PAU Awarded $75K Dave Mitchell Impact Grant

July 1, 2022
Maureen O'Connor PACF Dave Mitchell Impact Grant
Last month, Palo Alto University (PAU) was awarded a $75,000 Dave Mitchell Impact Grant from the Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF). For more than 40 years, the PACF has offered annual grants to nonprofit organizations that help families, uplift the vulnerable, improve education opportunities, and enhance community life in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. 
“We are thrilled and honored to receive this grant from the Palo Alto Community Fund,” said PAU President Maureen O’Connor, “With this grant, we look forward to increasing the impact of our work by providing training for students to become excellent mental health professionals and offering affordable mental health services for lower-income communities.”
PAU was selected as the grant recipient in the mental health category, acknowledging the University’s commitment to offering affordable mental health services to the local community via the Gronowski Center
“By strategically supporting smaller, community-based organizations that are the ‘last mile’ in the distribution of a wide range of resources and services, as well as larger and longtime providers, we can help build both a safety net and game-changing solutions so that everyone in our community can thrive,” said Lisa Van Dusen, executive director of PACF.
This grant is given in honor of Dave Mitchell who was a Palo Alto resident, attorney, environmental advocate, and community volunteer. Mitchell was involved with the PACF for 15 years. When he passed away in December 2018, PACF board members worked with the Mitchell family to design a grant that would honor his work and inspire others to give back to the community.
In 2020, the PACF began to offer annual Dave Mitchell Impact Grants designed to help local nonprofit programs significantly move the needle toward addressing long-term systemic issues. In 2022, the PACF board of directors awarded five grants to nonprofit organizations addressing the pressing needs of housing security, mental health, food security, education equity, and affordable childcare. 
Earlier this year, PAU received a second grant from PACF of $10,000 which has been applied to the university’s telehealth college success program.