The mission of the Romanian Education Foundation is to improve educational access.


REF pays the fees for the TOEFL, IELTS, GRE General, SAT, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT exams for students who demonstrate the potential to be admitted, as funds permit, and we disseminate information about the university admissions process.


REF was started in 1994 by brothers Mihai and Andrei Popovici while studying at Stanford University, with the generous support of the Romanian community of Northern California. It was started in the hope that the students that were helped to succeed might someday give back a little more to make up for those who don’t make it, in this way making the organization self-sustaining in its ability to help future generations of students. In 2015, REF entered its 21st year, thanks to the generous support of over 90 individual donors, including 35 of the 135 students helped by REF in the past. The Romanian Education Foundation is a federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Claudia Silaghi is the Director of REF. The members of our board are Mihai Popovici (CEO and Chairman at Z-Terra, in Houston, TX), Andrei Popovici (patent attorney at the Law Office of Andrei D. Popovici in San Jose, CA), and Andy Popovici (student at Columbia Law School, in New York, NY). All are volunteers.