Students Rising Above

Anthony Cornejo, Students Rising Above

Hard-Working Oakland Teen On Path Toward College While Providing For His Family

On Saturday mornings while most teenagers are sleeping in, Anthony Cornejo, is busy working at a small computer repair shop in...

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Sharit Contreras Lopez (L) helps her mother clean a client's home. (CBS)

Oakland High Schooler Learns Hard Work Ethic From Ailing Mother; Overcomes Odds On Way To College

At 8:30AM on a Saturday morning, while most kids are still sleeping, Sharit Cardenas Lopez is busy helping her mom clean a client’s home.

Abraham Wordsworth

Students Rising Above: Abraham Wordsworth

OAKLAND (KPIX) — In a small apartment on International Boulevard in East Oakland, Abraham Wordsworth works quietly on his homework. In the background, he can hear the small but clear voice of his grandmother singing […]


Cal Student Rising Above Supports Disabled Mom With Cisco Internship

Growing up in East Palo Alto, Markel Moore says he’s had to work hard for everything — like becoming the first in his family to go to college and earning the scholarships to pay for it.

Imani Evans cares for her mother while on a break from Humboldt State University. (CBS)

Student Rising Above Takes Care Of Mom, Academics At Same Time

Imani Evans has grown up watching diabetes devastate her mother, one complication at a time.

Lorna Contreras

Former Student Rising Above Comes Full Circle To Lead Others In Helping Those In Need

For Lorna Contreras-Townsend working for Students Rising Above is much more than a job. Ten years ago, she was a student rising above herself.

Andre Gomes interns at NASA (CBS)

Student Rising Above Goes From ‘Vagabond’ To College-Bound NASA Intern

Andre Gomes is only 18-years-old but he already has hands-on experience with rocket science, as an intern at NASA. It was the perfect summer experience for someone like Andre, who wants to be an engineer.

Deja Sims (CBS)

Despite Absent Parents, Shuttling Between Homes, Resilient East Palo Alto HS Grad Heads To Wesleyan

Deja sums up her attitude this way: “Knowing everything I’ve been through and knowing that I can continue to keep going. That’s resilience. That’s my favorite word, resilence.”

Carlene Ervin (CBS)

Oakland Teen Overcomes Homelessness, Foster Homes To Graduate As Valedictorian; Headed To Yale

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Carlene Ervin graduated Valedictorian from Aspire Cal Prep Academy in Berkeley, to much applause. In her commencement speech, she quoted from one of her favorite books by Dr. Seuss, “Oh The […]

William Varner trains in Muay Thai with his coach Ivan Ramos in San Leandro. (CBS SF)

Fremont High School Valedictorian Overcomes Violence, Poverty With Help Of Muay Thai

Despite challenges at home, William Varner finished at the top of his academy at Fremont High in Oakland with the help of martial arts.


Students Rising Above Sometimes Forced To Overcome PTSD

Living around violence in the inner city is making children sick. Kids living in high crime areas have a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than soldiers because they are living in “virtual combat zones”, according to Dr. Howard Spivak of the Centers for Disease Control.


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