FOUNDATION FOR STUDENTS RISING ABOVE

Rating: 4.99 stars   72 reviews

Issues: Education, Philanthropy

Location: PO Box 29174 San Francisco CA 94129 USA

Mission: Students Rising Above helps exceptional low-income Bay Area high school students who are overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect, to fulfill their dream of a college education. We provide the mentoring, financial assistance, and employment skills to be successful in school and in life.
Target demographics: low-income, first generation college students
Geographic areas served: the San Francisco Bay Area
Programs: college application assistance, pre-college readiness support, tuition assistance, career development workshops, paid summer internships, mentors and healthcare.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Over the last 6 years, I've had the privilege of mentoring two students through SRA. The organization has provided wisdom throughout its program, supporting and guiding mentors and students all along the process - from college prep in high school through college graduation. Rarely have I had such a fulfilling experience as a volunteer and/or mentor as the one I've had with SRA.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Compared to most nonprofits, Students Rising Above excels due to its personalized service to each student and the passion and inspiration exhibited by the entire organization.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Students Rising Above in the San Francisco Bay Area is a unique nonprofit which focuses on providing disadvantaged students a comprehensive 5+ years support program of academic guidance and emotional support. I have been privileged to be a mentor to 3 of these extraordinary students rising above over the last 4 years. In my experience, I have watched these students change from quiet, ambitious and hopeful high school juniors into mature, confident and successful college students. With the support of SRA's expertise in navigating the college application and admissions process, our students are able to reach their goals of a college education. Once they are settled in their new college, SRA stays in touch and supports them with mentoring, medical and dental support, internship guidance, and emotional support. The individualized attention our students receive is reflected in the high graduation rate. All three of my students are thriving in their respective colleges and are confidently looking forward to their post graduate plans. It has been an honor to be involved in their lives and watch them blossom into such remarkable young adults.

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

meeting and mentoring the scholarship students, working with the staff and advisors of the organization, and learning the successful graduation rates of our students.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a recipient of the scholarship and it forever changed my life. It probably is one of the best things that's every happened to me and has shaped into a successful individual. Not only do I have great lifetime mentors through the organization, but the Foundation has instilled a need for me to impact others the way it has with me. Being an alumni of the program, I'm still very involved with the organization but as a giver not a receiver. I work a ton of hours a week, at Visa Inc. (where SRA helped me obtain the job after college during a time when all my friends couldn't find a job), and I gladly spend my personal time volunteering with SRA. The dedication of the people in this organization is extraordinary. They are incredibly driven to expand their reach and evolve their programs to benefit the recipients. Also, what SRA does is quite extraordinary and I have not seen any other equivalent nonprofit of its kind. It support for students is very well rounded. It supplies financial support, emotional support through mentors and advisers, career/internship placement at large renounced organizations such as Wells Fargo, the Marriott, AAA, etc. and medical and dental assistance for as long as a student is in a 4 year college. That's incredible.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Because of SRA I am proud to say that I mentor a young man who is excelling at Colby-Sawyer college with a full scholarship he earned. Last week I was able to visit him while on a business trip, it was so refreshing see him doing so well in an academic environment.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a volunteer mentor and career coach, I have witnessed first-hand how Students Rising Above supports at-risk, under-represented youth to overcome tremendous obstacles by helping these young people to pursue their education and to often be the first in their family to obtain a college degree. The people involved in SRA are smart and passionate about this mission, as 90 % of SRA students graduate from college which is twice the national graduation success rate for low-income, first generation college students. Additionally, the care, respect and support that SRA provides to these young people shows in the tremendous success, inspiration and generosity that these young adults show in return to the organization, our communities (85% of SRA students give back through on-going community service) and to the world. Supporting SRA helps to develop and support compassionate future leaders and world problem solvers.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Students Rising Above is a fantastic organization that's really making a difference. It's my first year volunteering with the program but the staff is very dedicated and organized and it's been a great experience so far. The students are all very appreciative of volunteers' time and it's wonderful to know how much of an impact you're making. I will absolutely recommend SRA to friends looking to get involved.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a new volunteer with Students Rising Above, I am repeatedly amazed by the amount of effort that everyone in the organization puts towards making sure that these very deserving high school students 1) get accepted to a good college and 2) are successful there. SRA is so well-organized and well-run: although I have been involved with many nonprofits through the years, this is the one that has made the greatest impact on me. I think it also makes the greatest impact on the students it serves. I can't rate this organization highly enough.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Students Rising Above (SRA) is an outstanding philanthropic entity. To categorize it as a scholarship program does not adequately describe the depth and essence of what SRA provides and accomplishes.

