Our Featured Students

Bay Area College Student, Foster Child Overcomes Challenge Of COVID-19 Shutdown Of CampusOdalis Millan's sophomore year at Sonoma State University began as the trip of a lifetime, as she left home to study abroad in Spain. Then COVID-19 hit and the country went into quarantine. The study abroad program shut down and Millan, along with her classmates, frantically made plans to get back to the United States.
Student Lands Cut-Rate San Francisco Hotel Room After Campus Closed Down Because Of COVID-19Jesse Hernandez Jr. headed down the hall to his temporary home, a hotel room at the Hilton near San Francisco's Chinatown.
Bay Area College Grad Finds Job Prospects Daunting In Age Of PandemicA Bay Area college grad's long-anticipated graduation ceremony has been canceled. But it's her future job prospects that she worries about the most.
Anonymous Donors Wipe Out College Debt For 400 Bay Area Students Who Rose AboveA group of anonymous donors, moved by stories of students overcoming the direst of circumstances to succeed in their college and work careers, has given hundreds of them an eye-popping gift which could move them to even higher levels.
UC Berkeley Student Learns To Adapt, Stays Engaged With Video-Blogging During Shelter-In-PlaceLike many college kids, Jocelyn Gama is studying online at home, but she's also found a creative way to stay in touch with others as we all shelter in place.
Students Rising Above Organization Helping Lift Struggling Students During Coronavirus PandemicWhen we first met Students Rising Above Scholar Ysabella Donlan last fall, the then 21-year-old junior was looking forward to the year ahead at University of California, Santa Cruz. Now she's at home, finishing her classes on line, far away from her support system at school. It's a situation she never expected to be in, and one she has found to be difficult.
Coronavirus Update: East Bay Reporter, Former War Refugee Offers Perspective On Sheltering In PlaceAs a young child Musadiq Bidar lived through a war in his home country, and he has some words of wisdom and comfort for those struggling with the current coronavirus pandemic, and shelter-in-place order.
East Bay Woman Becomes Law Apprentice With Motivation From Lawyer Who Represented Her In Sex Assault CaseIt was an emotional reunion for a lawyer and her former client as they saw each other for the first time in ten years. Students Rising Above Scholar Donzah Pitre and Alameda County District Attorney Briggette Lowe wept as they embraced, recalling the dark time that brought them together,
Family's Hard Times Motivate Bay Area Scholar In Quest To Become Social Justice LawyerJenny Mendoza has seen many accomplishments as a college student, including internships and academic success. She's also seen her share of tough times.
College Grad's Biracial Identity Inspires Her To Teach Others About Diversity, AcceptanceStudents Rising Above's Nyia Roberts is planning on social work as a career so she can teach young people about acceptance and diversity. And she says she's ready for the next time someone questions who she is.
Mother, Daughter Overcome Years Of Homelessness To Both Excel In CollegeFor Miranna Lindberg and her mom Wendy, making a meal in their own kitchen is something neither takes for granted.
Jocelyn Vega Overcomes Mother's Domestic Violence Death To Help OthersJocelyn Vega relies on her deep faith and family to help ease the pain she feels over the loss of her mom. How she lost her mom is almost incomprehensible, because it was Jocelyn's own father who took her mother's life.