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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sra has been here for me since the start. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to attend college and when they accepts me into the program, I was able to apply to 13 colleges while getting the help I needed to guide me through the process. The same guidance was provided when applying for fafsa and scholarships. I'm currently in a phase of life where I need to start doing internships and sra is always there with connections to help the students get into the fields of their study interests. Beyond this, there is a Familial bond that comes from being a part of sra that is authentic and iereplacable. I am very grateful for this organization and experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above has the mission of getting under served students to college, following them through to success. This program is giving me the support I wouldn't have been able to receive else where and I will be forever greatful for that!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is an amazing organization that has believed in me since the beginning. Through the every step, my advisor and the SRA staff have shown me nothing less than the love and support that I knew I needed in order to get through college and beyond. I truly believe in the mission of SRA and all that they strive to do to help students like me to succeed. As I have transitioned into working for SRA, I have continued to receive the guidance and encouragement to help own students so that I may have the same impact on them that my advisor and SRA has had on me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is both an admirable, and EFFECTIVE non profit. They have impressed me with both the quality of their students and organizational efficiency. Before I had this years Intern from SRA I knew a friend and colleague who was an SRA Alumi. That friend of mine is a herself a fantastic talent and who truly has RISEN ABOVE her difficult home and educational circumstances. Nothing has held her back. So when SRA offered a candidate for my West Coast ServiceDesk Intern role I was interested to see who they had in mind. The candidate they provided was a stellar talent who delivered on all projects as well as day to day task. What this speaks to is both how my SRA Alumni friend was such a success story, and now the Intern who we were blessed to have was ALSO such a success story - this to me speaks volumes.

The depth to which SRA cares for and coaches their students is phenomenal to behold. I had the privilege this year of getting to know many leaders in the organization and each person I met was 100% committed to the coaching, personal development, college degree awarding and eventual employment of each student they accept. End to end success.

Students Rising Above changes lives.

Students Rising Above changed my heart with how they change lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a current sophomore in college and I was selected to be in SRA about 3 years ago. I knew this program was going to change my life and I was 100% correct. I have found my family here and the support I receive on a daily basis is a reminder of how grateful I am to be in SRA. I owe a lot to SRA and once I graduate and establish a solid career, I know I will find myself back into this program somehow. Shout out to everyone who believed in me and who keeps this organization going.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above gave me the emotional and academic support to help achieve my dream to go to college! There is so much focus on the students and all the mentors, advisors, donors are amazing. I love talking about SRA like my other family, and I would be very confused and sad without SRA.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above (SRA) is an organization that simply changed my life. SRA has turned a young boy into a fabulous man. Through them, students like myself are learning how to navigate through not only college, but the real world. SRA has been providing their students with the resources needed in order to create better and brighter futures for themselves and their families for years. I honestly believe, without them, i would be another statistic! Instead of being a statistic, i am a first generation college graduate. Thank you SRA for never giving up on me and my future. I owe you the world.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is an exceptional organization that stands for a great cause. I am a student that has benefited from the help provided by the SRA advisers and mentors and am very grateful for their contributions to my education.

SRA aims to support low-income, high achieving students who have overcome obstacles in life. They make it possible for these young adults to graduate college and successfully enter the workforce. The services they offer such as counseling, health insurance, and financial assistance really make them a one-of-a-kind organization that deserves praise.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in the graduating class of 2010, and I must say, the Students Rising Above foundation has made a true imprint in my heart that will last a lifetime. The people who work for this organization are impacting the community one student at a time, and doing so exponentially. It is because of the guidance and strength of SRA, I found the courage to rise above my situation, and conquer my dreams as the first in my family to graduate from college. Just knowing that they were there supporting me was the push I needed to be the star they always knew I was.

2 Gerardo Z.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SRA is a wonderful and very successful organization. Going into my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to apply to and attend college, but SRA helped me to turn those dreams into a reality. SRA provided all of the support I needed and then some. The college application process is stressful. SRA understands this and provided guidance throughout. After I was admitted to Yale university, SRA didn't leave me to fend for myself. They provided books, clothing, bedroom essentials, a laptop, transportation, and even a discretionary stipend. Throughout my time at Yale, I kept in touch with an SRA mentor often (at least weekly!). We discussed grades, classes, and they helped me navigate all aspects of college during all four years. Not only that, during the summers I worked with knowledgeable SRA career mentors who helped me craft a stellar resume, apply for and land internships and ultimately a dream job after college. To say that SRA far exceeds my expectations is an understatement. SRA does an incredible job of selecting a community of students and scholars who have inspiring strength of character, an incredible work ethic, and a proven track record of success and overcoming tremendous obstacles. I am always inspired by my peer SRA students and I am happy to write this positive review for the SRA program.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above has changed my life in so many ways.

I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and immigrated to Pakistan at a young age. When I moved to America with my family in 2003 at the age of 10, I had very little education under my belt and couldn't speak much English. Slowly but surely I was able to catch up on everything I had missed and was offered a full-time scholarship from a college prep school.

Going to college was not only a dream but a necessity for me because I knew how much of a difference it would make. SRA helped me achieve that goal by providing financial and emotional support. I feel blessed to be a part of the SRA family because the mentors, advisers, and all the other students in the program are a constant force of motivation.

I recently graduated college and job a right away in my field. I love the work I do and couldn't imagine myself being where I am today if I hadn't come across Students Rising Above. Thank you so much!

