Women's Institutional Success Endowment

The Women’s Institutional Success Endowment (WISE) is a new effort by the DVC Foundation and women leaders of Contra Costa County to support students with need-based financial awards and career mentoring. 

women high-fivingWhile all students have the opportunity to apply for WISE scholarships and mentorships, our unique focus is on providing mentorships with women in the workforce. Numerous studies highlight the contributions of women in diverse workplaces and positions of leadership, yet there remain gaps in equitable pay and representation in many fields. WISE is committed to promoting gender equality by creating a space for the women of Contra Costa County and employees of DVC to develop meaningful connections for the benefit of our students and the communities in which they live.

Students: Apply for a Mentor!

Applications for Spring 2022 mentorships are now open!

  • Step 1: Submit a Career Mentorship Application before December 10, 2021.
  • Step 2: Email wise@dvc.edu to let us know you'd like to be paired with a WISE mentor.
  • Step 3: Watch your email for information about next steps! Mentor and mentee pairings happen the first weeks of the Spring 2022 term.

Mentors: Apply to become a WISE Mentor!

We are recruiting women mentors for Spring 2022!  New to mentoring?  We'll help you through the process:

  • Step 1: Complete a Mentor Application and check the box to show your interest in being a WISE Mentor.
  • Step 2: Complete a free background check and attend our mentor orientation session.
  • Step 3: Meet with your mentee in person or virtually, depending on mentor and mentee preference, at times that work well for the two of you between February - May.

Questions? Please email wise@dvc.edu.

Mentorship Committee Members
  • Lisa Gwyn, Co-chair  
  • Liz Jennings, Co-chair
  • Catherine Franco
  • Heather Gravendal
  • Linda Hendrickson
  • Whitney Rogers
  • Anne Spalding
  • Ali Stoddard
  • Greg Young

investorWISE was inspired by a donation from Chris Huseby in honor of his wife Andrea Huseby and in recognition of DVC as a crucial educational provider, serving as a pathway for many students who are first in their families to attend college, returning to college later in life, or impacted by social and racial inequities.

Community colleges, like DVC, are not funded as robustly as our state colleges and universities. WISE intends to address unmet funding and equity gaps by providing access to financial resources and enriching educational and career support systems.


Apply for a mentor by December 10, 2021 to get information about our Spring 2022 Scholarships!  Awards of up to $1,000 are available to support your academic and mentorship journey.


Interested in donating to support WISE scholarships?  Consider attending our fundraising events, or Donate Now! and select WISE from the drop-down menu.  Thank you for your support!

Scholarship Committee Members
  • Rosa Armendariz, Co-chair
  • Audrey Berman, Co-chair
  • Teresa Bolla
  • Susan McGill


Check back soon for information on our next fundraising events, or make a one-time or recurring donation through the DVC Foundation. (Please select WISE from the drop-down menu.)


Past Fundraisers

man and woman holding basketIn our debut Fall 21 fundraising event, guests learned how to build a charcuterie board with the WISE Board!  DVC's Culinary instructors and students demonstrated cooking techniques and wine pairings in the Norseman Restaurant.  The evening ended with a raffle of 3 baskets containing bottles of wine from diverse female winemakers in Northern California and other charcuterie board essentials.  Proceeds helped fund Spring 2022 scholarships.

Fundraising Committee Members
  • Becky Opsata, Co-chair  
  • Kat King, Co-chair
  • Katie Blair
  • Phyllis Carter
  • Ann Marie Heffernan



email icon  wise@dvc.edu

Steering Committee Members
  • Toni Fannin, WISE Steering Committee Co-chair
  • Greg Young, WISE Steering Committee Co-chair
  • Jim Blair, Executive Director of DVC Foundation
  • Co-Chairs of the Scholarship, Mentorship, and Fundraising Committees