First Graduate

Rating: 5 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Education

Location: 3130 20th Street, Suite 275 San Francisco CA 94110 USA

Mission: First Graduate's mission is to help students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college, well-prepared to launch meaningful careers.
Results: Our long-term, individualized approach successfully meets the needs of first-generation youth. To-date, 100 percent of First Graduate high school seniors has graduated from high school and enrolled in college. 88% of First Graduate high school graduates are eligible for the California State University system compared to 52% in the San Francisco Unified School district (SFUSD number also includes non-first generation students); 68% of our high school graduates are eligible for the University of California system. By comparison 18% of Black and Latino students in California graduate eligible to attend a CSU and 6% graduate eligible to attend UC schools. Our students are attending schools across the nation such as San Francisco State University, Harvard, Chapman University, the University of California, Los Angeles, Tufts University, and more.
Target demographics: First Graduate works exclusively with aspiring first-generation college graduates -- students who come from families with no college tradition. The majority of our students are immigrants or children of immigrants who receive either free or reduced-price lunch.
Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 320, plus their families.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco, CA
Programs: First Graduate's effective college access and success program helps more than 370 San Francisco-based students each year. In the spring of 2014, we enrolled our 13th class of new students recruited from San Francisco public middle schools. We coach our students for 10 years as they journey from middle school to high school, from high school to college, and from college into their first careers. We provide year-round academic instruction, tutoring and support; high school and college counseling; mentoring; family engagement activities; career exploration activities; and college scholarships and support.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-3381171
415.561.3450
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I began volunteering with First Graduate earlier this year as a writing coach for a student who will be submitting his college applications soon. From the moment I was invited to volunteer I could see that First Graduate’s staff were well organized and thoughtful in their engagement with prospective volunteers. I truly appreciated that all of my questions were answered thoroughly and clearly before I began my volunteer work. The writing coach training I attended was well presented, and all follow-up communications with the staff have been prompt and helpful. I look forward to continuing my volunteer involvement with First Graduate in the months ahead.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with First Graduate for over a year in several capacities from helping with the annual gala to grading presentations to being an Academic Coach for 7th graders. The staff is well-organized, extremely focused, consistent and make it easy for volunteers to sign up for opportunities. The students are given a wide range of curriculum that I have seen truly help them to succeed in their everyday schoolwork to getting into college. You can see the pride each First Graduate has when being able to say he or she got into the school of their choice - tipping their cap to all of the support gained from the staff, coaches and volunteers. As a volunteer I have felt so inspired and know that I have helped to make a difference in many kids' lives.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered as an Academic Coach last year and it was the best experience I've ever had as a volunteer. The staff is very friendly and helpful, which made it easier to adapt to the role. Likewise, the students are so ambitious and talented that made it great to working with them!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

When I retired from teaching and moved from Maine to the Bay Area of California I was looking for a meaningful volunteer program that was making a difference in the lives of kids who are motivated to improve their future. I found it in First Graduate. The experiences I have had with the students and staff have been rewarding and fulfilling. As a first graduate in my own family I realize how important a college education is to changing lives for the better. I will continue to volunteer and look forward to more success with the First Graduate program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

First Graduate is an amazing organization. The staff is passionate about making an impact and is truly dedicated to each and every student in the program. Being a volunteer with them for the past three years has been incredibly rewarding and I am excited to continue to give my time to them for years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I became a mentor in the first class of First Graduate in 2000. My student is close to graduating from UC Santa Cruz this year. I have also been a tutor at various times. It has been a wonderful experience. FG has an outstanding staff and a great group of volunteers. All along as a volunteer I have felt well connected and supported by the program. I never felt overwhelmed or isolated in the experience. I've felt like I'm part of a team sharing the goal of getting my student through high school, into college and now nearly through college. I've been able to talk to FG counselors, teachers, staff and volunteers, share information, get advice and share problems and triumphs. Within the program I was able to develop a strong relationship with my student's parents and family. I have been a lifelong volunteer and had the pleasure of being involved in some very good programs. First Graduate is the best program for volunteer support and satisfaction that I have ever been involved with. I have been very fortunate to have been a part of First Graduate for over 10 years now and I look forward to years to come.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My student has had incredible support from First Graduate from middle school, through high school and now in college. He's been supported through many difficulties and found the opportunities to reach his considerable potential.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More money, more staff, more outreach, more volunteers, more students.

 
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