First Graduate

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First-graduate
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 2000


Mission: First Graduate's mission is the help students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college.


Tags: bay area, middle-secondary education, educational management, educational preparation, college achievement, arts education, technology training, 2010


First-graduate
Story: Read about how First Graduate help their student build life skills? At First Graduate, our students learn early that it takes more than a solid GPA to get into college and succeed. Helping them build less tangible skills—leadership, self-confidence, responsibility—is… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
First Graduate has a comprehensive college access and success program that works with students and their parents throughout high school and graduation from college. They have increased the graduation rate for students who will be first generation in their family to attend college.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
First-graduate Thomas Ahn. Previously Managing Director of First Graduate 2001-2008 and former Director, ECO Center, S.F. Conservation Corps 1989-2001. First in Family to graduate college. See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Total Revenue:
$1,317,985


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT firstgraduate.org
Phone:
415-561-3450
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
Presidio of San Francisco
 
San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


First-graduate Story: Read about how First Graduate help their student build life skills? At First Graduate, our students learn early that it takes more than a solid GPA to get into college and succeed. Helping them build less tangible skills—leadership, self-confidence, responsibility—is a goal of First Graduate’s advisory curriculum. For the first time this academic year, our Middle Division students (in grades 7-9) will take part in monthly advisory sessions with themes ranging from communication to values to time management. “Advisory is a time for students to reflect upon their current and future lives, to develop skills to achieve their goals, and to build community,” says Susan Tu, the Education Pioneers Fellow who worked closely with First Graduate program staff to develop the grade-specific curriculum. It’s also an opportunity for them to start preparing for both the high school and college applications processes. In addition to participating in the advisory sessions, students will complete and present “Anchoring Projects” or tasks that allow them to actively plan their path to college. For example, our seventh graders will each create “My Personal Map to College Success”. With this project, our youngest students have a chance to imagine and outline their ten years in First Graduate program, including solutions to the obstacles they might face along the way. “The advisory activities will be engaging to students and result in concrete outcomes,” says Anthony Mickens, the senior program associate who oversees Middle Division programming. Advisory will also create a space for students to talk about issues, such as the social challenges that come with transitioning to high school, Mickens adds. Veteran First Graduate high school senior and advisory participant Charlene likes the fact that program staff help keep her informed about college trips and visits from college admissions officers. “I think it’s awesome how First Graduate staff has been keeping everyone on their toes about colleges,” she notes. The goal is to make sure that in addition to learning to master their academic subjects, First Graduate students stay focused on college and receive the support they need to succeed in both high school and college. In September, students will explore the following topics: 7th grade – The Life and Times of a First-Generation Student 8th grade – Leadership 9th grade – What Type of Student Am I? (Read more about First Graduate at:http://firstgraduate.org/?p=1230)

Expert Reviews of First Graduate

Evidence of Impact Summary:

First Graduate has a comprehensive college access and success program that works with students and their parents throughout high school and graduation from college. They have increased the graduation rate for students who will be first generation in their family to attend college.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Experts roundly praise First Graduate's leadership and program design. Their leaders and overall staff quality are considered an asset by many surveyed. Further, this organization has a track record of achieving demonstrable results.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Experts don't consistently isolate the same area for improvement at First Graduate. Areas mentioned include, program design, marketing, focus, and scalability.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Impact

F
They have achieved excellent results in terms of their students' matriculation into college.
N
First Graduate is a quality program with results.
N
First Graduate has increased the graduation rate for students who will be first generation in their family to attend college.
N
They are a comprehensive college access and college success program serving students from middle school through college. First Graduate has a comprehensive college access and success program that works with students and their parents throughout high school and graduation from college.
N
Their impact can be witnessed through the graduation rates of participants and changing the schools the youth attend to better respond to this population.
N
They provide a very effective, high-touch college preparatory program for students.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Overall Quality

F
They have a deep commitment and range of services to the students in their program. They are real enablers for kids who need a lot of outside help to prepare for college and to succeed once they are there.
N
First Graduate is a great organization.

Strong Leadership and Operations

F
First Graduate has an effective leadership and a comprehensive college access and success model that includes parents and works with students from middle school through college.
N
They have a strong staff and strong financial backing.
N
They have a very strong, clear mission and strategic plan as well as a devoted and professional board. Furthermore, they are very collaborative. This organization is extremely strong in the area of case management.
N
They have a highly effective ED who hires good staff. The organization also respects and involves parents in the process. Tom Ahn, the ED, is politically astute and has built a strong staff of employees.
N
They have strong leadership and they are looked to as a model by their peers.

Impact on graduation

N
Their evaluations have yielded strong results--100% matriculation to college.

Program Focus

N
One advantage is their focus on turning whole families around by helping their children overcome a lack of resources and to graduate from high school and college.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Broaden Programs

N
They could offer more comprehensive services by serving more at-risk and vulnerable youth.

Retention

N
First Graduate has some challenges with attrition and their reach is limited.

Brand recognition

N
The organization has just hired a communications person so I suspect that more people will be learning about them. That would have been my critique.
N
Their brand is not widely-recognized.

Narrow focus

N
They are very focused just on the individual students.

More funding

N
They need more money in order to have a greater impact.

Scalability

N
I'd like to see them figure out a scalable model that would help them grow.


Leadership

First-graduate
Thomas Ahn
Executive Director
Previously Managing Director of First Graduate 2001-2008 and former Director, ECO Center, S.F. Conservation Corps 1989-2001. First in Family to graduate college.

From the Nonprofit

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