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

Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Christopher Pulu. I was born in Oakland, CA and come from a family of seven. I graduated from Oakland High School in June of 2009. I am currently a freshman at the University of La Verne and I am majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Music. How did I get there? I didn't know anything about SRA but I was able to take this journey with the help of SRA by my side. It started my junior year where I was presented with a golden opportunity. I was doing what every high school student tries to achieve and that was to get good grades. I didn’t think much of it at first because I thought that this was what we were supposed to do. I never thought about college really. My main goal was to get a job and help my family live a stable life. A stable life seemed impossible because of all the adversity that just hit my family and I constantly. It was a never-ending roller coaster. My eldest sister got into a grave-car accident that caused her to become completely paralyzed from the head down. She was unable to walk, talk, or eat like a normal person. She passed away in 2003. Soon after, my father was diagnosed with type-two diabetes and passed away due to a heart attack in 2007. Being the second oldest, I not only had to acquire the responsibilities of being the eldest, but the role of being man of the house. There was no time for dreaming about college because the welfare of my family became my first priority. Unlike many other teens that were my age, I had to be an adult at a young age. I had to deal with bills, food, figuring out who will pick up my siblings, worrying about where they were at all times, etc. I did all of this on top of my studies. After my father passed away, my teachers requested that I see the school’s life coach advisor, Mrs. Clark, who specialized in the bereavement process. She was the extra support students have during the mourning process to assist them to stay on top of schoolwork. She also provided other resources to the family like programs for reducing bill payments. This helped lift the burden off my shoulder and eased the pain I was experiencing. I visited her once a week and got straight A’s that whole school year. Mrs. Clark looked for students who fit the SRA requirements and luckily for me I was the only one who qualified. So I decided to apply. I didn’t know what I was applying to exactly. According to my mom, everything you sign is a scam. So I was a bit skeptical. Now that I am in college, SRA is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. The reason why my story is relevant is because they took the time to listen when no one else would. There were days I wanted to break down and cry, but I had to compose myself to show my family that I was staying strong for them. I had to build up this wall to hide how I was actually feeling inside. No one understood me. I developed the thought that someone else out there was struggling far worse than I was. Although that may have been true, SRA helped me realize that everyone has their own stories that impacts their lives at the point in there time and this was my story. Students Rising Above is my second family. Being a first generation college student in my family, I would be clueless to finding out the ropes on how to complete a college career successfully. SRA has provided me with the resources necessary to get a head start in the right direction. They provided funding for books, college apps, registration fee, housing fee, laptop, dorm supplies, and so much more. Besides the financial aspect that any scholarship provides, they also provide mentors and advisors. I have the best advisor ever and her name is Marisol Curiel. Marisol is like my older sister. She has put up with all the bad luck I have with trying to start with college. If there is one major thing that SRA has provided me with, that is that they will stay by your side no matter what obstacles may come your way. Their goal is that you make and complete a college education. Life as a freshman is awesome. I am currently the Senator at Large for my university. I am in the process of being initiated into a Music Honors fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon. I am very active in college and that is because I have the time to do things I actually enjoy. Had I been stuck at home, I would not be able to experience this one in a lifetime opportunity. My journey with SRA does not end once I graduate. I hope to become rich and donate money to fund more scholars as well as invest my time in mentoring the students. Students Rising Above has molded me into the best that I could be and because of that; I want to continue the cycle. I can go on and on about how wonderful SRA is but I have to go back to my studies. So if this wasn’t enough to convince you on how wonderful the Students Rising Above program is, than feel free to email me with your questions at I LOVE SRA!

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

so many ways. They have assisted me financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. I would not be where I am today without the dedication SRA has invested into my future and life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Client Served & I am a Student Rising Above scholar/recipient.