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Foundation For Students Rising Above

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Philanthropy, Public Foundations, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Undergraduate Colleges

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.

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have worked with SRA in a number of capacities over the years - Hired interns, mentored and career workshops. At every step we are impressed by the commitment that SRA staff has to their students and by the dedication and caring given to each one. We have been delighted to watch the growth of particular interns over their assignment. It is a joy to see them flourish in a work environment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a current volunteer and mentor for Students Rising Above, and since I've joined their volunteer team, I've had nothing but amazing experiences. Heather, the Program Manager, is super organized and quick to communicate upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. Their entire team of staff and volunteers are all truly dedicated to a common purpose, and it's apparent in everything they do -- from the mentoring program, to the workshops, to the annual gala. Throughout my past two years with this organization, I have seen the impact that SRA has had on hundreds of students. It is truly inspiring!! The mentoring program is more time intensive, as it requires one-on-one time with students in the program, and generally require a higher commitment on behalf of the mentors.But, there are a variety of one-day workshops where you can get involved without committing too much time. They have resume editors, one day interview prep workshops, a mock career fair, and an annual gala, that are all great ways to get involved with SRA while only taking one day of your time. If you have any interest in volunteering, I would definitely recommend this organization!

Jessica318

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered on and off with Students Rising Above for a number of years now. My volunteer activities have ranged from helping setup and serve guests at donor appreciation events to working one-on-one with students, preparing them for professional interviews. I always love the time I spend with the students at staff at Students Rising Above. The staff are bright, motivated and passionate about their work. The students are just extremely impressive. When I supported students in preparing for professional interviews, I just thought "I would love to hire these students when they are out of school!" It is clear that the supportive services that Students Rising Above provides their students allows these young leaders to achieve their dreams of graduating from college and pursuing a life of passion and impact.

1 DCalhoun

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is an incredible organization. Through SRA I've had the opportunity to meet with students from all over the Bay Area, hosting a space in a mock career fair, participating in informational interviews, introducing a student to the pr/advertising agency where I work, and more. As a first-generation college graduate and third-generation Latina, I understand where these students are coming from and I'm so thankful to SRA for giving me the chance to be a mentor and resource to these amazing students.

1 Ross7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SRA is a phenomenal end-to-end support program for Bay Area based, low-income, first generation high school students. Rather than simply providing funding for a small subset of students and sending them off to college without proper guidance, they focus on helping them develop the skills necessary to succeed in college, internships and future careers. This is clearly demonstrated by the 90% college completion rate, which is 9 times the national average for low-income, first generation college students. In addition, 80% of those students are in grad school or working in career ladder jobs within 12 months of graduating from college.

As a Social and Career mentor, I have been truly amazed by the students themselves but even more so by their achievements in the program. Despite the struggles and setbacks the students have had up to this point, SRA has and will continue to help these students overcome all odds so they can achieve their dreams and in turn help others achieve theirs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They provide a valuable service to economically challenged high school students, providing opportunities where none may have existed previously.

Through the support of SRA, hundreds of Bay Area students have the opportunity to attend college (very often the first in their families to do so).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beautiful organization. I love the mentorship aspect of SRA. You work closely with a senior and not only take them on excursions around the Bay Area, but also being them into your home and introduce them to your culture as well. My mentee became great friends with my daughter who attends a sister school. They had so much in common and even went to the same prom. The students come from varied backgrounds, but what they have in common is that their home life is not idea. These students have beat the odds and are graduating and doing amazing things. There is also a lot of support from the SRA staff; guiding you as a mentor, giving advice to the student and helping them with everything from college applications to housing.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor at SRA for 2 years and it is the most enjoyable volunteer job I've ever done! The students are terrific people who have overcome obstacles and have a special spark of altruism and compassion for others. This makes my job easy; I make a young friend and she enjoys the support of an elder who believes in her. This in itself, is ample satisfaction for me, but there's more. The management of SRA is well-organized. The details of the events are tended to and management is generous with gratitude to all who participate. It means a lot that I am thanked for my efforts. Also, they are careful with donations, making sure each dollar is spent wisely. For this reason I feel good about donating to SRA as well. I see my efforts and donations as an investment in the future. A college degree equips these promising young people to support themselves and help their families and communities. They are tomorrow's leaders and they give me much hope for the future.

2 Thay

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am thrilled to be a volunteer at SRA. The organization gives me the opportunity to do what matters to me - to help individual students who have intelligence and drive, but are lacking the access, exposure, and confidence they need to be successful in college and early in their careers. I particularly want to help empower young women and SRA gives me a chance to be an ongoing mentor and as needed career advisor to young women who don't have the same opportunities I had when I was a young person in college and early in my career.

I am so impressed by the impact this organization makes on student's lives. The staff integrates learning from experiences of the students, mentors, advisors, and all involved on a regular basis. This has resulted in a formula that supports the success of each and every student. The results speak for themselves, with 90% of its students graduating from college and 80% of them in careers or grad school within 9 months of graduation.

