First Graduate

Our Students. Our Future. #OurSanFrancisco

aka First Graduate   |   San Francisco, CA   |  www.firstgraduate.org

Mission

First Graduate’s mission of helping students become first generation college graduates seeks to level the playing field for students who are immigrants or children of immigrants, who come from challenging economic circumstances, and who are otherwise disadvantaged in the dominant culture. We provide them with the long-term support that their more well-off peers receive so that they can be competitive high school and college candidates. This investment in their education and exposure to career options sets them on a path to build careers, not just jobs. Education is a right, not a privilege; we coach students from the summer after 6th grade through college graduation (a 10+ year journey) to help them attain their degrees and thereby help their families move out of poverty in one generation.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our new Strategic Plan was approved by the Board in February 2022.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Terri Forman

Main address

2973 16th Street, Suite 400

San Francisco, CA 94103 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

B.A.Y. Fund

EIN

94-3381171

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A report by Innovate Public Schools describes the achievement gap in San Francisco: “In 2016-17, almost eight out of 10 White students from non-low-income families were on grade level in math and English – but just one out of 10 low-income African American students." Nationally, 89 percent of low-income first-generation students leave college within six years without a degree, according to the First Generation Foundation. In the San Francisco Unified School District, 83% of students (approximately 8 out of 10) have parents who are not college graduates. Without help, only 11% of first-generation students obtain a college degree. Compared to the rest of California, 96% of school districts perform better than SFUSD. However, 75% of First Graduate students obtain a degree within 4-6 years of college matriculation—and that number is growing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

First Graduate Program

We unlock equitable access to college and career success for San Francisco students starting in middle school and continuing through career entry. We help middle school students deepen their academic skills and expose them to career choices. Students receive individualized academic coaching, and they and their parents get help in choosing and applying to high schools.

Individual-tailored coaching and regular monitoring of academic progress continue in high school and college, ensuring that students complete the preparatory coursework needed for the universities they attend throughout the country. They receive standardized test preparation, college application assistance, workshops to prepare for college life, and career enrichment programs. Multilingual parent workshops address choosing a college, the application process, and financial aid. During college, students meet benchmarks on the way to graduation, getting academic, social, and emotional support. 75% graduate within 6 years.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Certificate of Recognition 2010

State of California Senate

Proclamation - First Graduate Day 2008

San Francisco Mayor's Office

Best Graduation Guidance 2011

Best of the Bay

First Graduate Awarded Top Non-Profit 2010

Philanthropedia Top Non-Profits

First Graduate Named as one of San Francisco's Best Children's Charities 2008

The Best of 2008

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of first-entry undergraduate program students who identify themselves as 'visible minorities'or 'non-white'

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

For the 2021-2022 school year, we serve 383 students. Of those students, over 90% identify as BIPOC.

Number of donations made by board members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of our 16 Board members make annual (and sometimes more) gifts to First Graduate.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grants related to COVID relief provided much-needed technology and access to the internet (for our students), as well as emergency funds for students and their families.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

163 of our students have graduated from our 10+ year program, founded in 2001 (and began working with students in 2002).

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

First Graduate serves 383 students in the 2021-2022 school year; we are onboarding 40 - 45 new students for the academic year beginning fall 2022.

Number of first-time, full-time, first-year registrants in direct entry programs who graduate within 6 years

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Students

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

75% of our first-generation students graduate from college within 6 years, compared to 11% of their peers.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

91% percent of our incoming students qualify for free or reduced lunch; 74% live at or below 200% of the poverty line; 85% are from immigrant families; all will be first-generation college grads.

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our 30 high school seniors submitted a total of 206 college applications and received 105 college acceptances.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Adolescents, Preteens

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We also provide workshops and counseling to parents and caregivers; these numbers are not reflected in our statistics.

Number of students at or above a 90% attendance rate

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Preteens

Related Program

First Graduate Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

All of our college students receive scholarships and/or tuition assistance.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals are to help our students:
1) Earn a bachelor's degree within 6 years of college matriculation,
2) Graduate from college well prepared to pursue careers that are meaningful to them and,
3) Become engaged, active, and socially conscious members of their communities.

Core program components include academic instruction and tutoring for middle school students through a year-round 40-week program, high school and college application assistance, standardized test preparation, financial aid workshops, summer enrichment programs, and on-campus visits. Parent engagement activities include multilingual workshops that address high school selection, college choices, eligibility requirements, application processes, and financial aid. Career exposure, exploration, and readiness is integrated into all levels of coaching. We provide the support and opportunities that a college-going family would provide. Our approach throughout is a combination of high-touch and high-tech—to meet student needs where they are.

Besides rigorous academics, our students learn non-cognitive skills: grit, integrity, leadership, social intelligence, open-mindedness, love of learning, and self-control, so they can navigate challenges they may face in their careers and beyond.

As outlined in our newly adopted Strategic Plan, Over the next three years, the top-level key results we are driving toward include:
- Increasing the college graduation rate for students from 75% (current) in six years to 85% (10% increase)
- Increasing the percentage of college graduates who are hired into their fields of choice, or have started graduate school, by 15% (baseline needs to be established)
- Increasing staff and board engagement to 100% from where it is now (baseline needs to be taken)
- Securing the resources needed to carry out First Graduate’s goals while maintaining a healthy reserve by increasing revenue to $3.5 million/year by June 30, 2024
- Supporting at least 500 students/year by 2023, and growing to support 800 students/year by 2026.

