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Welcome to
Strive For Change Foundation

Strive for Change Foundation was founded in 2006 to help overcome poverty in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

We support innovative job-training programs that help ambitious low-income individuals get the job and life skills training they need to improve their career opportunities, earn a sustainable income and become financially self- sufficient.

All administrative costs and materials are paid for by our all-volunteer board. Every cent of donations goes directly to the groups we support.

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Rubicon Programs

We provide pathways for our participants to develop the economic mobility to move out of poverty. No one service can address the many challenges people living in poverty face — we believe that success comes from participation and achievement in four areas... more

Cypress Mandela Center

The Cypress Mandela Training Center is a community based organization dedicated to improving the lives of the people it serves by providing pre-apprentice construction and life skills training along with employment assistance....


We Support Ten Organizations

Kitchen of Champions
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Kitchen of Champions is an intensive, comprehensive 12-week training for low-income and disenfranchised individuals, many of whom are formerly incarcerated. This program uses a combination of classroom and hands-on food handling safety techniques, along with case management, job placement assistance and follow-up services... more

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A Remarkable Story of Change

News About Strive

A Success Story About Homelessness

A former Motel-6 in East Oakland now houses a community of previously homeless people who need, more than anything else, a safe place to call home.  Without a stable environment, all the trials that led a person into homelessness arise again.  Oakland’s homeless population can find that stable environment at the Lao Family Community Development’s CARE Campus...more

One Job Can Change Everything
When adults have a second chance and are able to make a successful transition to employment, they improve not only their lives but those of their families and communities, for generations to come...more

Building From The Rubble
After the Loma Prieta earthquake a local civil rights activist saw an opportunity to help workers take advantage of the well-paying construction jobs that would soon be needed...more

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Three Ways To Donate

Support ten worthwhile organizations by supporting just one.

Please call Miriam Mangini to arrange for a gift of stocks.  

She can be reached at 510-409-8444 or


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Make a convenient, secure donation.

Click here.


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Complete our donation form and mail it with your check to:

Strive for Change Foundation
P.O. Box 22584
Oakland, CA 94609



Please call Miriam Mangini to arrange for a gift of stocks.  

She can be reached at 510-409-8444 or

Our Directors

Miriam Mangini - President and Treasurer

Maria Winston - Vice President

Megan Nakahara - Secretary

Cathie Geddeis - Data Base Manager

Victoria Robinson Smith - Grants

Andi Kosich - Grants

Norman Hersch - Board Member

Les Ellis, Founder

About Us

Every cent that is donated to Strive For Change goes directly to the organizations we support. All costs of administration and materials are borne by our all-volunteer board.

For information about volunteering, please click here.

Applying For A Grant

If your organization is interested in applying for a grant, contact

Our grant committee determines if a prospective program supports the foundation’s core goals. Next, we determine if  funding will make a significant difference to the program and will offer the best return on the foundation’s investment. Our due diligence process includes one or more site visits to the prospective grant recipients.  To monitor our grants, grant recipients are required to submit periodic reports. These reports, and our ongoing interaction with the recipients, make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the funded programs.

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