By Allie Negron
on October 23, 2017
My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper Initiative gathering provides information and individualized guidance on college financial aid to San Francisco Unified School District seniors and their families
SAN FRANCISCO — More than 40 African American students and their families gathered in San Francisco’s Bayview on Saturday, October 21st, for individualized guidance and advice on completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the single most important thing a student can do to get financial aid for college, as well as the CSS Profile and scholarship applications.
uAspire Bay Area held the event in conjunction with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and four other nonprofits – SF Achievers, College Track, JCYC, and 100% College Prep – at College Track’s Bayview location. The event is part of uAspire’s focus on the district’s African American students as part of the My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper (MBSK) citywide initiative and SFUSD’s African American Achievement and Leadership initiative.
“uAspire Bay Area has been so proud to deepen our commitment to San Francisco families and SFUSD by joining the My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper initiative,” said Lara Fox, uAspire Bay Area Executive Director. “We are thrilled to complement the academic and motivational supports provided by so many impactful community-based organizations, school counselors, and educators by working one-on-one with students on the critical and complex process of figuring out how to find an affordable post-secondary education and successfully enrolling there the fall after high school. Ultimately, removing the financial hurdles to college positions our students to complete college with manageable or no debt–allowing them to kick off a thriving adult life.”
“We know that to aid our students and families in accessing higher education we have to provide multiple opportunities for them to plan for their journey alongside individuals familiar with the process. We are fortunate to have the support of uAspire along with several other local nonprofits in providing our students and families with a personalized experience in applying for and securing financial aid,” said Landon Dickey, SFUSD, Special Assistant to the Superintendent, African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative.
“The event was beneficial for me because I got to learn stuff about the Cal Grant and Pell Grant, so I got more information about how financial aid money works — with work study and on-campus versus off campus,” said Treshawn, a senior in San Francisco Unified School District.
The citywide My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper initiative seeks to improve the life outcomes of African -American students in San Francisco, and was launched by SFUSD, the Mayor’s office, and The San Francisco Foundation in response to President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper challenge to cities to develop a “cradle-to-career” strategy for young people of color.
Through our MBSK work, uAspire collaborates with the San Francisco Unified School District to provide college affordability advising and support to all African American 12th graders attending district high schools—about 260 12th graders in the 2017-18 school year. uAspire also provides our standard college affordability advising to 830 additional SFUSD 12th graders in six high schools. African American students face some of the greatest challenges in financing college. For example, they borrow the most for college—and in every category: for 4-year and 2-year colleges, across public and private institutions, and among students who drop out without a degree.
uAspire’s mission is to ensure that low- and moderate-income young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to—and through—a postsecondary education. Removing the financial barriers to higher education leads to increased college enrollment and completion—positioning more young adults to acquire the college degree that enables greater life choices and economic opportunity.