KPIX 5 Students Rising AboveBy Christin Ayers

(KPIX 5) — It’s an annual celebration of young people with big dreams and unbelievable life stories.

At the 15th annual Students Rising Above Gala held recently at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, past and present SRA scholars gathered to celebrate an organization that has helped 750 students achieve their college dreams.

LEARN MORE: Students Rising Above

Past students Billy Kopeikin, Veronica Toscano and Anitra Smith all spoke at the gala, with updates on the trajectory their lives have taken. Each has graduated from college, entered the business world and mentored or taught students themselves in need – big victories all three said would never have been possible without Students Rising Above.

“There is a sense of pride and a sense of wanting to return the favor,” explained Kopeikin.

The gala also featured an auction and raffle. So far organizers don’t have a total amount on funds raised. Sponsors of the gala included Southwest Airlines, Union Bank and the Ritz Carlton, who donated the food and the venue. KPIX 5 sponsor Bassett Furniture was also in attendance.

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