2 Jim_145

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Mentor with SRA for about 2 years. The greatest gifts that SRA has given me have been the quality of the relationships and the interactions with the students. The connections with the students, especially in my role as a mentor, have been truly meaningful and have only grown over time....it's just a special community, all around. I also was able to hire a fantastic SRA student at my last company which was a great Win/Win!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a mentor for SRA students, and the experience is truly inspiring. The students are highly motivated, courageous, positive, eager to learn and appreciative, and I feel that I get as much out of the mentorship as the students. Highlights for me as a mentor include taking two students on a weekend hiking trip to Lake Tahoe, having a student accompany me on a business trip to Seattle, attending the annual Gala fundraiser event with my students and my daughter (who will also be signing up to be a mentor), celebrating high school graduation and recognition in a Hispanic students high school awards ceremony, helping my student move into her college dorm room, having my work colleagues mingle with my student during job shadowing events, and just sharing our lives over dinner or a walk. Students Rising Above is a class act, an extremely well-run organization. Looking forward to getting matched with my 3rd student soon!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a first time mentor and have been involved in career development and attended fundraising events. The students are completely inspiring, the staff is professional, dedicated and talented and the volunteers and benefactors are warm and engaged. The best thing I can say about SRA is that it really, truly works. So many success stories in each class, and the effect is compounding. SRA is breaking the cycle

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SRA has become our favorite charity!!! We discovered them a couple years ago, wanting to make a difference in a young person's life who needed help with a college education and shows a tenacity to learn and set goals. When we discovered most of the funds donated actually go to the needs of the student, we were convinced! We are so impressed with their mentor ship program, and have recently decided to become mentors as well!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above (SRA) is a life changing organization. They focus on helping first generation college students break the cycle of poverty within a household and also provide the students with a new outlook on life. SRA provides every kid with a mentor for just some fun times, an academic coach to help them through the college process, and a team encouraging the students. Some of the kids that go through the program have difficult stories but SRA is right there to help, guide, support and nurture them through everything! This is a great organization!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is an inspirational Organization focused on identifying students with personal hardships that through their daily adversity show a tremendous aptitude and will to go on to higher education. I have had the privilege to mentor a student that is now in his first year of college.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is an inspirational Organization focused on identifying students with personal hardships that through their daily adversity show a tremendous aptitude and will to go on to higher education. I have had the privilege to mentor a student that is now in his second year of college and have watched him grow in his determination to distance himself from the negative elements of his life and to be focused on how he can be a successful member of the work force. The fact that SRA is locally based, focusing on kids in the local community differentiates them from many other nonprofits

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above (SRA) has opened so many doors of opportunity for me! As a young Black man growing up in the inner-city of San Francisco in an area that's filled with poverty and crime it was very difficult to see life beyond the neighborhood in which I resided, until I became apart of SRA. During my time with SRA my mindset began to transform. I was able to cultivate new skills and tools that would prepare me for life in order to now empower my neighborhood and communities of-the-like.

Throughout my affiliation with Students Rising Above I was able to attend and graduate from the #1 public university in the nation as a student-athlete at UC Berkeley, I gained valuable professional skills from multiple internships, I was able to build invaluable relationships with mentors and professionals, and I was able to participate in a prestigious national leadership training program called Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs.

The investment from partners and supporters of Students Rising Above is what keeps it thriving & effective. Since joining SRA back in 2008 I am amazed to see how much impact they are creating for youth in the Bay Area region and how much they have grown since my time as a participant. Now as a SRA alum, I look forward to continue supporting SRA and seeing it continue to grow.

Hung L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An incredibly impactful organization because it helps students who come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (when I say disadvantaged, I mean no parents, group homes, foster children, around drugs, gangs, abuse 24/7, extremely impoverished). These students that apply for SRA have made the decision themselves that they want a better life. They are self-motivated to succeed and SRA helps by giving them the tools and platform to do so. It's not an organization that gives fish but teaches to fish -- the most impactful kind

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are many organizations that focus on advancing educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, however the thing that attracted me to Students Rising Above is the breadth of their program and their desire to give students all the tools to be successful - getting into college, graduating from college and finding jobs. The students are wonderful and really embrace all of the opportunities SRA offers them - coaching, interviewing workshops, internships and mentorships. It is very inspiring to meet these young students and to support them through their journey!

Anastasia N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a recipient of Students Rising Above from the age of 16 until I graduated from University. I had a rough start to life. My family struggled financially and we ended up homeless until I was placed into foster care. I remained strong academically, but didn't know how I would (realistically) get into and let alone pay for and graduate from college.

Students Rising Above made it possible for me. Among other things, they paid for me to take an SAT training course, helped me with the complicated financial aid forms and college applications, gave me a laptop, helped to support me financially and emotionally, and with the transition from university to career.

I now have a degree in Economics and a Masters in Finance. I work in the Tech industry with a promising career and a future better than anyone with have expected from a foster kid.

Now I want to give back by volunteering with the organization, but there is no way I can ever re-pay what the organization and all the wonderful people in it, have done for me :)