Nonprofit to open 500 college savings accounts in Bay Area

Courtesy photoNick Hutchinson

Nick Hutchinson is the chief development officer at Juma Ventures, a youth-focused nonprofit that Tuesday launched CollegeSet.org, a website that will allow individual donors to make direct contributions to college savings accounts for low-income teens.

How does the program work? The basic goal is to open up 1,000 college savings accounts, really for students across the country, but we’re going to have 500 students in the Bay Area. We challenge them to put $500 in those accounts. We match those funds and then we deposit more when they reach certain milestones on the way to college.

Why did Juma choose to sponsor savings accounts instead of scholarships? Instead of just giving them a handout, we’re trying to provide them with a financial literacy education. … We’re actually making sure they have skin in the game.

How can people donate? I think the kind of people the site really speaks to are professional women who are social-media-savvy. Everything on the website you can tweet or post to Facebook.

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