Because a college education changes everything

The facts are clear: college determines career paths and life skills. But not everyone shares the same opportunity. Only 10% of youth from low-income families hold a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 77% of middle- to higher-income youth. Students Rising Above (SRA) is determined to change the odds. We understand the rewards and obstacles students face in defying expectations, and how their success can lift up entire communities. Since 1998, we’ve helped craft, nurture, and navigate college experiences that lead to meaningful careers. We value character over GPA, take pride in personal commitment, and measure success with proven results.

Mission & Values

It is a long established fact that a reade.

Our Mission

The Students Rising Above community is dedicated to changing the future through the cultivation of extraordinary youth. SRA invests in first-generation college students from low-income communities who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character while overcoming tremendous odds. 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 social and economic cycles within their own families, serving their communities, providing a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds, and accelerating positive change.


"For me, Students Rising Above means community. It has allowed me to make deep connections with students and mentors alike that would not have been possible otherwise." - David Padilla, SRA Class of 2015, UC Berkeley


Our programs are designed from the student point-of-view, ensuring SRA resources are always relevant, meaningful, and useful. And because every student is different, SRA is adaptable--providing solutions that fit each individual’s journey.


The journey to college and career is already full of challenges, and it can be even more daunting for young people with no legacy of higher-education and unstable financial backgrounds. We look at the big picture and provide the necessary support to overcome the financial, academic, physical, and emotional obstacles to success.

Personal Commitment

We provide the stability, support, and sense of purpose that keep our students inspired and moving forward. Students Rising Above is a family; we look out for each student and are united in a common goal

Social Change

Each time we break barriers and fulfill potential, we improve a life trajectory. Students Rising Above is a catalyst for long-term social change, lifting up individuals, families, and entire communities and redefining the future for everyone.


“In all of my years working with non-profit organizations I have never seen one more committed to student success than SRA. At SRA, we truly keep students in the forefront of all that we do. I love working with amazing SRA students and being able to help connect them with resources that will change the trajectory of their futures." - Veli Waller, Student Advisor

Board of Directors

Students Rising Above allows me the privilege of making a difference in the lives of others every single day. SRA has figured out how to change the lives of economically challenged, bright, young people, enabling them to achieve a better way of life. But they have also made a difference in my life by allowing me to give back, to live a life filled with meaning, and to support deserving individuals. Anyone would benefit from getting involved with this marvelous program, as it is so incredibly fulfilling.” - Susan Kay, SRA Board Member


Students Rising Above gratefully acknowledges the contributions and expertise of the community partners who share our mission and help us achieve our goals.

SRA Careers

At Students Rising Above, we’re making a difference in the lives of thousands of low-income students through our award-winning college completion program and our online program, the SRA Hub. We are looking for talented leaders who are eager to help students break the cycle of poverty and create a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds committed to positive change. Apply now: [email protected]

Volunteer Screening Coordinator (Seasonal)


Volunteer Screening Coordinator (Seasonal)


Volunteer Screening Coordinator (Seasonal)


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Contact email: [email protected]
Address: PO Box 192492 San Francisco, CA 94119-2492
Phone: (415) 333-4222