Mission & History
The SRA Community is dedicated to impacting the future through the cultivation of extraordinary youth.Students Rising Above invests in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character in overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect. We help each student to realize his or her potential by guiding and supporting them through college graduation, and into the workforce. Our graduates are breaking the cycle of poverty within their own families, serving their communities, providing a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds, and accelerating positive change.
Founded in 1998 by News Anchor, Wendy Tokuda, and Community Relations Manager, Javier Valencia, SRA began initially as a scholarship program supporting outstanding Bay Area students who were “beating the odds.” Students selected in our program are typically the first in their families to go to college and lack the financial resources and family support to fulfill their educational dreams.
Today, this Peabody and Emmy award winning program has grown into an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization with broad community support. Our diverse student body includes some of the best and brightest who attend many of the finest universities across the United States including UC Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard.
Recognizing that access to college is not enough to ensure college completion, Students Rising Above has developed a comprehensive array of services to help students navigate the academic, emotional and social challenges of going to and through college.
Over the past eight years, SRA has been led and managed by Lynne Martin, Executive Director, and Barb Hendricks, Director of Student Programs who have quadrupled the number of students annually selected into the program. The organization has attracted a talented team of Advisors, as well as Development, Accounting, Mentoring, Career Guidance, and Medical & Dental managers committed to student success.