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ali.c.rucker1

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Review for Foundation For Students Rising Above, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Role:  Client Served