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.


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(415) 569-2699
2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

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