By empowering community college students to solve challenges and change policies that affect their lives, our grantees are shaping lifelong leaders who are transforming our communities—and our nation.

“Through its RFF Spark Initiative, the Rappaport Family Foundation aims to build the leadership, power and voice of community college students.”

Founded in 2003 by Andy and Deborah Rappaport, the Rappaport Family Foundation is a private family foundation based in San Francisco, CA. Since our inception, we’ve awarded more than $6 million to civic engagement and arts organizations.

“The RFF Spark Initiative, the Foundation’s biggest and boldest project to date, is focused on investing in organizations with promising but untested ideas to build leadership among community college students.”

Through its RFF Spark Initiative, the Rappaport Family Foundation aims to build the leadership, power, and voice of community college students. We believe that, if we want to expand opportunity, grow our economy and strengthen our communities, we cannot afford to ignore the potential of the nation’s nearly eight million community college students as advocates for change.

To date, the RFF Spark Initiative has invested $1 million on bold and promising efforts to ignite civic engagement among community college students. By empowering community college students to solve challenges and change policies that affect their lives, our partner grantees are shaping lifelong leaders who are transforming our communities — and our nation.

about-team-1

Deborah Rappaport, Founder & CEO

Deborah Rappaport is President of the Rappaport Family Foundation, Founder and Managing Partner of Skyline Public Works, and Founder and Managing Partner of Minnesota Street Project. For the past three decades Deborah has initiated and participated in efforts that increase civic participation among young people and other traditionally underserved populations. These efforts promote social justice in the United States as well as increase funding for and access to the arts and arts education. Deborah serves on the boards of People for the American Way, Creative Capital, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Deborah lives in Northern California with her husband Andy and has three adult children.

Andy Rappaport, Founder and Treasurer

Andy Rappaport is Founder and Treasurer of the Rappaport Family Foundation. He has spent more than 30 years founding, investing in, and guiding scores of transformative start-up companies. From 1996 until his retirement in 2012, Andy was a partner at August Capital, a leading technology venture capital firm, which he helped grow from $100M to more than $2B under his management. Prior to joining August, Andy ran The Technology Research Group, a Boston-based global strategy consulting firm he founded in 1984. Andy is a noted authority on the business and economic implications of changing technologies and has written and spoken extensively on the topic. Technology companies Andy has co-founded, led investments in, and/or served as a board member of include Actel, Atheros Communications, MMC Networks, Silicon Architects, Silicon Image, and Transmeta.

Andy is also an accomplished guitarist, songwriter and photographer. Examples of his photography can be found at BigMesaStudios.com. He lives in Northern California with his wife Deborah and has three adult children.

Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Vice President

Catalina is Vice President of Programs at the Rappaport Family Foundation where she leads the Foundation’s multi-year strategy and investments in community college student engagement and advocacy. She is also Founder of GradGuru, a mobile application that helps community college students finish school faster. She serves as board member to the affinity group Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) and is Vice President of the Elections Commission for the City and County of San Francisco. Catalina earned a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and a B.A. from Pomona College.