We leverage the power of long-term, continuous relationships to unlock equitable access to college and career success for San Francisco students starting in middle school and continuing through career entry. First Graduate helps students on the path to college by coaching and counseling them and their families from middle school to high school and through college completion. We focus on one-on-one coaching, family engagement activities, career exploration activities, access to college scholarships, and the application process. We also coach our college students through internships and the job application process. In fact, we are increasing our investment in our career success development because we know that it is no longer enough to just obtain a college degree; we want our students to be competitive prospective employees. Our First Career program focuses on working with our partner corporations to create internship opportunities, job shadowing days and externships, as well as offering career panels and individual coaching for resumes, interviews, LinkedIn profiles, and cover letter preparation.

Our work with middle school students focuses on middle school success, career exposure, and helps reinforce what it means to be a college-bound student. In 9th-12th grade, we work with students to address the transition to high school and ensure completion of college preparatory coursework to achieve California State University and University of California eligibility.

Once in college, we counsel students on financial management, career development, and utilizing campus resources. We support students through regular contact via email, phone calls, and on-campus visits. Throughout the program, college-educated adults and older peers serve as mentors to help guide students through each program.

Aimed at our college seniors and recent graduates, our newest initiative, LaunchPad, facilitates a smooth transition from campus to career, providing mock interviews and professional development workshops covering topics like career search, drafting resumes and cover letters, using LinkedIn and other networking platforms, and salary negotiations.

First Graduate educates whole families, enabling parents to encourage their children through the college admission and financial aid processes.

We work exclusively with aspiring first-generation college graduates, students whose parents have never completed college. First Graduate has built an effective college access and success program that currently serves 380 San Francisco-based students utilizing a high-touch, long-term approach that is unique within the field. We make a 10-12 year commitment to our students starting the summer after 6th grade through the completion of college.

Our core competencies comprise: 1) Providing early college and career exposure, goal setting, planning, and guidance; 2) Providing student-based tools for parent engagement and education; 3) Sharing clear information about the pathway to college; 4) Building a toolkit for college success (grounded in self-determination theory); 5) Accessing a network of college motivated peers; and 6) Creating a rich network of mentors, corporate partners, community partners, and technology innovation partners to plan the delivery of an engaging, competency-based, high-touch system of learning.

We estimate that there are 2000 sixth graders in the San Francisco Unified School District each year that could become first-generation college graduates. What we are exploring are paths we might take to reach these students with neither diminution of quality contact on our part nor reduced outcome on their part. By changing the expectations for low-income students and their families and making a college education attainable, we change the dynamics of families, neighborhoods, and communities. We have 87 alumni who are working in their chosen fields or in graduate school.

First Graduate’s programs leverage the power of long-term, continuous relationships to unlock equitable access to college and career success for San Francisco students. We make a long-term commitment of between ten and twelve years to work with youth, we start our programs early—in middle school—and continue them through career entry and beyond.

Throughout the entire process, our programs involve many essential players. At the core, of course, are the 383 students currently enrolled with First Graduate. But we also reach potential enrollees, parents, teachers, tutors, mentors, First Graduate alumni, and others—a total of 2,800 persons each year.

It all starts with the Aim High summer program for incoming 7th graders to deepen their academic skills and expose them, often for the first time, to career choices. During the 35-week middle school year, students receive individualized academic coaching, and they and their parents get help in choosing and applying to high schools.

Individual-tailored coaching and regular monitoring of academic progress continue in high school and college. In high school, we ensure that students complete the college preparatory coursework needed for the universities our students attend throughout the country. We also provide standardized test preparation, college application assistance, a summer workshop to prepare students for college life, and curriculum and degree/career enrichment programs, which include internships and on-campus visits. Multilingual parent workshops address choosing a college, eligibility requirements, the application process, and financial aid. During college, we make sure that students meet our benchmarks on the way to graduation, getting any needed academic and counseling. As a result, 75% of our students graduate within six years of matriculation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We coach students who want to become first-generation college graduates. We also engage their parents and caregivers in the process, offering workshops and support in multiple languages.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    When our students told us that they did have access to technology to do their work remotely during COVID, we raised additional funds to purchase laptops and hotspots that our staff delivered to their homes. We added staff and interns to do more frequent outreach to keep our students engaged virtually during this very difficult time.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We are in constant communication with our students and their families. We use a texting platform to support two-way communication and have increased our outreach in response to their needs for additional support. And, due to feedback from our recent alumni, we have added college-to-career programs and workshops to help them transition into early-stage careers.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

First Graduate
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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First Graduate

Board of directors
as of 02/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Danesha Mead

McKinsey and Company

Term: 2019 - 2022

Ryan Baum

Jump Associates

Danesha Vasquez

McKinsey and Co.

Hanish Rathod

ServiceTitan

Jenny Kao

University of California, Berkeley

Neera Bhat

Accenture

Mark Hamilton

Hamilton Zanze

Daniel Curme

Minerva Schools at KGI

Tucker Serenbetz

KPMG

Siddharth Alexander

Wells Fargo

Marvell Allen

Millennial Career Advantage, LLC

Mark Hamilton

Hamilton Zanze

Rosemary Arriada-Keiper

Adobe

Stefan Zorn

PwC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/26/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Jewish
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/26/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.