“If there is anything that SRA has taught me, it’s that we are not bound by our past. And we can accomplish more than we think, if we believe in ourselves and are given a chance to secceed.”

SRA alumnus Patrick Armstrong, UC Berkley and NYU law school graduate, policy analyst for the Council of State Governments Justice Center

Rising Stars

The Rising Stars Program recognizes students with potential and understands the obstacles they must overcome. Investing in first-generation students in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area, Students Rising Above (SRA) provides a unique level of support that’s comprehensive, student-centric, and highly personal. We embrace students with character and drive, and back them with professional expertise and passion. Together we create a community of Rising Stars that are changing the future through college and careers.

Pre-College Readiness
Starting in Senior year of high school, each Rising Star student is matched with a professional Advisor and a volunteer Social Mentor. Advisors and Mentors work together to provide logistical and emotional support. SRA works with educators and students to navigate the college and financial aid application process, select the best-fit colleges; receive tutoring; negotiate optimal financial aid; and enroll.

College Commitment and Guidance
The SRA team stays in close contact with Rising Star students throughout college, helping them manage the academic challenges of college life, and overcome a variety of financial and personal obstacles. From our Advisors availability to answer any question within 24 hours, to volunteer Social Mentors taking them to Sunday night dinners, a ballet or ballgame, our support is tailored to each student’s needs. Career mentors help identify areas of interest, and guide students to career paths.

Whether an unexpected illness or new pair of glasses, any health issue can pose a crisis for our students. SRA ensures that 100% of our Rising Star students have comprehensive healthcare and dental coverage, and will assist with finding proper care if needed.

Financial Support & Literacy
Students learn from the outset that college is a business decision, practicing strategies like choosing the right college, maximizing financial aid and obtaining competitive scholarships. After leveraging all forms of financial aid, SRA provides direct financial assistance to Rising Star students by paying costs not covered by financial aid: real world living expenses like a lamp for the dorm, clothes for an interview, monthly rent, bus fares, textbooks and other simple needs that other students often take for granted.

Comprehensive Career Development
Through our six-year career development curriculum, students are prepared to successfully transition into the workforce with a robust set of experiences and professional skills. Students attend targeted workshops, work with resume editors, and receive personalized career coaching. More than 250 SRA students participate in competitive internship programs each year, receiving valuable career experience.