The James Irvine Foundation awards $500,000 to SRA’s College2Careers Hub



Major Grant Will Enable SRA To Help More Low-Income, First-Generation Students Through Its Innovative Online Platform Now Serving More Than 10,000 Users

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2017 – Students Rising Above (SRA), one of the nation’s most successful college completion and workforce entry programs, today announced that it has received a $500,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to expand its online platform for low-income, first-generation college students.

SRA received the award to expand its SRA College2Careers Hub, an online community that helps more than 10,000 low-income, first-generation students manage college and launch their careers. Since the Hub was created in 2014, 45 Bay Area high schools, nonprofits and after school programs have partnered with SRA to advise students and help them navigate the college experience.

The Foundation grant will enable SRA to reach more students through the Hub by forming new partnerships with high schools, community colleges and four-year universities in California. The award will also allow SRA to create additional resources, information and tools to facilitate college completion and help low-income, first-generation students overcome the significant challenges they often face going to college.

“Students Rising Above is honored to have received this grant from The James Irvine Foundation,“ said SRA Executive Director Carolina Martín. “We share the Foundation’s commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty in California by helping more students get into college, through college and into a career ladder job. With this grant, SRA will be able to expand the Hub to tens of thousands of additional students at high schools, community colleges and four-year universities in California. This is a breakthrough moment for the student population we serve and for Students Rising Above.”

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grant making foundation dedicated to creating opportunity for Californians. The Foundation’s grant making focuses on expanding economic and political opportunity for families and young adults who are working, but are struggling with poverty. Since 1937, the Foundation has provided over $1.5 billion in grants to more than 3,600 nonprofit organizations in California.

SRA is one of 10 organizations that received funding last week from the Foundation and is part of its new Postsecondary Success Initiative. The postsecondary program is intended to create partnerships with high schools and colleges to facilitate success in high school and postsecondary education.

Free to students, the Hub provides a unique set of student services, which include:

 One-to- one advising from a professionally trained online advisor. Students often get real-time answers to questions, but responses no later than 24 hours.

 An extensive resource center that answers virtually every question about college, from how to complete a financial aid form to dealing with a difficult roommate.

 Automated templates for creating letters of recommendation, a personal budget, as well as templates for resumes, cover letters and thank you letters.

 An online-community that enables students to chat with other students and exchange ideas.

For more information about the Hub, contact Vanessa Barbic, [email protected]

About Students Rising Above 

Students Rising Above (SRA) is an award-winning nonprofit organization that enables low- income, first-generation college students to attend a four-year college and secure a career-ladder job. SRA provides personal guidance and mentoring, internships and career guidance, and financial support from college application, through graduation and into the workforce. A 501(c)3, SRA is funded by individual donations, and grants and contributions from corporations, foundations, and other nonprofit organizations. Ninety percent of SRA students complete bachelor’s degrees in 4.5 years, and 87% of SRA graduates are in career-ladder jobs or attending graduate school within 12 months of college graduation. For more information or to apply to the program, visit

Media Contact

Greg Berardi, Blue Marlin Partners

415.239.7826, [email protected]

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