Mission Graduates is a nonprofit organization in San Francisco, dedicated to establishing a college education as an expectation and goal for every child, thereby allowing them to find a fulfilling career and call San Francisco home.
Exposing Inequities in Education
Students from the lowest income families are seven times less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24 than their peers from the highest income families. Source
First-generation immigrant families, low-income students, and students of color don’t get the same opportunities and support to complete higher education degrees as their peers. We’re here to ensure that college becomes the expectation, not the exception, for all San Francisco youth.
Mission Graduates creates opportunities.
92% of College Connect students and 84% of John O’ Connell High School students received at least one college acceptance letter and planned to attend college in the fall 2020, compared to 62.7% of 2020 high school graduates nationwide. Source
In 2019-2020, Mission Graduates affiliated students received nine times more scholarship awards than the average American student. The average scholarship amount per student is $3,852, compared to $35,916.00 for Mission Graduates students. Source
Mission Graduates by the Numbers (2019-2020)
95% of our students and families identified as Black, Latinx, Asian, or Pacific Islander. 48% of students at our schools sites started the year as English Language Learners.
Between July 2019 and June 2020, Mission Graduates programs and projects impacted over 3,600 students nationwide (and one student in Canada)!
Our Core Programs
Through a range of after school, summer, and now virtual programs, we support literacy, academic success, and socio-emotional learning for students and their families from kindergarten through the beginning of their careers.
Extended Day Programs & Mission Community Beacons
Our Extended Day Programs (EDP) and Beacon sites provide award-winning after school academic, social, and emotional enrichment for 2,500 K-12 youth and their families.
College Access and Success
Our dedicated teams provide college awareness, readiness, and success strategies to students and their families through structured, personalized support from high school to college graduation.
The Parent Partner Program is designed to increase parent engagement and empower them to take more active roles in the educational experiences of their children.
Our work starts with building a college-going culture…
Even before the pandemic, we believed in meeting our students where they were. It’s always been part of our approach!
2019-2020 Extended Day Program & Beacon Highlights
We piloted our first virtual programs (Mission Graduates Academy) before the pandemic’s onset, and with this program model we were able to fight learning loss and engaged students through 10,762 hours of asynchronous learning support.
During the pandemic, we distributed 3,264 computers and wireless devices to families impacted by distance learning.
31 staff members supported over 400 families across 9 school sites with tech support, wellness phone calls, and translation services.
…and supports our students through college.
2019-2020 College Access and Success Highlights
During the spring semester, College Connect pivoted all programming to online and were able to successfully support 23 of our 25 students through to college. We had 10 college graduates!
Our College and Career Center at John O’Connell High School and College Connect teamed up to offer our students the best of our distance learning support: one-on-one virtual college advising, professional development workshops, and Cram Jams (where students receive intensive support on their college and scholarship applications.
John O’Connell High School embedded our Student Success Coaches in Zoom classrooms and open tutoring hours. Student Success Coaches also made weekly phone calls to connect with disengaged students and celebrate their successes.
Meet Nour, a Mission Graduates student
We had the opportunity to catch up with Nour – a former College and Career Center student now studying human biology, medical science, and technology at Stanford – to talk about her journey to college and how it’s been affected by the pandemic.
Nour immigrated to the United States from Algeria, attending John O’Connell High School and finding college support through our College and Career Center.
She says, “Without Mission Graduates, I would not have felt this much support. I feel secure with having them around. I can go to them for anything. I feel very blessed to have Mission graduates in my life. I wouldn’t be this confident in school and in life.
We also believe in supporting and engaging the entire family.
Despite the pandemic and the economic uncertainty that it has brought to many of our families, as well as the challenges of conducting all outreach virtually, we were able to successfully support families in a myriad of ways. In addition to a shift in our programming, we supported outreach for the City of San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College program, the U.S. Census, SFUSD registration, and public health guidelines and COVID-19 mandates.
2019-2020 Parent Engagement Highlights
1,236 parents attended in-person Parent Partner Program events from July 2019 – March 2021 (before the onset of the pandemic).
After shifting to virtual programming, our parent-focused Facebook Live streams attracted approximately 600 viewers per stream from March to June 2020.
In addition, we continued to conduct local policy advocacy on behalf of and with the input from our families on the following:
1. the Latinx Student Resolution, adopted by SFUSD in December 2019, which mandated SFUSD to show equity of resources and services for Latinx students and families;
2. Immigrant parent voting outreach to promote civic engagement;
3. SFUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan, generating input for annual plans, and;
4. New Student Reassignment Policy, informing how SFUSD more equitably assigns students to schools.
COVID-19 Support & Relief
Thanks to a generous donor we distributed over $75,000 of an emergency relief Community Support Fund directly to Mission Graduates families, helping them cover medical expenses, pay rent, and purchase essential items during the pandemic.
One recipient wrote to us:
We published a bilingual English-Spanish bilingual COVID-19 resource guide for families.
We distributed 3,264 computers and wireless devices to students and families impacted by distance learning.
Join us to make a difference in the lives of San Francisco youth!
Deepen your support of over 4,800 students and families on the path to college by making a gift, one-time or monthly! Your contribution makes a true difference in the lives of San Francisco youth.
Volunteer with a range of students – from kindergarteners to aspiring young professionals! We’re all about skills-based volunteering and welcome any addition to our community.
Sign up for monthly updates from The College Path, our newsletter, to hear about our big wins, updates in the education field, and general goings-on.
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