Students Rising Above (SRA) is a pioneer in recognizing that low-income, first generation students need more than a tuition check to successfully graduate from college. Access to college and affordability are not enough to ensure completion. SRA provides its students with individualized financial support, one-on-one advising and mentoring, access to healthcare, and career guidance. The Julia Burke Foundation has generously supported SRA in their efforts to provide students with comprehensive academic and mentoring support. 90% of their students graduate from college which is 2-3 times greater than the national average for low-income, first generation students.
Pictured from left: Wendy Tokuda and SRA graduates Hector Rodriguez, Boston College; Lorna Contreras, St. Mary's College; and Byron Wilson, San Francisco State.
Pictured from left: Advisor Gina Geck and college freshmen.
SRA plans to double the number of Bay Area students selected into their program to over 350+ by 2016. Efforts will also include expanding the summer internship program, and providing graduates with career assessment, guidance, and networking opportunities to help them successfully transition into the work force. The Julia Burke Foundation will provide funds to expand their College2Careers program. Additional funds from the Julia Burke Foundation will be utilized to support SRA's growing team of Advisors who are the cornerstone of the program's success. Each student is matched with an SRA Advisor from the beginning in their junior year of high school until college graduation.
Started 1998 by television news anchor Wendy Tokuda, SRA began as a news series featuring students who were beating the odds. Over the years, this Peabody and National Emmy award-winning program grew into a 501(c)3 sending over 260 students to colleges across the country including Cal, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and more.
Students Rising Above invests in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated educational commitment and strength of character in overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect. The program helps students realize their potential by supporting them to and through college and into the workforce. These graduates are a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds who are giving back to their communities.
75% of the students selected into SRA live below the federal poverty level, 60% are from foster care or are not living with a parent; 50% have been abandoned or homeless, and 25% are raising siblings. To learn more about SRA, visit StudentsRisingAbove
This fund is enabling other gifted students the opportunity to be members of this wonderful high school community.
Established in the summer of 2015, the Julia Burke Foundation Jesuit College Scholarship Fund provides critical support to help close financial aid gaps between the financial aid awards that Jesuit colleges can provide to our students and the total cost of attending Jesuit schools. Every year a sizeable number of SRA students express interest in pursuing higher education at Jesuit institutions. These SRA students appreciate the holistic approach to Jesuit education as well as its emphasis on ethics, critical thinking, and being "of service to others." However, the high cost of tuition at Jesuit colleges, coupled with the relatively low level of financial aid offered by Jesuit institutions, has limited SRA's ability to support students in choosing Jesuit colleges. While SRA is committed to matching students with best-fit colleges, we are also committed to ensuring the SRA students are able to rise above poverty. Helping our students avoid heavy student loans is critical to their ability to embark on economic self-sufficiency as they graduate from college. The Julia Burke Foundation College Jesuit College Scholarship fund makes Jesuit colleges a viable higher education option for SRA students. The impact can already be seen. Prior to establishing the fund, only one or two SRA students would enroll at a Jesuit college in any given year. In 2015 the year we established the fund, seven SRA students enrolled at Jesuit colleges.
Students Rising Above is one of the most successful college completion programs in the country, is offering free online college admissions, financial aid, and career development support through its SRA College 2 Careers Hub. Available to students 24/7, the SRA Hub provides personalized and professional online advising to students along the critical thinking pathway from high school, to and through college, and into the workforce. Below are some of the SRA Hub's benefits and features:
If you are a high school or college student and you are interested in joining our online community head to sracollege2careers.org to create your account today!