In families where no one has ever studied beyond high school, a student’s successful completion of college is more than cause for celebration. It’s a momentous, life-altering event in that family’s history.
First Graduate helps San Francisco students become the first in their families to earn college degrees. Our students are largely immigrants or children of immigrants facing daunting economic and often cultural challenges. Bright and eager to excel in their educations and eventually their careers, they need the sorts of long-term support their less-challenged peers receive to become, and remain, competitive high school and college candidates.
Beginning the summer after 6th grade and continuing through college graduation and beyond, we support each of our students with a comprehensive array of highly effective programs—from individual academic coaching and high school and college admissions guidance, to career counseling and more. Lasting between ten and twelve years, the longest of any similar initiative in the Bay Area, this investment in our students bears a huge dividend for them, their families and society as a whole: a confident college graduate, prepared for the kind of career in modern America that can lift an entire family out of poverty in a single generation.
Why Donate to First Graduate?
We know that college degrees don’t guarantee success in life, but authoritative studies continue to overwhelmingly show their value to individuals, families and society. Not only do college graduates earn substantially higher incomes, they are far more likely to enjoy secure jobs with better healthcare and retirement benefits, volunteer in their communities, donate to charity and demonstrate a host of other socially positive behaviors.
Because of economic and cultural challenges, making it into and through college is far harder for students from families with no history of higher education. Nationally, only 11% of low-income, first-generation college students obtain their degrees within six years without some kind of help, compared with 55% for their most advantaged peers. This is a formidable college opportunity gap—not an achievement gap—and we want to close it by giving every hard-working kid a shot at the rewarding life a successful program of higher education can make possible.
In San Francisco, the need for help is especially critical despite the region’s relative affluence. In the San Francisco Unified School District, 83% of students have parents who are not college graduates. This translates into a pool of potentially 2,000 students each year who need a boost to level the playing field for college entrance and completion.
TAX ID: 94-3381171 • 501(c)3 • USA
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