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A letter from the Executive Director

Dear Mission Graduates Students, Families and Supporters,

Eddie KaufmanAs a college access organization that supports first-generation Latinx and immigrant students to attend a four-year university, Mission Graduates is dedicated to ensuring our students are on the path to college. Through a pipeline of services that supports students and their families from kindergarten all the way through college graduation, Mission Graduates commits to ensuring all students have equitable access to higher education.

Mission Graduates knows higher education is the strongest tool to level the playing field for Latinx and immigrant youth and their families. Yesterday, we saw our strongest tool used in a pay-to-play scheme that further creates inequity not only here in San Francisco but for Latinx and immigrant communities across the country.

Higher education cannot be a milestone only attainable by those with means.

For first-generation college students, college is much more than just a diploma.  It is a chance to rewrite their family’s trajectory. Many of our families emigrated to this country with a desire for a better life for the next generation, the chance to find a meaningful career that will sustain them and their family, and the ability to remain and prosper in San Francisco. This dream of a brighter future is what fuels our students – to put in the extra hours, seek out resources, and persevere until they achieve a college degree.

We realize the inherent inequality that exists in our education system – particularly for students of color, students experiencing poverty, and students from immigrant families.  With these odds stacked against them, our students show perseverance as they strive for the chance to compete in top universities and are prepared to work that much harder to get there.

In a system that favors students with access to academic and financial resources, we know that we must continue to fight for equity in higher education for all students.  We must not only support first-generation students as they face obstacles in getting into college but also ensure they continue to empower themselves as the first in their family to earn a college degree.  We know these students belong in the hallways of higher education – and we will continue to ensure more students from our community succeed on the path to college.

To our students, I want you to know your Mission Graduates familia supports you. We will continue to advocate for you and dismantle the inequity that we are seeing in our nation’s higher education system. As you receive your acceptance to your dream universities this spring, know that Mission Graduates will be here to ensure we support you and your family’s higher education goals.

Thank you,

Eddie Kaufman

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