Kara Chen is a San Francisco resident who dedicated herself early in life to the pursuit of an education and a bright future. Motivated and hard working, she strove to make her immigrant parents proud by seizing every opportunity for a higher education. Kara attended Marina Middle School and Washington High School (both in SFUSD).
Ivan was part of the First Graduate® cohort six. He recalls his time at FG as community-driven and remains forever grateful for the support and encouragement the program provided. It introduced him to role models and mentors, whose emotional backing and positive reinforcements were inspiring and crucial to his success.
“I vividly remember when Anthony, who is a former FG employee, came to my math class and presented the word ‘college,’ and I was sold,” he says. Cesar’s family had emigrated from Latin America when he was a child, and whatever hurdles had existed in achieving a higher education dissipated on that day in class. FG would counsel him in the ensuing years on both financial and academic matters, bolstering him to fulfill his greatest potential as a student. Of the 23 colleges he applied to, he was accepted by 18.
In making a statement on behalf of First Graduate, let me be clear—the murder of George Floyd, like that of so many unarmed black people before him—was wrong. Black lives matter. Our work is centered on education access and success for all because we believe that it is the gateway to equity, inclusion, leadership, and