Here is a list of some of our recent college graduates - congratulations!
B.A. Sociology/Anthropology, Minor: B.A. Spanish, Ohio Wesleyan University
B.A. Music, Minor: B.A. Italian, Wellesley College
B.A Economics, Brandeis University
B.A. Communications, SFSU
B.A. Sociology, University of Richmond
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Santa Clara University
Ghulam Abbas Mohammad
B.A. International Relations with emphasis in International Security, SFSU
B.A. Psychology , Cal State Long Beach
B.A. American Studies and Ethnicity, Minor: B.A. Latin American Studies, University of Southern California
B.A. Sociology, Colby College
B.A. Community Studies, Minor: B.A. Education and Legal Studies, UC Santa Cruz
B.A. International Studies and Anthropology, UC Irvine
B.S. Civil Engineering, Cal Poly
B.A. Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
B.A. Liberal Studies, SFSU
Amanda Piercy, B.A. Sociology, UC Berkeley
Amanda Strauss, B.S. Linguistics with an emphasis in Spanish, UC Santa Barbara
Andrea Williams, B.S. English, UC Davis
Anitra Smith, B.S. Human Development, UC Davis
Giovanni Mata, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Santa Clara University
Jose Taylor, B.A. Sociology and Political Science, Manhattenville University
La'Kiraa Lillard, B.S. Pyschology, University of Missouri
Leonard Goo, B.S. Molecular Environmental Biology, UC Berkeley
Lily Dorman-Colby, B.S. Economics, Yale University
Mayra Vega, B.S. Psychology and Latin American Studies, Wesleyan Unversity
Pedro Jimenez, B.S. Theology and Business Oral Roberts University
Thuy Nguyen, B.S. Marketing, University of San Francisco
Here are some stories from our earlier graduates:
Billy has always had to scramble. He was just seven years old when he and his brother learned to fend for themselves. Their parents were abusive and they sometimes found themselves living on the streets. Billy was taken in by a family whose instincts told them he needed a break. Billy found comfort in school and his good grades earned him acceptance to the University of Oregon.
Kimberly had a seriousness of purpose that many adults would envy. It came to her the hard way. At five, Kimberly witnessed her mother’s murder. She and her brothers were then put into the home of an abusive alcoholic relative. At age 11, Kimberly packed up her little brothers and fled in the middle of the night to a relative who took them in. There was not much money and an ironclad rule – you will study. And study she did.
Stevon Cook grew up with drug and alcohol addicted parents. Stevon and his sister witnessed the ill-effects and destruction that this behavior had not only on his mom and dad, but also on his own life as a young boy and teenager growing up in San Francisco.
Eddie Smith-Lewis grew up around poverty and drugs in the projects of West Oakland. Through hard and persistence, he ended up at a prestigious prep school headed for college. With offers from Ivy League universities, Eddie chose to attend Morehouse College where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
When we first met Aaron eight years ago, he was an honors student at De la Salle high. Even then his teachers could see his gift. As his teacher Julie Townley commented, "Aaron is a kid who comes along in the life of someone like me, once in a lifetime. He is thirsty for information; he is thirsty for knowledge."
Where is Aaron now? He graduated from Princeton University and is now studying at Boalt Law School.
We first met Tina when she was a senior at Wallenberg High school in San Francisco with a perfect 4.0. But it hasn't been easy for Tina. Her immigrant parents came to America to seek a better life.
Where is she now? Tina graduated from UC Berkeley in 2002 and is now a news reporter in Hawaii.
This is a story that took eight years to finish. That's how long we've followed a student who rose above. Verleana came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in the Bay Area to the University of San Francisco, and graduated with a law degree in 2005.
Silena had to find the support to make it by herself. She was 19 years old when we first met her. She and her 17-year-old sister, Shivawn, were living totally on their own in East Oakland. No welfare, no parents to rely on.
Where is Silena now? A lot has happened since her days in East Oakland, she graduated from USF, joined the Peace Corps, taught second grade in a private elementary school ,and is now starting an after-school facility in the Western Addition.