Menlo Park: 'Shark Tank' spinoff raises $1.3 million for Peninsula kids

Funds will go to Boys & Girls Clubs' summer learning and college readiness programs

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, which provides after-school and summer education and enrichment programs for low-income children, raised $1.3 million at its recent "Shark Tank" event, held at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club.

The fundraiser is modeled after the ABC television show "Shark Tank," in which venture capitalists are pitched business opportunities and must decide on the spot whether to fund the venture.

Participating "sharks" – venture capitalists, tech executives and private equity investors – were: Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn; Peter Chung, CEO of Summit Partners; Frank Quattrone, executive chairman of Qatalyst Partners; John Marren, senior partner of TPG Capital; Theresia Gouw, founding partner of Aspect Venture; Jonathan Turner, founder & co-president of Qatalyst Partners; and Ian Smith, managing director of Allen & Company LLC.

Funds that were raised were matched by an anonymous donor.

The investors were asked to fund the expansion of two new programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula: a summer learning program and a college readiness program, said Sean Mendy, development director at the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The summer learning program started last year after club staff received training from Camp Galileo, a local summer camp known for teaching kids about design thinking and innovation. As a result of their participation in the Boys & Girls Clubs program, most students did not experience summer learning loss, he said.

A pilot college readiness program was conducted during the past academic year with 18 students. All the students have been accepted into four-year universities, Mr. Mendy said.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula plans to scale up the college readiness program rapidly to serve more local high school students. The program teaches participants and their parents how to prepare for college and trains some students in peer mentorship to help their classmates develop college readiness skills, according to Esmeralda Ortiz, program manager.

"The Peninsula is one community with different neighborhoods," Mr. Mendy said in an interview. Many of the students that the clubs work with, he said, have parents who work in neighborhoods where prospective donors live.


Sign up for Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Truckee cafe to expand to Menlo Park
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,924 views

Attraction to a Person Outside Your Relationship
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 895 views

One more year
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 867 views