For Students

This page provides important information for Upward Scholars students and prospective students. 

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. 

Food Voucher

You can get free lunches and dinners through the Upward Scholars Food Voucher Program at Cañada College. With this program, you will be able to purchase The Meal Deal. You can pick up your meals at the Bookstore and Pony Espresso (Coffee Kiosk next to building 13).

The application to request a food voucher for September is available here. The last day to apply is September 6th.

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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 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Where: Learning Center, room 9-251 C

Questions: email


Upward Scholars Conversation Club Meets on September 27; Sign up today!

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

When: Friday, September 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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

Complete the RSVP form here. Snacks provided.

Application to Request a Laptop for Fall 2019 is now CLOSED

  • To apply for an Upward Scholars laptop, you must have received an Upward Scholars scholarship for two semesters, including this semester.

  • Please do not apply to receive a laptop if you already have a laptop.

  • Recipients will be selected based on their grades, their number of semesters in college, and the information in their applications.

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Progress Reports for Fall 2019: Due Friday, October 18

You have to give your progress report to your teacher on Monday, October 14th or earlier and return the progress report to Upward Scholars no later than Friday, October 18th. You need a progress report for each class you are taking except PE classes. Note that If you don't submit your progress reports on time, you are not eligible to apply for another Upward Scholars scholarship.

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Important Dates for Summer and Fall 2019

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Where to get help

This chart shows you whom to contact if you have an Upward Scholars scholarship and need help choosing classes, finding a tutor, getting your laptop fixed, etc.

Tutoring program and Upward Scholars scholarships


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


Clipper transit cards, food vouchers, Upward Scholars scholarships, adding or dropping a class, basic computer problems


Diana Viscarra
Student Fellow
(650) 260-4131


Help with any questions about the program.


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


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


Stacy Nojima
Skyline College

Transition Coordinator
(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.

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 help 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:

Know Your Rights by SFPPP

What to know if you are stopped by police, immigration agents, or FBI. Information available in English or Spanish.