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  

First Graduate is an inspiring nonprofit organization. It has an incredibly passionate and committed staff and an excellent, proven program. I was lucky enough to have some of the students visit my offices on "career day" and it was such a treat to see how engaged and thoughtful even the middle school students were about jobs and college and success. The staff has found a formula that seems to work incredibly well and it's inspiring to be a part of helping such a wonderful organization scale it's impact.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with First Graduate for a few years. The Staff is incredibly passionate and committed. The students are provided a thorough and thoughtful progression from 7th grade through college to help them be first in their family to go to college. They students and their families are passionate about leveraging all of the services provided by First Graduate to get into college and avail themselves of a quality education.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I started with First as a mentor to kids that are about to enter high school with the goal of being the first in family to graduate college. Now, over 13 years later, I serve on the board of this great cause and am consistently impressed with the ability to deliver at such a high level to their students. The program is dedicated to help their students choose the right high school, tutor and mentor them through high school, pick a college suitable to their goals, and stick with them through college to graduation. Students who have been through the program have accomplished so much and come back to the program to help mentor younger students towards their goals. The staff, volunteers and the board work tirelessly to improve the program and achieve their goals of more and more students becoming the first in their family to graduate college.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with First Graduate for 2 years. Ever since joining I've been inspired by the caliber of students that the organization recruits and the commitment that the staff shows day in and day out. The combination of the two makes for a highly impactful program that changes that lives of students who otherwise may not have made it to college.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I initially heard about First Graduate thanks to a friend who had worked with the organization for a few years. He had a wonderful experience, and his stories inspired me to sign up for my first volunteer event. From there I was hooked; I have attended and participated in many First Graduate events, including the Annual Gala, college workshops, Discovery Day, public speaking workshops and more. One of my favorite experiences was hosting a group of First Graduate students at my company for the day - it was so fun to introduce the students to a variety of professions that were possible with a college degree. Today, I feel very honored to be a member of the First Graduate board. The staff and leadership of the organization is first-class, and I am continually impressed with the dedication and passion they bring to their roles. I cannot recommend First Graduate enough!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had a multi-faceted and evolving relationship with First Graduate over the past few years. I started as a pro bono volunteer helping with their use of salesforce for CRM and donor/donation management. Then I jumped in as a volunteer at a number of student events. And now I am a board member. All through the my many year relationship I have been very impressed with the program, staff, and students. The work they are doing is important (I myself was first in my family to graduate) and I am happy to support their efforts. I found the volunteer efforts all very well organized and always felt like I had a significant impact on the students I was working with.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have always been impressed by the degree to which First Graduate engages its students and the dedication and strategic thinking exhibited by the organization’s staff. What I feel sets First Graduate apart is the long-term commitment it provides to its students. Not only does the organization help students to succeed academically to make college a possibility, it works with them to realize that opportunity in application process and then continues to provide guidance and support once students are in college. The last portion of this commitment means a lot, particularly at a time when students from underserved communities often struggle at the beginning of their college careers. First Graduate truly makes a difference for many who will become the first in their family to graduate from college.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My first encounter with First Graduate came in 2003 when I was looking for opportunities to tutor high school students in reading and writing. That year of working with the first cohort of students (now all college grads!) as well as the sharp and dedicated staff led me to accept an invitation to join the board. Eight years later, I am as committed to First Graduate as ever! The difference the program makes in the lives of San Francisco youth, their families, and their communities is truly inspring. Because the commitment begins the summer before seventh grade and extends through the obtainment of a BA, staff build trusting and constructive relationships with students and families to help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the adolescent educational journey -- always keeping the focus on the long view.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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