1 Ben_34

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without Students Rising Above I honestly I have no idea where I'd be right now. In a time when I felt like giving up, SRA made me realize that was not an option. SRA has been with me every step of the way through college so far and they've provided me with so many opportunities. The students and staff as a whole have motivated me beyond quantifiable terms to do and be the best I can be.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is nearly impossible to overstate just how life-changing Students Rising Above is for the people it serves. SRA is a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring, college readiness, and financial assistance to low-income high school students who have overcome incredible odds in pursuit of a college education. SRA often helps students who are most at risk of falling between the cracks of the American education system. But beyond helping otherwise underserved students successfully transition into college, SRA also immensely benefits low-income families, communities, and society at large because of the educational and professional opportunities, development, and knowledge SRA offers its participants. Students who graduate college with the help of SRA encourage other low-income students to pursue college and share their life skills and knowledge with their families and community. SRA students are often focused on helping others rise out of poverty which lead to careers in health, public service, law, and education. This cycle improves the lives of all those around SRA participants and alumni for years to come.

Currenty, I am working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, three years after finishing SRA. For the next two years, I will be teaching English at a rural high school to students who will face many health, financial, and educational obstacles in reaching college or even completing high school. My job will be to instill a love of learning in English (because unfortunately and counter intuitively, the language of instruction in Tanzanian secondary schools is English) in Tanzanian students so that they may pass national exams, go to college, and break the vicious cycle of poverty present in Tanzania. My ability to cultivate the strength and compassion to confront world poverty and education issues in a new country is due singlehandedly to SRA. Through SRA, I met both a wonderful pair of encouraging and resourceful mentors who are now like family to me as well as a support network of young people who had experienced similar challenges to me. Making these connections helped me realize that I was never alone in the struggle for a higher quality of life. I am a stronger, wiser, and more well-rounded citizen because of the education SRA helped me to complete, and as a result, I am now able to give back and help others break through their own poverty ceiling through education.

SRA took a logistical weight off of my shoulders when it came to college admittance. Any questions I had, guidance I needed, or doubts I harboured with respect to college, SRA saw me through. Whereas many people's families support them through college, SRA students' families are often unable or without the resources and knowledge to do so. SRA has identified and begun to address a fundamental hole in the achievement gap where so many students typically fall behind with no hope of catching up, but SRA can't do this work without the prioritization, volunteerism, and financial support of others. Take note of SRA and visit the website to view some of the inspiring students' stories. It is an organization the merits all the support in the world.

Thanks for bettering my world, and so many others', SRA. Here I am, across the world, trying to pay it forward.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above has been such an amazing program, that I have been blessed to be a part of. It has provided not only the resources but the guidance I needed to be successful in my college admission process. I am also looking forward to participating in Student Rising Above for the next three years.

Sumat L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a current student of the program. By the end of this year, I will have graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor's in Anthropology and a Minor in Spanish. The opportunities afforded to me in college were largely possible because of the Students Rising Above Program. The program served me from senior year and applying to colleges all the way to my final year of college, offering me guidance, support (educational and emotional/personal), a bit of financial aid, mentorship, and a network. Most importantly of all, they gave me a second family to count on and an amazing resource to use that would otherwise not have enabled me to do the things I have done, from great internships to an amazing experience spent abroad. The SRA helps those who have overcome much to find their path and eventually their dreams in life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Despite struggling throughout my life to find stability, my mentors and friends from SRA have been just that. I know they are always an email, text, or phone call away. They have helped me through college tremendously, both physically and mentally, and I couldn't imagine where I could possibly be today without them. The whole organization itself is amazing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above has more than what I had ever expected. Their support for me through my struggles has given me strength to look beyond my past experiences and create better ones by becoming a better me. I have grown so much in accepting myself amongst people who have already accepted me. My advisor, my mentor, the SRA staff, as well as the students have given me a environment where I always feel comfortable in. Without SRA, I'm not sure how I would have dealt with my hardships. SRA is more than just a non-profit organization, they are building a family.

Ed Smith-Lewis

Client Served

Rating: 5

SRA not only assists students with providing gap funding for college, but they also provide useful assistance with college preparation, financial planning, and job searches. The relationship and connections they provide students in the form of mentors, advisors and friends is paramount to many of the students served (who often come from dysfunctional or nonexisting family support environments). SRA is amazing and the impact the program is creating for disadvantaged students in the greater Bay Area should be suported and duplicated.

Miranda3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Students Rising Above Scholar myself I have to say that this is truly an exceptional program. They have helped me so much along my journey and now I am a Freshman at the University of San Francisco and am loving life! If it wasn't for Students Rising Above I probably wouldn't be at this amazing school studying a great major.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Students Rising Above is without a doubt the most amazing organization I have ever known. Seven years ago when I moved to the United States from a third world country, I had nothing but an ambition that one day I would go to college. I didn't know how. I didn't know when and I didn't know where. Today seven years later, I have a BA degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University. My dream have practically come true and all because I was blessed with the support of an organization like Students Rising Above.
Over the Last five years that I have been a recipient of SRA scholarship, the organization and the amazing people in it have transformed and enriched my life in so many levels. They have not only supported my financially throughout my college years, but also supported my emotionally and provided me with a wide network of people that will help me succeed in the real world. I am forever indebted to Student Rising Above and the amazing people that makes it possible.