College Connect

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 living, or attending school, in the Mission and Excelsior Districts of San Francisco who are first generation to attend college. We strive to help our students understand the value of their education through workshops on educational equity. Beyond our students’ college graduations, we want them to understand how they can use their education to bring positive change to their communities.

College Connectors and their families receive support with:

  • Tutoring and ACT preparation
  • Personal statement and scholarship application coaching
  • Assistance with obtaining financial assistance
  • Guidance on choosing the best college that meets their personal and academic needs
  • Support making a successful transition to college and through graduation

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 their FAFSA, Dream Act, and scholarship applications, and loan counseling.

Application Process

The 2017-2018 College Connect application is now available to download here. Copies are available at Mission Graduates’ main office and College Connect office, and will be distributed to local high schools in August.


Eligibility Criteria – Who is Eligible?

  • Students with the desire to attend a 4-year college/university
  • Cannot be part of another college access program
  • Willing to explore colleges outside of California
  • Current high school juniors (regardless of immigration status)
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible)
  • On track to complete high school A-G requirements
  • Qualify for free/reduced lunch programs
  • First generation 4-year college student
  • Live in or attend school in the Mission or Excelsior District

Program Results (103 active students from cohorts 1-7)

  • 89% of total students remain active in the program and enrolled in college after high school graduation
  • 87% of active participants are currently attending a 4-year college
  • 100% of students are first-generation college students
  • On average, our incoming freshman class of 2015-16, or cohort 7, received $17,452 in scholarship dollars

Where do our students attend college (graduated or not)?

  • Community College: 10.74%
  • Private/Independent: 15.70%
  • California State University (CSU): 42.98%
  • University of California (UC): 30.58%


Meet College Connect

To read more 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. 805 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:
Karen Medina:
Phone ext. 313

High School Coordinator:
Andrea Lara:
Phone ext. 312



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.