A Peabody- and Emmy-winning program, Students Rising Above (SRA) was founded by a local news anchor and a community-relations manager as a scholarship program for students who are the first in their families to attend college but lack the financial resources to support their educations. Many of these students face tremendous challenges such as homelessness and neglect but realize their potential and succeed academically, earning the grades necessary to qualify for further education.
SRA selects its program participants during their junior year of high school and works with them through college graduation, helping through guidance and support to foster a 90% graduation rate after four-and-a-half years. Since its inception, the program’s services have grown to include medical care, summer internships, precollege readiness support, and care packages with technology and dorm-room essentials, as well as intangible support in the form of a network of trusted adults and peers. SRA students have attended more than 70 colleges across the country, including Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Davis.
Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival—the longest-running film festival in the Americas—San Francisco Film Society feeds the cinematic passions of fans, filmmakers, and students, showcasing more than 300 films every year. The Film Enthusiast membership entitles movie mavens to a plethora of perks worth rubbing in the noses of adversarial cinephiles who won’t stop boasting about how much popcorn they can eat in one sitting. Members also get the skinny on San Francisco International Film Festival special events and screenings, running April 21-May 5.
Since its founding in 1997, BayKids has helped more than 5,000 children confronting cancer, paralysis, and other medical conditions learn the art of cinematic self-expression. The MovieMaking program brings instruction and tools into hospital rooms, empowering junior filmmakers with full control over their own feature from beginning to end. Kids get to choose a film medium (such as animation or documentary), casting, location, and set creation. Production is a social affair, engaging groups of patients to foster camaraderie. Film topics such as re-entering school after a hospital stay help kids work through the social and emotional challenges of childhood illness. After filming wraps, children can learn to edit raw materials into a polished feature with the help of an experienced BayKids volunteer, adding special effects, music, and other finishing touches.
The Ridge Trail Council is a Bay Area nonprofit organization that seeks to join all Bay Area communities with 500 miles of multiuse trails. A yearlong family membership entitles two adults and their children to benefits as stunning as the panoramic vistas of the great outdoors. With advanced registration to popular trail events such as the multi-sport Ridge to Bridge, a marathon event that includes food and water and is next scheduled for April 2011, you won't need to plaintively wander over the trail's foggy, thicketed scalper meadow when the event inevitably sells out. Trail guidebooks are included with each membership, so families can set out on precisely planned pilgrimages. Members are also admitted to member-only natural odysseys such as the Presidio Solstice Ramble, a hike each winter solstice that includes free hors d'oeuvres and beverages, which is preferable to standard solstice traditions of bearing witness to chipmunks' annual temporary powers of speech, self-awareness, and attorney. Special offers such as free event registration and gratis hiking gear are also available to members and are relayed via a biannual newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.