Our Featured Students

Bay Area Woman's Childhood Tragedy Helps Drive Her Career Success In TechFor two decades Students Rising Above has been helping young people like Veronica Toscano get into college and find careers. At a recent panel discussion hosted by Autodesk, Toscano took to the stage and told a story from her childhood that shocked the room.
San Jose College Student Reflects On Family Hardships As She Forges AheadSharing a simple, yet important family tradition reminds a San Jose college student that she takes nothing for granted as she achieves scholarly success.
Following Mother's Cancer Diagnosis, Bay Area Student Pursues Career In MedicineA Bay Area college student's recent internship at Stanford's Canary Center cancer research facility holds special appeal.
Bay Area 1st Generation College Student's Background Helping Him ExcelA Bay Area man has taken his experiences as a young immigrant to help him excel as a first-generation college student.
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.