SRA’s greatest asset is the structure of the program itself. The organizations ability to anticipate and address not only the financial requirements of their students but also their emotional, academic, medical, dental and general needs as growing young adults is the key to this nonprofit's success. With dedicated academic mentors as well as individual mentors for support, encouragement and social experiences, SRA addresses the needs of their students as whole people with practicality, efficiency, grace and dignity. This comprehensive approach is SRA’s most outstanding characteristic and it is the implementation of this ethos by all of those involved and connected to SRA that enables and perpetuates the growth and success of this remarkable program.

My introduction to SRA came in the form of an incredible cowboy themed party one afternoon in July. This event was the result of one of my mother’s infamous auction purchases from what I thought was simply another charitable event she had attended. (Yes, I realize this sounds jaded but if you knew my mother you would understand ☺) Our family entertains a lot, we celebrate anything and everything and the bottom line is we believe having fun in life is serious business. For example our family and friends all arrived for this event appropriately dressed in cowboy boots & hats and of course my mom provided cowboy boot glasses for refreshments and bandanas because, well, it wouldn’t be a cowboy party without bandanas. I knew from the moment we stepped off of the bus that this was not simply another one of my mom’s crazy auction purchases. It was evident from the get go that we were in the hands of some exceptional people who clearly shared in our beliefs and values as they relate to celebrations and having a good time.

Not only were our hosts dressed to the nines as we were, but they had bandanas for all of us as they greeted us with welcoming smiles in front of a picturesque barn complete with hay bales, a line dancing caller and band.

The dedication, enthusiasm and incredible energy of our hosts could be felt from the moment we met, but until we sat down to lunch I still had no clue about the amazing people or premise behind SRA. In brief but poignant remarks Kirsten McCarthy introduced SRA to our group. I was intrigued and Kirsten encouraged me to submit an application to become a mentor. We enjoyed the rest of our afternoon, laughing, dancing and taking in our festive surroundings. That was Saturday and I submitted my application on Sunday.

In September 2012 I officially became a mentor for SRA. From the interview process to the mentor workshop and regular communications I am continually impressed by the organization, attention to detail and synergy of SRA.

It has only been a few months since I became a part of the SRA family but it has already been a life changing experience. I know how cliché that sounds but it’s the truth. My student has already enriched my life in ways that I had never considered and I only hope that I will be able to return the favor in the 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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The social, professional, financial and spiritual support that SRA provides is critical to the journey of today's young leaders. The program is a coordinated effort of students, advisors, staff, mentors and volunteers and the results of 90+ % college admission proves that it takes a village. I'm honored to be part of SRA!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

There are few organizations that allow you to become so personally involved in changing lives of motivated youth. SRA has given me a wonderful gift through my mentee student, currently at UC Merced. The SRA community nurtures great character and provides the means for many under-served students to reach higher. Many, including my mentee, are citizens of the world who see the importance of "paying forward." I am confident they will make a global impact and am honored to be affiliated with such an impressive, professional and well-organized foundation.

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

seeing the 2010 SRA class mature and successfully attend colleges throughout the nation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My husband and I are new Student Mentors in the program. It took only moments after hearing the mission of SRA to understand that this is an incredible program and something we would want to make personal and financial commitments to. We're only two months into it, but could not feel more connected. We're elated to be supporting something that can be such a life changing experience for deserving kids. Funny thing. . . it's a game changer for us, too!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful?