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September 26, 2011

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September 26, 2011

Students Rising Above is such a unique and truly inspiring organization. While tuition assistance is available for low income/high potential students, it is daunting for many to consider how they will afford to travel to school, where will the basic necessities come from and who will guide them through this "off to college" process. For many of the wonderful SRA students there is not a parent in their life....for others the parent is not able to be a resource. Through it's amazing volunteer mentors and very specifically targeted grants, SRA is able to help these fantastic students who have worked so hard to overcome their challenges. The high school student who is accepted into SRA's "class" will have the support and resources that they need (beyond tuition) to make their college experience a success. Their life will be changed forever.

The Great!

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

meeting their students, hearing their stories and watching the amazing transformation.

Ways to make it better...

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

do everything possible to broaden the awareness of SRA throughout the community.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Hearing from the students directly and seeing first hand what enormous challenges they overcame on their journey. The obstacles in many cases go significantly beyond financial issues as some of the students have been through emotional turmoil at a young age, were homeless for a period or neglected. The children have the will, the drive and the work ethic to succeed - all self-imposed.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I was introduced to SRA a few years ago, at about the same time my own daughter was applying to, and subsequently leaving for, college. While my daughter is very independent and self-sufficient, there was still much input needed from her parents (and many other expenes outside of the tuition/room & board). It was hard to imagine a student going through this with no resouces. SRA IS that resource.

What would you tell others about this organization?

In addition to being a tremendous cause, the organization is Incredibly low overheard and very well manged.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 26, 2011

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September 26, 2011

What an honor and a joy to have had the opportunity to volunteer for Students Rising Above over the past two years. It is so refreshing to see an organization that gets in and gets such important things done for a group of kids that is so deserving. I am certain that the work this organization is doing will deeply enrich the lives of the young people they are supporting but even more importantly, every single one of the exceptional young people helped by this organization will go on to truly enrich the communities we all live in. SRA students are an amazing, inspirational group of young people. If you ever have a chance to get involved with this group I recommend it 100%.

The Great!

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

I have experienced the results of this organizations efforts in going to events and meeting past graduates who are now functioning extraordinarily highly in key positions in companies / organizations around the Bay Area and elsewhere. I see the inspirational drive these graduates provide in their communities as well as to the younger students coming up.

Ways to make it better...

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

Endow them with large amounts of money because I see how far they make their funds go, and how directly every dollar benefits the students and ultimately the community overall.

September 22, 2011

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September 22, 2011

After learning about Students Rising Above from Wendy Tokuda on a TV segment in 2004, we decided this program makes a difference in young peoples' lives and ultimately in society. Since 1/2005 and our first contribution, we have continued to make Students Rising Above a part of our monthly giving. After seeing first hand, the difference this program makes, we decided to increase our monthly contribution. We are pleased to support a program which makes such a difference.

The Great!

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

Having the opportunity to meet and talk with several students the value of Students Rising Above is clear.

Ways to make it better...

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

Continue to publicize SRA, especially highlighting student successes.

September 22, 2011

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September 22, 2011

I was able to see Student's Rising Above's impact through a friend in the program and have been volunteering for two years since, and will continue to do so.

The Great!

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

Friends

Ways to make it better...

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

...

September 20, 2011

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1 previous review
September 14, 2010

I first became interesting in Students Rising Above several years ago after watching a profile of a high school senior done by Wendy Tokuda as a news feature. The student was Student Body President at... more

September 20, 2011

This summer my company was able to hire three college students from Students Rising Above for a summer internship. The quality of the interns was outstanding. They were smart, eager to help, and anxious to learn about the workplace. The experience for myself and my co-workers was terrific and the students got some valuable insights into the workplace. This was organized and monitored closely by SRA, helping to make it a success.

The Great!

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

I was able to interact with several of the students participating in the program in the past year as well as working on the annual fundraiser.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would like to see it service many more students in the Bay Area.

September 14, 2010

I first became interesting in Students Rising Above several years ago after watching a profile of a high school senior done by Wendy Tokuda as a news feature. The student was Student Body President at his high school. There were no parents in his life and he was living with and supporting a younger sister while getting straight As in school and preparing to go to college. I was so impressed with this kid that I contacted Wendy to find out more about him. She responded with a very detailed email and let me know that the response to her series of these profiles had triggered an upswell of people wanting to meet and help these students. This is how Students Rising Above got off the ground. I had never volunteered with any organization before, but I wanted to check this out. I found that the people running the organization were highly professional and dedicated. I also found that the overhead of the organization was minimal and that the vast majority of the funds raised went to helping the students get into college. I was also drawn to the fact that the students were highly motivated and had something within themselves that made them realize they had only one life and they wanted to take a path that would elevate them out of their difficult situation. I have been volunteering my time to SRA for about 5 years providing mostly background services for the annual fund raising dinner and auction. Two years ago I was able to take on an additional role of "mentoring" one of the students. That has given me an opportunity to have more direct contact with some of the students. This experience has enriched me more than the students.

The Great!

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

This organization is focused on helping their students. It is a side effect that by being involved with SRA my own life has been greatly enriched. Everyone involved with SRA, and especially the students views this organization as a family.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 20, 2011

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September 20, 2011

Students Rising Above has made an incredible impact on the students lives, volunteers who give and receive so much back, and the communities where we all live. Students Rising Above and those who work, volunteer, and contribute financially are making an investment in people and in our future together. This is about community, helping each other, caring and building successful partnerships that are resulting in long lasting changes in young peoples lives.

As a mentor I see the hope of these young people in their eyes and feel it in their hearts. These students already have done so much for themselves through their own determination, hard work, and personal vision for the future. Students Rising Above honors them for this and recognizes that they deserve the support, both financial and personal guidance that most do not have. Students Rising Above is a group of caring people who extend their hands and hearts out to these students and share in the joy of seeing great things happen in their lives.

Photos

The Great!

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

I personally experience the positive results by working with three students that I mentor and seeing them grow, learn and become the happy and successful people they invision themselves to be. I am seeing the possibilites turn into realities right before me.

Ways to make it better...

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

Seek to involve more qualified volunteers\mentors from the Latino and African American communities.

More feedback...

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I can't imagine.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It has made me realize that I can make a positive impact on others and have many things to share.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

The good feeling you get when you have made a difference in someone's life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 19, 2011

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September 19, 2011

I have been volunteering my time with Students Rising Above for nearly 2 years. I have been extremely impressed from day 1 with the organization and execution of SRA's mission. The students who benefit from the existence of this program are more than deserving. The determination, intelligence and confidence these students posses is rare. This is what separates SRA from many other programs with similar goals. SRA students are truly the leaders of tomorrow, and SRA's graduates are proof. From the top down, this organization is unique and necessary. The professionalism and compassion shown by the executive team, the advisory team and the volunteers is not only exemplary, it's contagious!

The Great!

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

In the nearly 2 years I have been involved with Students Rising Above, I have had the chance to interact with numerous students in the program. Many have expressed how fortunate they feel to have been accepted into the program as well as the relief they feel for knowing where they WON'T be alternatively, e.g., homeless, minimum wage job, etc.

Ways to make it better...

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

My goal is to help the organization continue to grow. As the volunteer group and funding to SRA grows, so follows the number of students that can be accepted into the program.

More feedback...

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

None. I have greatly enjoyed volunteering my time thus far.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I feel anytime one volunteers his time with a positive goal in sight, the outcome and affect, subconscious or otherwise, is positive. I have met and made good friends with a lot of good people as a result of volunteering my time with SRA.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Worthy, important, confident, happy, determined.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 19, 2011

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September 19, 2011

I cannot express my gratitude enough for all that this organization has done for me in my life. They provided me with the guidance, the support, and the hope to make it to and through college. This organization truly cares about its students. It holds a strong compassion for working closely on an individual basis to ensure that each and every student has all their basic needs met, and helps them find their inner strengths to succeed and transition through every phase into adulthood, regardless of the struggles and challenges they may face, either at home, or in their present moment.

Help support SRA, they are making a difference in our communities, and in the lives of many young adults who have come face to face with adversity. They are changing lives, and creating leaders of tomorrow.

The Great!

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

having gotten to and through college. Without them, I don't know what I would have done in moments of crisis. They were there to make sure I continued to move forward and achieve my goals and dreams.

Ways to make it better...

