M-A graduate Joseph Buttram and former M-A college counselor Alice Kleeman have joined together to found the Alice Kleeman and Joseph Buttram Impact Scholarship. The scholarship awards up to $10,000 to students planning to attend four-year colleges, and a smaller amount to those planning to attend two-year colleges.
Kleeman said, “Joe was a decent student at M-A. He mainly received Bs, maybe some Cs, but he also struggled at home.” She continued, “Joe came from a low-income, single-mother household and had two younger brothers. His mother was sick, so Joe took on the responsibility of providing for his younger brothers. I remember him wrestling for M-A, and his coach said he had a lot of potential.”
After graduating in 2008, Buttram attended San Francisco State University, where he received a Bachelor’s in Marketing after earning a sizable scholarship, according to Kleeman.
After college, Buttram fought for money as a mixed martial artist. During this time, he met some cryptocurrency enthusiasts and began working as their personal bodyguard.
Eventually, he became involved in crypto markets, interviewed by the New York Times as a self-identified “blockchain connoisseur.” He then founded Zeal Capital and EON, through which he became a multi-millionaire.
Kleeman said, “He reached out to me a year ago and said he wanted to create a scholarship for kids like him, and I thought he just meant giving a few hundred dollars. Then he said he wanted to provide one million dollars! I was so surprised!”
Although 20 years retired, Kleeman returned to the M-A community to help Buttram establish the scholarship and help M-A students. They collaborated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) to establish a pool of $250,000 for eligible students, renewing every year for the next four years.
The SVCF platform hosts a variety of scholarships for high school and college students. It allows students to apply for several scholarships simultaneously, similar to how the Common App platform works for college applications.
The application deadline for this scholarship and other SVCF scholarships is February 28th, 2023.
Eligibility for the scholarship is posted on the SVCF website.