by Family Success Coach Manager Amelia M. Martinez C. (photo, center)

As time-honored “Pomp and Circumstance” played, the gym at John O’Connell High School yesterday teemed with school staff, administrators, community partners … and visibly proud families. In walked 70 seniors — with four unaware they were about to have their lives bettered via the Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship.

The excitement was palpable as I had the honor to read their names.

“Karen Guzman.” Karen is heading to Holy Names University in Oakland.

“Anahi Velazquez.” Anahi will be attending San Francisco State University.

“Ivonne Villanueva.” She will be joining Anahi at San Francisco State. 

“Elwood Mac Murray.” Elwood is heading to UC Merced.

These appreciative students were selected for their exemplary academic achievement and community service, plus for representing the vision of the Mission Promise Neighborhood. The award given to each student will help them close any gaps they had left from their financial aid award and will ensure they attend their freshman year of college without any financial burden.

Getting students prepared for college
The aim of the Mission Promise Neighborhood is college readiness for all students in the Mission. While a big piece of this work is having the educational foundation and grades needed to get into a good college, the final part of the challenge is being able to pay for such higher learning.

According to the College Board, the average cost of such schooling is daunting for most families, with tuition and fees for the 2015–2016 school year being $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. Meeting such costs is especially difficult for low- and middle-income Mission families, already on a tight budget as they attempt to just pay the monthly bills.

This need was the genesis of the Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship.  

Show me the money
For the last couple of months, the Mission Promise Neighborhood set a goal to raise $5,000 for two scholarships — and ended up raising double that at $10,000 for four awards.

The Mission Promise Neighborhood scholarship was a true community effort and showcased the fact that everyone knows they have a stake in this education initiative.

How was this money raised? First, there was a crowdfunding site where community members came together for the cause, giving whatever they could. Also, Mission Promise Neighborhood held two fundraising events at local businesses, with venues generously offered by Cease & Desist and Cha Cha Cha. Guest bartenders included Mission Promise Neighborhood staff and partners from Jamestown Community Center, MEDA, Mission Graduates and SFUSD. All tips from food and drink orders were donated to the scholarship fund.

At these fundraisers, there was also a successful raffle for prizes. Donors included Body Alignment SF, FAZE, Fitness SF, the Exploratorium, Little Baobob, Tartine Bakery & Cafe and ¡VIVA MEDA!, plus individual donors Cindy Clements and Zoe Farmer.

Special recognition goes out to First Republic Bank for its generous grant that helped us complete our fundraising goal. You have made college dreams come true.

Thanks to all of the residents, partners, community members and businesses who made four Mission Promise Neighborhood students — and their parents — very happy yesterday!

____________________________________________________________

About Mission Promise Neighborhood

The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

 

Read More

by Mission Promise Neighborhood Family Success Coach Manager Amelia M. Martínez C.

Judging by the money raised last Friday night, the Mission Promise Neighborhood community is definitely committed to supporting San Francisco’s Mission District. Over 100 people came out for the “Tips for Tuition” fundraiser, with over $2,500 raised toward a college scholarship for students at John O’Connell High School.

At the end of 2015, when I brought up the idea of creating a Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship, I never imagined organizing a guest bartending event — or that it would be so successful. It means a lot to me to contribute to the college dreams of students from our school and to help promote our work through the Mission Promise Neighborhood.

The goal is to fund one-year scholarships, each ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. These one-time awards will be granted to a pair of first-generation, college-bound students from John O’Connell High School, with college enrollment in the 2016 – 2017 school year. The scholarship will go to one student who has been accepted to a four-year college and another student who will be attending a two-year college. Grantees are students who have participated in school programs and services from community organizations, been active in the community and achieved academically.

The exciting news is that to-date 94 percent of our four-year eligible students have been accepted to over 34 different two–year and four-year colleges!

A Mission neighborhood bar, Cease & Desist, generously donated the venue for Friday’s fundraiser. Volunteers served as guest bartenders, hailing from Mission Promise Neighborhood and its partners, Jamestown Community Center, MEDA, Mission Graduates and SFUSD. All tips from food and drink orders were donated to the scholarship fund. The rear bar area remained packed shoulder-to-shoulder for the entire 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. event, and the tireless bartenders never slowed down.

Other Mission Promise Neighborhood volunteers circulated through the crowd selling raffle tickets for an impressive array of prizes, including restaurant gift certificates, sports apparel and original artwork. The deal on raffle tickets was so popular that staff was constantly being asked to repeat their “Five for 20!” chant in exchange for more tickets. Many thanks to Little BaobobTartine Bakery & CafeBody Alignment SFFAZE, the Exploratorium, ¡VIVA MEDA!, Cindy Clements and Zoe Farmer for their donations of raffle prizes.

Kudos also goes to Cease & Desist staff bartender, Mack, who provided an orientation and brief bartending lesson to volunteers and then spent the rest of the event backing them up with help from colleagues Olivia and Jordan. Special thanks to MEDA Board member and SFUSD Board of Education President Matt Haney for coming out on his birthday weekend to be a guest bartender. That’s true dedication to our students.

This Mission Promise Neighborhood event epitomizes powerful community partnerships and we look forward to similar events in the future.

There’s still time to help our students go to college. Donate today.

____________________________________________________________

About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

 

Read More

MONTHLY ARCHIVE

Contact
We’d love to hear from you!

Email
info@missionpromise.org
 
Phone
(866) 379-7758
 
Address
2301 Mission Street
Suite 303
San Francisco, CA 94110

Newsletter
Get the latest news and information on
what’s happening in your neighborhood.