Campfires and College Grads: The College Path - June 2015
The College Path

JUNE 2015

Mission Graduates
Sending Mission youth to college since 1972
Mi pasaje


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Cohort 7 member Paola speaking to her fellow graduates.

Every spring, Mission Graduates celebrates the amazing accomplishments of our first-generation college students.  Mi Pasaje, or my path, is a night to celebrate with the 25 high school graduates and 6 college graduates and their families.

This year, we were joined by special guest speaker Supervisor David Campos who spoke about his own struggles as a first-generation student and the perseverance it took to graduate from college and find his passion for public service in law school.  

Rama Kased, the Director of Student Affairs for the Metro College Success Program at San Francisco State University, spoke about the services out there for Cohort 7.  We also recognized the long-standing support that Advantage Testing's Gus Mattamal has provided for years free of charge to College Connect students.

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College Connect staff Jill, Catherine, and Ivan Enjoying a meal from Dona Mago before the celebration

As Cohort 7 goes off to college, we are so happy to spend an evening sharing memories and celebrating achievements.

To see more photos, please visit our facebook page!


Marshall Elementary Goes Under The Sea


This summer, Mission Graduates' Extended Day Programs are bringing fun-filled themes to our 6-week summer program.  For Week 2, Marshall students explored Under the Sea.

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Rising 1st Graders show off their boat

During Under The Sea week, our students became structural engineers hired by Mission Graduates Cruise Company to design a boat that must carry and hold the whales endangered in the deep blue sea. Each team was given a budget of $5.00 to buy certain materials to build their boats such as plastic rap, straws, tape, or foam sheets.

Students also became product designers. There was an oil spill in San Francisco and whales became trapped, needing to be rescued and transported to a safe place. As product engineers, students created a tool to grab the whale out of the ocean and on to the boat.

In art class, student learned fun facts about jelly fish and created water color painting of the creatures. Jellyfish have lived in the ocean for millions of years. They can sting you using their tentacles. Jellyfish like to et fish, shrimp, crabs, and tiny plants. The lifespan of a jellyfish is one year.

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Sea-themed writing centers Playing Under the Sea Bingo

Students played under the sea bingo in English and Spanish. They also read non-fiction books about under the sea creatures. They then created small books about certain animals and outlined the facts they learned.

And of course, we had a little fun with sea-themed snacks and a photo booth to wrap up the week.  This fantastic week ended with a trip to the California Academy of Science Whale Exhibit.

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Everything is more fun with a photobooth! 5th graders enjoying the Whale Exhibit at the
California Academy of Science

Up next, Frozen Fun week!

To see more pictures from this week of fun, visit our facebook page!




Parent Partner Family Camp Out Under the Stars (or fog)


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Building tents, roasing marshmellow and telling stories around the fire with our families

The Parent Partner Program celebrated the hard-working, dedicated parent leaders and their families this weekend at the Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio.

During a short ceremony at the campground, the team shared gratitude for the mothers' year-long commitment to ensure the educational success of their children and school community. 

Afterwards, the families took a strenuous, windy hike to the beach, followed by dancing and games.  Then the grill was fired up for carne asada and elotes for dinner. The families even spotted a coyote that planted itself on a hill overlooking the families roasting s'mores over the fire.

The camping trip served not only to honor the parent leaders but strengthen the community by bringing them out of their comfort zone. As the school year ends, the PPP transitions into preparation for the 4-week Summer Institute which trains the parents on leadership and other important skills for the year to come. The camping trip was a remarkable success in building the parent community at Mission Graduates.

~Julie McNamara, Parent Partner Program

Flynn Summer Reading Takes Off

Felipe working with summer program students

Mission Graduates would like to introduce our newest member to the Flynn/Bryant Summer Program Family- Felipe Hernandez!  Although Felipe is new to Mission Graduates, he is a familiar face to the Flynn students.  During the school year, Felipe works with another organization to provide 1:1 reading intervention to the students. Felipe was a super volunteer in the program, supporting the director daily with tutoring students.  

This summer, Felipe is coordinating the reading intervention program with the Flynn/Bryant Summer Program.  In this program, interns and volunteers are trained as tutors and matched up with students who are at least 6 months behind grade-level.  During the 40 minute tutoring session, the tutor reads aloud a student-chosen book for 10 minutes, then focus the rest of the time on guided reading, and supporting students to read a book right on their level.

Volunteers working one-on-one with students on literacy this summer

Students academically behind in grade-level are often impacted the most by the summer learning loss.  The summer reading intervention does not just support students to keep up with their reading level.  The program works to instill the life-long love for reading in students- giving students choice in reading materials and gives students the opportunity to develop relationships with an adult they can trust.
Informed by the overwhelming feedback from parents stating that they would like more academic support for this child during the summer, Mission Graduates is proud to be able to keep the academic continuity from the school year.

~Jenny Weston, Program Director



College Connect on Transitioning to College Life

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Maisin and College Connect students discussing the transition to college

This year, College Connect partnered with colleagues at the Maisin Scholar Award to give recent high school graduates a chance to prepare for the transition to college this fall. The Maisin/College Connect Transition to College Workshop, on June 6, gave College Connect students the opportunity to hear from other students about the realities of college as well as listen to guest speakers. 
Through small group activities, students learned about the realities they would face during their first year of college. One activity consisted of students describing a loved one with adjectives indicating the qualities they see in the individual.
Along with small group activities, students heard from guest speakers Mark Gonzales M. Ed., motivational speaker; Nicole Isaac, head of LinkedIn’s Corp Partnerships/Obama admin; and Darrick Smith Ed.D., former principle attended the workshop.

The end of the program gave the recent grads the opportunity to ask a panel of college students questions about the experience, transition, and more. 

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To see more photos from the worshop, visit our facebook page.

 ~Theresa Conway, Social Media Intern


Mission Families Take a College Tour with Parent Partner Program

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Current USF students shared their experiences with families on the main lawn.

The Parent Partner Program had  four different college tours to UC Berkeley and USF during the first week of June. Actively engaged Parent Partner Program participants from 8 different schools in the Mission joined Mission Graduates in these college tours with their families to learn first hand about these schools .

Over four days, forty families joined students and alumni from the University of California, Berkeley and University of San Francisco to learn about the history, the programs, and the opportunities for students in these Universities.

Many of the parents hadn’t taken foot in a University before and asked questions about costs, student life and resources. A parent from Flynn expressed interested in wanting his child to attend the University of California, Berkeley, stating that he knew that it would take hard work but that it would be worth it.

Families touring UC Berkeley

With the help of the Raza Retention Center at UC Berkeley and USF Alumni  from the Mission, the college tours included panelist that talked to the families about their experiences being Latino youth in these universities. The students talked about financial resources available to first generation incoming students, language barriers, academic challenges, and successes.  Families toured the campuses, asked questions, and showed their children the possibilities of higher education.

Having our families join the campus tours was a huge success in continuing to plant the seed of the importance of college to the families of the Mission. Many families expressed excitement and acknowledgement of the importance of supporting their kids, even at a young age, in school and looking for programs like Mission Graduates to ensure the path to college for their kids.

~Selene Chala, Parent Partner Program


upcoming events


July 2015 - Career Month at College Connect

July 15 - Last Day of Summer Program

August 17 - First Day of School


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3040 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

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