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Achieve Program

  • Achieve Program
  • One Lombard Street
    Suite 202
  • San Francisco, CA 94111
  • 415-576-8100
  • 1997
  • Linda Nastari-Perez
  • Program Coordinator/College Advisor
  • 415-576-8100

Program Description

Achieve is a year-round, four-year college preparatory program for underserved students from low-income families, currently providing 71 students with four-year scholarships to attend partner private schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. By providing access to a quality education including cultural, career and community service experiences, our goal is to produce successful leaders who will, in turn, give back to the community.

Students apply to Achieve as 8th graders and are selected on the basis of academic achievement, leadership potential and the motivation to succeed. Families must demonstrate financial need and all students must be first generation college students. Students must be accepted into one of our partner schools. Program and school staff interview both parents and students.

Achieve provides services in six areas: academics, culture, socializing, community service, career, college counseling and financial aid.

Academics: Achieve teachers conduct after school study sessions twice weekly at each school site in mentoring, tutoring, writing, presentation, and organization and study skills.

Culture: Students attend theater, dance, and musical performances at professional venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Pre- and post-educational sessions and discussions enhance their experiences. Visits to museums and science academies augment their cultural experiences.

Socializing: Achieve is first, and foremost, an extended family. Students meet weekly in large and small groups. Quarterly family meetings are held at each school site, providing education and support for the entire family.

Community Service: Students are required to complete an extensive community service project each year as well as participate in group community service experiences.

Career: Achieve provides students with 6-week paid summer internships, giving students the opportunity to explore various careers while learning about the world of work. Workshops are conducted to help students with resumes, interview skills, and job etiquette.

College Counseling: Preparation for college begins as soon as students enter the program with presentations from admissions representatives and workshops on the college process. Junior year begins with an East Coast college tour and extensive SAT/ACT Prep, which continues through fall of senior year. Students receive extensive one-on-one college counseling and writing support to make the college application process as smooth as possible.

Financial Aid: Achieve provides four-year scholarships on a sliding scale to private high schools as well as a supplemental fund to cover books, uniforms, college applications, and other expenses.

Success Stories

As a foster child, she had five different placements in high school alone. Her early childhood was filled with drug abuse, gang violence, and neglect. Despite her chaotic home life, she was determined to be the first in her family to complete high school and graduate from college. She found the Achieve Program through her social worker and knew that escaping the failing public school system would be the first step towards her goals. Immediately following high school graduation, she was emancipated and had to leave her foster home. She attended George Washington University on a full scholarship and graduated with honors. She will be attending graduate school at UCLA, studying social work. Her ultimate goal is to work to improve the foster care system, helping kids like her secure a better future.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 6%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 15%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 58%
  • Other: 4%
  • African American: 17%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 70
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Berea College
  • Cornell College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Denison University
  • Emory University
  • Goucher College
  • Kenyon College
  • Macalester College
  • McDaniel College
  • Morehouse College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • New York University
  • Salem College
  • Santa Clara University
  • Stanford University
  • Ursinus College
  • Williams College
  • Yale University

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 95%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 77%