) 738-7106

Cañada College: EOPS (a scholarship for students taking 12 or more units)

José Romero
College Program Services Coordinator
(650) 306-3465

College of San Mateo: EOPS (a scholarship for students taking 12 or more units)

Arianna Avendano
College of San Mateo
Program Services Coordinator
(650) 574-6154

Broken laptops

Sue Kayton
(650) 853-1711

Internet for Low-Income Families

If you have children who participate in the free or reduced-cost school lunch program, you can receive the Internet in your home for about $10 a month. You can review the information in English or Spanish

Low-cost Computer Software for College Students

If you are a community college student, you can purchase software very cheaply from this Web site. Note that you need to use your school email address when you make the purchase.

San Mateo County Community Information Handbook 2019

Developed by the Human Services Agency of San Mateo County. Click here for the English Edition or here for the Spanish Edition.

Scholarship for Undocumented Students

  • Check out Dreamers Roadmap for a list of scholarship for undocumented students. It’s also an app. 

  • Check out Fiscal Tiger’s guide for DACA and undocumented students which helps explain the basics of financial aid for undocumented and DACA students. It also provides useful scholarship information, including a list of nationally recognized scholarships that do not require proof of residency in the United States, and which are specifically aimed for aiding undocumented students. Additional financial aid resources and legal aid are presented as well.

Paying for a Four-Year College 

This calculator will helPaying for a Four-Year College 

This calculator will help undocumented students determine if they can receive in-state tuition if they transfer to a four-year college. p undocumented students determine if they can receive in-state tuition if they transfer to a four-year college. 

Food Assistance Available

If you’re low-income and live in San Mateo County, you can receive free food.  Call Food Connection at 1-800-984-3663, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, to learn about available food resources (pick up, meals, etc.).

Mental Health Resources

If you are facing any life challenges, please go to the following link of resources available at Cañada College:


NannyUp is a program from Upward Scholars and The Institute for Families and Nannies that helps you advance in your nanny career. The Web site is here.

Life After College Guide by Immigrants Rising

A guide for undocumented students available here.