Welcome To The Grilled Cheese Foundation.


We are an organization dedicated to helping junior high and high school students foster their talents by helping students in single-family households pay for dance, gymnastics, music, football, etc… We also aim to help seniors in high school with scholarships for college. Along the journey with these students, we want to educate them on how to take control of their future by understanding how to manage their finances as they are entering college through our financial literacy program.

Our foundation was created on the principle that we can help struggling single parents get their kids through high school and adequately prepare them for college. Below are the core focuses for raising money: Student Financial Mentor Sponsorship and Fresh Start College Scholarship.

Student Financial Mentor Sponsorship

Open to all junior high and high school students in Marion, Alachua, and Monroe County for continued extracurricular activities (i.e. dance, sports, musical programs, etc). Sponsorship to be paid directly to the program of interest quarterly.

Applications can be originated as early as 6th grade.

Proceed To Application

Fresh Start College Scholarship

Award high school seniors in Marion, Alachua and Monroe Counties a $1,500 scholarship to use towards ancillary college expenses like rooming, utilities, food service, and general living expenses.

* Conditions apply.

Applications for the Fresh Start College Scholarship can start as early as August 1st Senior year of high school.  

Proceed To Application



Grilled Cheese Foundation

Charisse Rivers
Founder & Financial Strategist

When you’re a kid you don’t necessarily know you are living in poverty until you do. Charisse was raised, alongside her two siblings by a single dad in the Florida Keys. He was a tree trimmer, but work wasn’t always plentiful and neither was food. During one particularly rough patch, Charisses’ father took them to a restaurant and only had enough money for them to share one grilled cheese sandwich. You could say these experiences helped shape the rest of her life. The owner of the restaurant came out and gave each of them their own grilled cheese sandwich and then something else changed. The entire community seemed to rally around this father who was devoted to raising his three young children. There were two dance studios, a few amazing moms, a local restaurant, and a couple of families that helped shape their lives.

Charisse learned the value of hard work and resiliency from her father, but also the importance of community in times of need. She knew that it took hard work to achieve a goal and that the reward of self-accomplishment was priceless. Charisse also recognized that her father didn’t understand how money worked and that he could have had a different outcome if someone taught him those important lessons. Charisse made it her mission in her business to do everything she could to educate people on how they could control their future by understanding how to manage their finances. Charisse embodied the statement “knowledge is power” and “how this knowledge inspires confidence.” She has also made giving back to the community who once gave to her and her local community a part of her life, as she supports local veterans, and anonymously gives back during Christmas to children in need and high school students to help them pursue their dreams.

The Foundation is now working on giving out the first Fresh Start College Scholarships to seniors getting ready to set sail for college. The foundation’s mission is to have the ability to provide three Financial Mentor Sponsorships and three Fresh Start College Scholarships by the end of 2019. By 2020 we strive to double that.