Our Featured Students

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.
College Grad's Networking Pays Off With Job Referral, HiringA Bay Area college grad learned the power of networking when she landed her first job with the help of a fellow Students Rising Above alumnus.
SF Gala Celebrates Students Achieving College Dreams Against All OddsPast and present Students Rising Above scholars gathered to celebrate an organization that has helped 750 students achieve their college dreams.
Oakland Grad Helps Maintain Family Ice Cream Business Amid Budding Finance CareerOn campus, Evelyn Montiel was an A-student and class president. But at home she was in survival mode, working long nights at the ice cream stand, fighting to keep her family's business alive.
Raised By Sister, Bay Area Student Thrives After Loss Of ParentsWith a big time love for rock music, Antonio Santeliz is teaching himself how to the electric guitar; he has had to learn a lot on his own since the loss of his parents.
Grandmom Steers Richmond Student Through Challenges Onto College TrackMoving in with his grandmother became a Richmond student's salvation; giving him stability and a shot at academic success.