Since being conceived and organized in 2003, the Poway Unified School District Foundation has provided more than $1.7 million in critical funding to ensure the success of local students.

“Our goal is to promote getting our students ready for college, career or trade after high school,” said PUSD Foundation President Toni Kraft. “We want them to be ready for life.”

Kraft stressed that the non-profit Foundation is necessary because it fills fundraising gaps for schools throughout the district. Its support is focused in three areas:

  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Skills for all students.
  • College and Career Readiness.
  • Rigor, Relevance and Relationships

Supporting such a large district obviously takes a great deal of funding and sweat equity, so the Foundation currently holds two major fundraising events that bookend each year. In addition to a spring golf outing (which raised $50,000), a family-oriented event was held in October at Bernardo Winery. “We need a lot of imagination to pull these events together,” said Kraft, noting that the goal was to raise $35,000 at the October fundraiser. “We couldn’t do these things without the support of all the volunteers.”

Kraft said the Foundation’s effectiveness can be seen in the many student activities and programs for which it provides funding and support:

  • Local, state and national competitions, such as DECA, Science Olympiad, and Robotics
  • Career Days and participation with industry partners, such as Women in Engineering; and field trips to Junior Achievement’s Biztown
  • College Fairs and career exploration programs
  • Student internships
  • Technology in the classrooms
  • Training and supplies for Project Lead the Way
  • And when transportation became an issue for the district, the Foundation formed TAKE (Transport All Kids Everyday) and made sure that all students who needed transportation were able to get to school.

“Working hip-to-hip with site foundations and the district is what we are driven by,” Kraft said. “But we will need to stay ahead of the curve and relevant within the world of foundations.”

According to Kraft, additional support is needed for the Foundation. “We need people to get involved with the Foundation financially, and with their energy. Don’t wait; get involved now,” she said. “These children are our future employees and future employers. We need to be sure they are well-educated.”

For more information on the PUSD Foundation, visit, call 858-668-4041 or email

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Year Started:  2003
Address:  13626 Twin Peaks Road Poway, CA 92064
Phone:  858-668-4041

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