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

Grant them more funding to take more students.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

School counselor

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

See my review

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 15, 2011

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September 15, 2011

I volunteer for SRA events and I've had the privilege of meeting a number of students over the years. What strikes me most about SRA is that they really care and want these young adults to not only succeed through college, but through life as well. SRA's impact on the lives of their students is immeasurable, and it's the people who make the difference. I have been selected to be a mentor this year, and I know this experience will have a positive impact on my life as well. I can't wait!!!

The Great!

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

Meeting their students at events and listening to their personal stories and the obstacles they have had to overcome to put themselves in the position to be accepted into the SRA program.

Ways to make it better...

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

Volunteer more.

September 30, 2010

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September 30, 2010

My name is Christopher Pulu. I was born in Oakland, CA and come from a family of seven. I graduated from Oakland High School in June of 2009. I am currently a freshman at the University of La Verne and I am majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Music. How did I get there? I didn't know anything about SRA but I was able to take this journey with the help of SRA by my side. It started my junior year where I was presented with a golden opportunity. I was doing what every high school student tries to achieve and that was to get good grades. I didn’t think much of it at first because I thought that this was what we were supposed to do. I never thought about college really. My main goal was to get a job and help my family live a stable life. A stable life seemed impossible because of all the adversity that just hit my family and I constantly. It was a never-ending roller coaster. My eldest sister got into a grave-car accident that caused her to become completely paralyzed from the head down. She was unable to walk, talk, or eat like a normal person. She passed away in 2003. Soon after, my father was diagnosed with type-two diabetes and passed away due to a heart attack in 2007. Being the second oldest, I not only had to acquire the responsibilities of being the eldest, but the role of being man of the house. There was no time for dreaming about college because the welfare of my family became my first priority. Unlike many other teens that were my age, I had to be an adult at a young age. I had to deal with bills, food, figuring out who will pick up my siblings, worrying about where they were at all times, etc. I did all of this on top of my studies. After my father passed away, my teachers requested that I see the school’s life coach advisor, Mrs. Clark, who specialized in the bereavement process. She was the extra support students have during the mourning process to assist them to stay on top of schoolwork. She also provided other resources to the family like programs for reducing bill payments. This helped lift the burden off my shoulder and eased the pain I was experiencing. I visited her once a week and got straight A’s that whole school year. Mrs. Clark looked for students who fit the SRA requirements and luckily for me I was the only one who qualified. So I decided to apply. I didn’t know what I was applying to exactly. According to my mom, everything you sign is a scam. So I was a bit skeptical. Now that I am in college, SRA is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. The reason why my story is relevant is because they took the time to listen when no one else would. There were days I wanted to break down and cry, but I had to compose myself to show my family that I was staying strong for them. I had to build up this wall to hide how I was actually feeling inside. No one understood me. I developed the thought that someone else out there was struggling far worse than I was. Although that may have been true, SRA helped me realize that everyone has their own stories that impacts their lives at the point in there time and this was my story. Students Rising Above is my second family. Being a first generation college student in my family, I would be clueless to finding out the ropes on how to complete a college career successfully. SRA has provided me with the resources necessary to get a head start in the right direction. They provided funding for books, college apps, registration fee, housing fee, laptop, dorm supplies, and so much more. Besides the financial aspect that any scholarship provides, they also provide mentors and advisors. I have the best advisor ever and her name is Marisol Curiel. Marisol is like my older sister. She has put up with all the bad luck I have with trying to start with college. If there is one major thing that SRA has provided me with, that is that they will stay by your side no matter what obstacles may come your way. Their goal is that you make and complete a college education. Life as a freshman is awesome. I am currently the Senator at Large for my university. I am in the process of being initiated into a Music Honors fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon. I am very active in college and that is because I have the time to do things I actually enjoy. Had I been stuck at home, I would not be able to experience this one in a lifetime opportunity. My journey with SRA does not end once I graduate. I hope to become rich and donate money to fund more scholars as well as invest my time in mentoring the students. Students Rising Above has molded me into the best that I could be and because of that; I want to continue the cycle. I can go on and on about how wonderful SRA is but I have to go back to my studies. So if this wasn’t enough to convince you on how wonderful the Students Rising Above program is, than feel free to email me with your questions at Christopher.pulu@laverne.edu. I LOVE SRA!

The Great!

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

so many ways. They have assisted me financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. I would not be where I am today without the dedication SRA has invested into my future and life.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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