College Connect

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About College Connect

College Connect is a family-based college access and success program that launched in Spring 2008. Each year, the program recruits 25 4-year college-bound high school juniors from throughout the neighborhood who are first generation to attend college. We strive to help our students understand the value of their education by providing programming that is rooted in their experiences. We want our students to graduate from college, but we also want them to understand how they can use their education to make positive change in their community.

College Connectors and their families receive support with tutoring, ACT preparation, writing personal statements, completing scholarship applications, understanding financial aid, choosing the best college that meets their personal needs, and making a successful transition to college. In addition, during their junior year spring break, students travel to Southern California and visit several college campuses. Parent meetings consist of educating parents about college basics like financial aid and paying for college, community resources and support, financial literacy and health workshops, and several other topics to keep families informed. We often refer to College Connect as a family because we build community among students and parents to ensure families feel supported through college graduation.

While in college, we support our College Connect students in three main areas, to ensure students continued success and degree completion:

  • College Mentors: We support students by matching them with a volunteer mentor for the first 2 years of college. Students will be able to work through challenges they face as a first-generation college student while gaining support, direction and connectivity from their mentor.
  • Career Readiness: We assist students and alumni with career exploration, internship and job searching, and the graduate or professional school application process. Throughout the school year College Connect also organizes career panels, networking workshops, and job shadow days.
  • College Finances: We also assist students with FASFA, Dream Act, scholarship applications and loan counseling.

Application Process

The 2014-2015 College Connect application is up! The application deadline is late September and interviews for the program take place from mid-October through mid-November. Final decisions about acceptance to the program will be made by the end of November. We advise students to turn in their applications as soon as possible and please remember to include their transcript and letter of recommendation with their application.

To download and print the 2014-2015 College Connect application, click HERE.

Eligibility Criteria & Application Process – Who Is Eligible?

  • Desire to attend a 4-year college
  • Not in another college access program
  • Willing to explore colleges outside of CA
  • Current high school junior, regardless of immigration status
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible)
  • On-track to complete A-G requirements
  • First generation to attend a 4-year college in the U.S.
  • Live or go to school in the Mission or Excelsior Districts

Program Results

  • 90% of total students remain active in the program and enrolled in college after high school graduation
  • 91% of active participants go straight to 4-year colleges after high school graduation
  • 100% of students are first-generation college students
  • On average our incoming freshmen class of 2012-2013, or cohort 4, received $21,038 in scholarship dollars


To read some our testimonials, click here

How to Volunteer

College Connect is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers! We are especially interested in people that have worked with youth or have tutored youth in math, writing/English and or reading.

To volunteer, please contact Jenna Casey at (415) 864-5205 ext. 13 or

Contact Information:

College Connect Office

522 Valencia Street (cross street: 16th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94110

Mailing Address:
3040 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: (415) 864-5205 (See extensions below)
Fax: (415) 864-0916

Program Director:
Catherine Marroquin;
Phone Ext. 311

College Success Manager:
Jill Marinelli;
Phone  Ext. 312

High School Coordinator:
Ivan Aguilera;
Phone  Ext. 313


How to Donate

Click here to donate to Mission Graduates

College Connect Flickr Page

To check out what students are doing in College Connect, check out our FaceBook page.