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College Connect

College Connect is a family-based college access and success program that begins working with students who will be the first in their family to graduate from college.

College Connect brings together a yearly cohort of 25 4-year college-bound high school juniors living, or attending school, in the Mission or Excelsior Districts of San Francisco who will be the first in their family to attend college.

Once students are in college, the program provides individual support until students graduates from college.

Applications are open! The deadline to apply is September 15, 2023. Please reach out to our staff if you have any questions. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Important Contacts

Catherine Marroquin
Senior Director of College Access
(415) 864-5205 x 310

Rosy Baquedano
College Success Manager
(415) 864-5205 x 313

Grethel Bautista
High School Program Coordinator
(415) 864-5205 x 312

“College Connect helped me see all the options I had when applying to college. As a first-year college student it has taken me a while to get used to the transition from high school to college, but being able to count on them to help me whenever I have questions regarding my classes or just need a place where I can relax for awhile has made it easier.”

Grethel Escobedo

Program Highlights

 First-Generation College Students

College Connect is attuned to the needs of students without a family history of higher education.  Taking a week-long tour of colleges and universities each year, students have the opportunity to explore different public and private options, as well as meet students from similar communities and begin to create a community on campus.

Preparing students for the challenges many first-gen students face on campus, as well as ensuring they are finding the resources and support available, College Connect students are better prepared to be the first in their family to complete a 4-year degree.

 Support Through Graduation

College Connect not only helps students find the right school, but continues to support throughout their whole college experience.  Through financial assistance and scholarship support, students are able to continue receiving financial support beyond their first year of college.

The connection to the program also supports students’ career aspirations. Through summer career readiness, internship support, and academic advising, College Connect students are working towards a meaningful career after college graduation.

 Family-Based Program

The College Connect program is not just for our 25 students, but for their entire family network.  We know students succeed when families are on the path to college alongside their student.  Monthly parent meetings consist of educating parents about college basics like financial aid and paying for college, community resources and support, financial literacy, health workshops, and peer-led discussions on the realities of sending their student to college.

 A Focus on Social Justice

College Connect places higher education for first-generation and students of color in context of education equity and social justice.  Through workshops, mentorship, and community building, students view their education as a means to bring positive change to their own communities.

Program Details

As a cohort, students receive support with:

  • Academic and test 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
  • Career guidance and alumni support
  • Continued support through college graduation, including academic, scholarship, and financial assistance support

Who is Eligible?

Eligible students must:

  • have the desire to attend a 4-year college or university;
  • have a minimum GPA of 2.5 GPA (flexible); 
  • be willing to explore colleges outside of California; 
  • be current high school juniors (regardless of immigrations status); 
  • be on track to complete high school A-G requirements; 
  • be a first-generation 4-year college students;
  • come from a low-income family;
  • live in or attend school in the Mission or Excelsior Districts;
  • and cannot be part of another college access program.


To date, College Connect has helped 104 first-generation college grads.

To date, approximately 200 College Connect students and alumni have raised 5 million dollars in scholarships.

To date, 89% of College Connect students graduated college within 5 years.

Get Involved

Interested in joining Mission Graduates for a year of fun and learning?

Volunteer in the classroom and help our students develop a love of learning.

Ensure our students have the tools they need to succeed.

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