Our Featured Students

Rising Scholar Overcomes Severe Childhood Challenges, Sees Bright FutureYsabella Donlan is excited about her future after maneuvering a challenging and heartbreaking past.
1st In Family To Reach College, Bay Area Biotech Intern Nears GraduationWhen she started at University of California, San Diego, Marlen Canales experienced more than her fair share of first-year college jitters.
Concord Man, Former Afghan Refugee Now A Reporter Covering US Presidential CampaignA man who survived the Afghanistan War and refugee ordeal as a child and became a top scholar after settling with his family in the East Bay is now a reporter covering the US presidential campaign for CBS News.
Donors Meet Students They've Helped To Get Into College At Salesforce EventSweet smiles and happy families are what the camera captures when a Students Rising Above scholar fulfills their college dream. The cap and gown and the pomp and circumstance are all part of the experience. But what most do not see are the shoulders SRA scholars are standing on, those of the donors who have kept the non-profit running.
Helping Marginalized Becomes Quest For Bay Area Student Who Emerged From His Own DepthsA college-bound Bay Area high school grad has already established a budding career in advocating for those in need after overcoming an upbringing that sometimes made him question himself.
Hayward Scholar Overcomes Childhood Struggles To Become 1st In Family To Attend CollegeOn a recent school day, Briseida Ayala and her classmates mulled over an age-old question many consider to be the central issue of psychology: the debate of nature verses nurture. It's was a classroom discussion that hit close to home for the UC Berkeley-bound high school senior.
Family Struggles Drive Oakland Scholar's Passion For Education, Community ActivismAlejandra Herrera isn't afraid to stand up for herself and others. At a recent rally celebrating Oakland's 510 day, the 18-year-old college-bound senior took the lead as youth coordinator for Urban Peace Movement, a non-profit that serves communities of color.
Teen Scholar Seeks To Help Others After Overcoming Family StrugglesLike many children whose parents have split up, one South Bay scholar has struggled with his family's changed structure, but he decided early he would be a support for others in the same situation.
Former NFL Player Goes Beyond Fulfilled Promises To Make Impact On Young MindsWhen we first met Eddie Williams, he was a teenage football star with big dreams of playing for the NFL. But Williams' soft-spoken ways belied a maturity gained through unspeakable hardship.
San Francisco Teen Scholar's Bout With Homelessness Solidifies Her School, Work Ethic
Bay Area Scholars Shine At Students Rising Above Gala In San FranciscoStudents, parents and donors to the Students Rising Above program gathered at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco last week for the annual gala to celebrate the students' achievements. 
Bay Area Scholar Engineers His Way Toward College Admission Amid Family InstabilityFabian Moreno is a tinkerer. The 17-year-old high school senior is recycling yogurt cups and cardboard tubes into a toy helicopter. It's a skill Moreno says he has been honing since childhood.