Founded in 1995, Bridge the Gap College Prep is an after-school program providing academic, social and emotional support for students with the goal of having Marin City youth complete high school and graduate from college. The mission is driven by resounding facts that demonstrate that in order to break the cycle of poverty in the U.S., low-income students must have the opportunity and skills to enroll, persist and graduate from college. Located in the heart of Marin City’s public housing complex, Bridge the Gap College Prep works to serve a community that has faced persistent educational failure and a cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Students come to Bridge the Gap College Prep approximately two grade levels below state standards. They face a myriad of factors influencing their academic skills and self-esteem. Almost all face significant challenges and trauma, most suffering from the toxic stress associated with economic hardship. Bridge the Gap College Prep serves approximately 40% of Marin City’s students. 97% are youth of color and 100% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Bridge the Gap College Prep intervenes early, supporting students as early as kindergarten, and staying with them throughout their elementary, middle school, high school and college careers – helping students develop college aspirations, building a strong college-going culture, developing academic and social skills, creating a sense of family, and providing much-needed adult consistency in their lives.
Through a mix of one-on-one tutoring and comprehensive after-school programs which students attend from four to sixteen hours a week, Bridge the Gap College Prep helps students overcome prodigious skill gaps in order to succeed on a college track.
For first generation college students, getting to college is just the first part of the journey, persisting and graduating represents an equally formidable challenge. Bridge the Gap College Prep supports these students with a College Advisor through regular check-ins and resource referrals.
Bridge the Gap College Prep’s intensive investment in students is paying off and is helping to increase their lifetime of opportunity. Since the addition of the high school program in 2012, 100% of seniors have graduated and enrolled in college (with the exception of one who joined the U.S. Marines). And, with the help of the College Advisor, 80% are persisting or have graduated. Learn more at www.btgcollegeprep.org
Community Education Partnerships (CEP) is a nonprofit, community-based organization whose mission is to increase the learning opportunities and enhance the academic achievement of homeless youth in the Bay Area.
According to a recent article in The Washington Post, “California, the most populous state, had the largest number of homeless children: more than 310,000, or 23 percent of the national total…Student homelessness also is more prevalent there than in almost any other state: Nearly 1 in 20 children in California experienced homelessness during the 2013-2014 school year.” According to the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, homeless youth are significantly less likely than their peers to be proficient in math and reading in elementary school. Not surprisingly, the graduation rate for homeless youth in California is less than 25%, which has terrible consequences for both the diploma-less students and the California economy.
CEP recruits and trains volunteers to provide high-quality, individualized one-on-one academic tutoring and mentoring for pre-kindergarten – 12th grade homeless students. As a lack of transportation presents one of the most significant challenges homeless children face in their education, CEP takes its services to the children. Thus, most of the tutoring and mentoring takes place in shelters, transitional homes, libraries, coffee shops – wherever volunteers can meet their students. CEP provides all of its students with grade-appropriate backpacks, school supplies, and books throughout the school year. Additionally, CEP offers opportunities for local homeless students to participate in extra-curricular enrichment activities like fieldtrips and CEP-hosted shelter-based activities, such as Summer Reading Clubs, Back to School Nights, Homework Clubs, and Family Reading Nights. In 2014, CEP launched an Early Literacy Campaign designed to provide targeted literacy support for pre-K – 3rd grade students, and in 2018, CEP launched its Digital Learning Campaign to help bridge the digital divide. Since 2010, CEP has provided educational support to over 600 homeless children in the Bay Area.
Founded in 1998 by the Delancey Street Foundation, Life Learning Academy is a public charter high school in the San Francisco Unified School District serving youth who have not been successful in other schools. The school supports the social and emotional health of the Bay Area’s most disconnected youth and ensures their academic achievement, employability, and capacity to live a healthy, successful life in a nonviolent community based on the core principles of real-world learning, reciprocal restitution, and ‘each one teach one.’
Life Learning students have histories of truancy and school failure, requiring additional supports to achieve success. Independent evaluation has repeatedly found Life Learning to be a “profoundly effective program” with reduced student recidivism, incarceration, gang involvement, and substance abuse.
Despite Life Learning Academy’s tremendous success serving students with extensive needs, we cannot stand by as an increasing number of our students live in unstable conditions. To respond to the growing housing crisis among our students, Life Learning broke ground in March 2018 on a first-of-its-kind, no-fee school dormitory for marginally housed teens. The dorm will open in 2019. Our vision is to provide a structured, safe, supportive school and home environment for homeless, lost, and disconnected youth. Learn more at www.llasf.org.
Alive & Free – https://stayaliveandfree.org/
College Track – https://collegetrack.org/
FirstPlace for Youth – http://www.firstplaceforyouth.org/
Leadership Public Schools – http://www.leadps.org/
New Door Ventures – http://www.newdoor.org/
Pathways for Kids – http://pathwaysforkids.org/
Squash Drive – https://squashdrive.org
SEO Scholars San Francisco – http://www.seoscholars.org/
Gateway to College – http://www.gatewaytocollege.org/
Generation Citizen – http://www.generationcitizen.org/
Meritus College Fund – http://www.mertius.org/
Posse Foundation – https://www.possefoundation.org/
Summer Search – https://www.summersearch.org/
City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley – https://www.cityyear.org/sanjose