What: Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship Fundraiser
When: Friday, April 15, 6pm to 9pm
Where: Cease & Desist, 2331 Mission Street (near 19th)
How: All tips and donations from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m will go toward the scholarships
Why: Two college scholarships for John O’Connell High School students!
One of the goals of the Mission Promise Neighborhood, for which MEDA is the lead agency, is to create a college-going culture at home. This is a vital step in the cradle-to-college-to-career continuum for optimum student achievement.
Research demonstrates that parental engagement in schools improves student engagement and is a good marker for academic achievement (Pagliarulo McCarron & Kurotsuchi Inkelas, 2006). The encouragement and involvement of a students’ family has been found to be one of the best predictors of postsecondary educational aspirations, with messages from parents being the main influencers of post-secondary attainment.
While a December 2014 Mission Promise Neighborhood School Climate Survey showed that 90 percent of parents think it is important for their child to go to college, only 81 percent actually talk to their children about doing so. Also, when broken down by ethnicity, the survey found that only 78 percent of Latino students were confident that they would attend college, eight percent lower than non-Latinos. Why the gap?
“We work with many families who immigrated here as adults, so they have not experienced college in the U.S. It is difficult for them to describe and support the steps to get to and through college without that experience,” explains Mission Promise Neighborhood Education Manager Laura Andersen.
A community of support
Mission Promise Neighborhood partner Mission Graduates meets this need: the organization is committed to getting more youth from the Mission District into college, as a means to achieve economic equity and strengthen the fabric of the community.
Mission Graduates has an embedded College and Career Team at John O’Connell High School. The nonprofit has worked with all sophomores through seniors on everything from transcript reviews and internship applications to completing the FAFSA and successfully applying to college.
To foster a college-going culture with an even younger audience, Mission Graduates will hold its Parent University at Everett Middle School on March 24. The goal is to map a path to college, and to ensure that families can remove any potential obstacles. The understanding is that it is never too early to whet students’ appetites for higher education.
There are other community-based organziations providing college prep in Mission Promise Neighborhood schools, including 7 Teepees, 100% College Prep, First Graduate and PIQE at Everett Middle School, plus FACES for the Future and Jewish Vocational Services at John O’Connell High School. This collaboration provides many levels of support for families looking to successfully guide their children through the college process.
Even with all of this support, financing a college education can seem daunting. That’s why a fundraiser is being held on Friday, April 15; the venue has been generously donated by Cease & Desist, a popular Mission bar.
The goal is to fund one-year scholarships, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 each.
These one-time awards will be granted to a pair of first-generation college-going students from John O’Connell High School, one who has been accepted to a four-year college and another who will be attending a two-year college, with enrollment in the 2016 to 2017 school year. Grantees are students who have participated in services from community organizations and school programs, been active in the community and been academically successful. Financial need must also be demonstrated.
At the fundraiser, volunteers will serve as bartenders: Gabriel Medina and Nathanial Owen from the Mission Economic Development Agency; Laura Andersen from the Mission Promise Neighborhood; and Gabriela Navarro from Jamestown Community Center.
Even the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has generously offered to volunteer, with Jonathan Garcia and Matt Haney taking part. Haney serves as president of the Board of Education.
All tips from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at both the front and back bars, will go toward the scholarships. Donations will be accepted (credit card or cash). There will also be raffles.
Please join the community for a guaranteed fun time as we make college dreams come true for two Mission students.