They didn’t think they could afford Berkeley; African American Initiative made it possible


Desmarie Jackson never thought she’d be accepted to UC Berkeley; she didn’t have the smarts or the money, she thought. Turns out she was wrong on both counts.

Desmarie, 17, was accepted as a freshman, beginning this fall. And thanks to the African American Initiative Scholarship, she can afford school, too.

Desmarie Jackson (UC Berkeley photo by Keegan Houser)

She and 27 of her African American peers are the first recipients of the scholarships, made possible by an anonymous $1 million  donation. Through the scholarships, administered by the San Francisco Foundation, each student will receive $8,000 annually. “It built the bridge that made going to Berkeley possible,” Desmarie said.

Once fully funded at $20 million, the endowed scholarship fund will provide admitted…

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