The Issue: College Students with Economic Hardships
Of the participants in the Students Rising Above program, nearly all are the first in their families to attend college, 81% live below the federal poverty line, 50% have no functioning parent, and 40% are experiencing or have experienced homelessness. These students, who have a range of GPAs, come from every county in San Francisco Bay Area, and represent the region’s cultural diversity, will attend a variety of colleges in the fall. However, most cannot afford the essential supplies needed to live in a dorm and lack the support and financial resources to obtain them on their own.
The Campaign: Distributing Dorm-Room Essentials
If this Grassroots campaign raises $600, then Students Rising Above can distribute dorm-room starter kits to three underserved students going to college. Each additional $200 raised will fund a dorm-room starter kit for another student. The kits help students settle into both their living and learning environments with items such as bedding sets, towels, toiletries, hangers, and basic kitchenware, as well as school supplies such as pens, paper, and backpacks. Students can shop with their advisers to choose which items best fit their personalities and needs. Students Rising Above is preparing to send 50 students to college this fall.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.
Students Rising Above
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.