Empowering Youth Through Education


1973 - Gary Gitnick, M.D., a doctor at UCLA Medical Center, convinces his staff to sponsor an end-of-the-year holiday party for children with disabilities. The staff has as much fun as the kids, and out of this experience the Fulfillment Fund was born.

1977 - Incorporated as a non-profit in 1977, the early Fulfillment Fund focuses on the needs of young children and teenagers with disabilities. A career day, leadership camp and other events challenge a growing number of young people to rise above their disabilities and set high goals.

1982 - The Fulfillment Fund broadens its mission to include able-bodied but often overlooked students, and in the mid-1980s starts to provide college scholarships and motivational events. Young students are encouraged to stay in school and pursue a college education by adults matched with them for the day. These role model-student pairs often stayed in touch throughout the year.

1988 - Andrea Cockrum joins the Fulfillment Fund as Executive Director and the first full-time staff member.

1991 - The Friends of the Fulfillment Fund auxiliary support group is founded by Cherna Gitnick.

1991 - The Fulfillment Fund begins to focus efforts on ensuring high school graduation and access to and completion of a college education, targeting youth in economically and educationally under-resourced communities.

1993 – The Fulfillment Fund moves to office space in Century City generously provided by Helen and Dr. Peter Bing.

1995 - College counseling services are formalized, and included scholarship and internships.

1995 – The first annual STARS Benefit Gala raises funds for college access programs.

1996 – The Fulfillment Fund begins providing classroom-based instruction to prepare students for college.

1998 - The Fulfillment Fund is named the best community-based mentoring program in California by the California Mentoring Initiative.

1999 - The Fulfillment Fund Alumni Association is formed as a means for alumni to support the ongoing work of the organization.

2002 - The Fulfillment Fund celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2005 – The Fulfillment Fund moves from Century City to its mid-Wilshire offices at the intersection of Fairfax and Wilshire to be closer to students.

2007 - The Fulfillment Fund celebrates 30 years of empowering youth through education.

2009 - The Leadership Council, a group of young professionals, begins to support the Fulfillment Fund and its mission through advocacy, service and fundraising.

2009 – The first annual Songs of Our Lives benefit concert, sponsored by the Friends of the Fulfillment Fund, takes place.

2010 – The Fulfillment Fund partners with California’s annual “Cash for College” campaign.

2011 – The Friends of the Fulfillment Fund celebrate 20 years of supporting college access programs and services.

2011 – The Fulfillment Fund Mentor Program celebrates its 20th anniversary.

2012 - Andrea Cockrum retires and Kenny Rogers joins as CEO.

2012 – The Fulfillment Fund is asked to bring its programs and services to students in Clark County, Nevada.

2013- Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas launches in two high schools, where it is now serving hundreds of students.

2014 - Today, the Fulfillment Fund is a college access organization working closely with partners in the schools and the community to make lasting changes.