Paying it Forward: Raymond Costa

Paying it Forward: Raymond Costa

Raymond Costa was just nine years old when an act of kindness embedded a feeling he’s never forgotten.

“We had just lost my father – he died and Christmas was coming up. I’ll never forget seeing two station wagons full of toys collected in a toy drive just for my family,” said Costa.  “It was totally unexpected – that memory is what makes giving so personal.”

For Costa then, it was toys, now, for his 700 employees, it’s money for college.

A Scholarship to Help Realize Potential

Raymon Costa

Raymond Costa, Raymond H. Costa Family Scholarship Fund

Costa is a successful McDonald’s franchisee with ten restaurants he owns and operates in Salinas and the Salinas Valley. Last year he approached the Community Foundation for Monterey County about setting up a college scholarship program for employees. Working with the CFMC and his attorney, Costa established the Raymond H. Costa Family Scholarship Fund.

“The people who work for us, they hold so much promise,” said Costa, ticking off the skills McDonald’s employees have – customer relations, multi-tasking under pressure and quick decision making that give them strong skill sets for life.

We are about changing people’s lives by giving them an opportunity.  If I can help with tuition to help an employee further their goals, then that’s what we need to do.”- Raymond Costa, CFMC Scholarship Fund Holder

Investing in Others

Raymond Costa Scholarship

Juan Duarte and Lilia Garcia

Sitting in his new office in Salinas recently, flanked by his team of Human Resources Director John Duarte and Director of Operations Lilia Garcia, Costa got an update on his scholarship’s activity.

A look of quiet pride followed when he learned that 14 college-bound employees shared in the $52,500 his scholarship granted. His scholarship fund is helping to pay for students to attend schools like UC Davis, Hartnell College, UC Berkeley, California State University, Monterey Bay, UC Merced and Fresno State.

My hopes for them are that they remember this investment, that they make their lives better by working hard.” Costa advised. “And that they give back someday when they can.”

The CFMC holds over 50 scholarship funds, including Costa’s. On working with the CFMC he had this to share:

The CFMC is the best group to work with, with a great reputation. I wanted to work with the best, and the CFMC is the best.”

For more information about setting up a scholarship fund contact Christine Dawson at 831.375.9712 x126 or visit