Our Featured Students

Experience As Crime Victim Motivates East Bay Scholar To Help CommunityStudents Rising Above scholar David Padilla's concern about violence as a public health issue, especially among young people, gave him a clear vision for his future.
Former Foster Child Building Upon His Scholarly SuccessesA Bay Area student who has always wanted to make things better for himself and his family is building a success story one project at a time.
After Devastating Loss, Student Inspired To Help Others Facing Huge HurdlesThe loss of her father marked a turning point in Olivia Di Santo's life. Now she is looking to help others facing much larger hurdles.
Immigrant Goes From Troubled Home Life To Unlikely College StudentZipping around on a golf cart on a beautiful campus tucked away in wine country, Carlos Lunas Contreras was quite literally at home.
From Foster Care To Physics Grad; UC Berkeley Scholar Beats OddsAs a young student, David Colby was told by a social worker he would never experience this kind of success.
Oakland Scholar Molds Middle Schoolers After Overcoming Own Teen ChallengesAnyone who has spent any time in a classroom filled with 13-year-olds can tell you, it can be a challenge. But for this week's Students Rising Above Scholar Sabrina Villanueva Avalos, mentoring middle schoolers a dream job that she was made for.
Oakland Scholar Eyes College After Challenging ChildhoodTahunni Rhoades is eyeing her future and it looks pretty bright. The Oakland High School graduate is headed to University of California, Merced in the fall to study biology.
Bay Area Scholar Becomes World TravelerDuring her childhood, Brenda Vasquez never thought she'd go to college let alone become a world traveler. But in just two years she has hopscotched across more countries that many people will visit in a lifetime.
Bay Area Woman Pays Forward The Mentoring She Once ReceivedA Bay Area woman who persevered through troubling times as a student is now working to encourage and train young Latinos to become active in mental health care outreach, giving back to the community in which she grew up.
Oakland Scholar Learns Life Lessons From Troubled Older SiblingDuring her childhood Jocelyn Gama watched her older brother make some poor life decisions. As a result, Gama has been determined to make her own life's path a positive one.
UC Berkeley Graduation Is Latest Success For Former Refugee From ThailandDuring his childhood, Tommy Saephan's immigrant family struggled to make their way in America. Now, he and his family are celebrating his emergence as a top scholar and UC Berkeley graduate.
Teen Turns From Tragedy, Substance Abuse Into Family Success StoryA Bay Area student was in a downward spiral following a family tragedy. She turned it around after applying for and getting a scholarship through the Students Rising Above program.