BCF Welcomes New Executive Director

June 6th, 2013 · No Comments
Joleen Ruffin

Joleen Ruffin

BERKELEY, CA, May 20, 2013 – The Berkeley Community Fund (BCF) Board of Directors has appointed Joleen Ruffin as its new Executive Director to lead the growing organization in its mission to provide four-year college scholarships and mentoring support to academically talented and resilient Berkeley High School students.

Joleen brings a rich background in operations management and student development to her new role.  Her experience includes work with several nonprofit organizations and private foundations, including the Community Development Institute, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Stuart Foundation. She comes most recently from the University of California, Berkeley where she was a part of the Office of Student Development. Joleen has also been a successful entrepreneur. She was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce in 2010 after she conceptualized, designed, and launched a community-based online network in Tracy, California.

“I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience in the nonprofit world, my educational background, and my passion for the work to build an organization that leaves a positive mark on the lives of many,” said Joleen.

“Joleen’s experience in philanthropy and in higher education is particularly relevant to what we do, but her personal qualities made us sure that she was the right person for the job, after we have reviewed many candidates as part of our nationwide search. She is creative and committed to our mission and will be a wonderful representative for our organization in Berkeley and the broader community,” said board president, Jessica Pers.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Joleen has been a California resident for the past 15 years. She first came to the United States to attend the University of Oregon, where she earned a degree in Business Administration. Like many BCF scholarship recipients, Joleen and her husband were both first generation college students. They have three children who attend Berkeley public schools.

About BCF

The Berkeley Community Fund (BCF) is a charitable nonprofit organization founded in 1991 by a group of people whose love for Berkeley and for a community of hope and equity inspired them to set up a fund that would reflect their goals. Since 2008, it has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and helped 92 “High Hopes Scholars” attend public and private universities throughout the country.  The scholarship funds bridge the gap between financial support provided by government and educational institutions and the cost of attending four-year colleges.  The related mentoring program provides personal support to the scholars, helping them navigate the college experience and connecting them to future opportunities.


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