The Issue: Students' Access to College and Career Prep
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 the San Francisco Bay Area, and represent the region’s cultural diversity—may have a harder time achieving a stable career than students without such challenges. Teaching them to write a resumé and prepare for a place in the workforce can have a lasting impact on their future.
The Campaign: Training Youth to Acquire Careers
If 40 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Students Rising Above can sponsor the participation of two students in a career-development workshop. These workshops help to prepare participants for college and a long-term place in the workforce. Through hands-on practice, instructors teach students to write resumés, create cover letters, and ace interviews—skills they will put to use when applying for summer internships. Each additional $200 raised will sponsor another student’s participation in the workshop.
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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.