I learned about SRA after a 30 minute television program and immediately after I watched it, I think I called, emailed and filled out a form online to apply to be a mentor. It was one of the best decisions I've made! This is my first year as a mentor and it's been incredible! Here is what my student wrote just last night......."This experience is truly one of a kind..... From my background, I have never received what you have given me, which is to have a person to talk to when I need guidance, someone who invests time in me and I greatly appreciate all that time you take out of your work to spend with me as I know you work very hard." People will say, "you are changing her life" when the truth is, she is changing mine. I may live to be 100 years old and not remember my own name, but I will promise you i will NEVER forget that email. I have 2 words to describe SRA. Life changing!
I had always wanted to be a Mentor and it wasn't until I was introduced to SRA that I knew I found the right organization. I was so impressed with them from the initial Gala that I attended to the Mentor/Mentee selection to the training. They are an incredible organization that does incredible things. It is a privilege to be a part of the SRA family. I wish there were more organizations like them.
I have been nothing but impressed with this organization from the first moment I became involved with them. From SRA's cause through to their executiton, they excel at making sure nothing is wasted, from time to money, and that everything they do serves the bigger purpose of helping as many bay area kids achieve their higher education goals as possible. SRA's growth and track record of success speak for themselves. It is a privledge to be able to lend a helping hand alongside such a dedicated and selfless organization.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.