SMART (Schools, Mentoring and Resource Team, Inc.) provides low-income students access to an exceptional education and the skills needed to thrive in college and in life. SMART’s vision is to end the cycle of poverty in San Francisco by providing students and families financial, academic, and social emotional support, as well as college preparation and career exploration. Our organization provides a unique eight-year continuum of support that starts in 4th grade and goes all the way to college, including school support, after school enrichment, summer programming and college preparation. Since launching our high school program in 2011, 100% of SMART Scholars have graduated high-school and matriculated to college. While only 21% of very low-income students who enter college will graduate within six years, SMART Scholars are currently persisting at a rate of more than 80%.
Program components include:
1. Recruitment: SMART identifies curious and motivated students from under-resourced schools who have the motivation to learn and lack only opportunity.
2. Summer Academic Enrichment Program: SMART works with rising 5th and 6th grade Scholars for six weeks to prevent summer learning loss while developing a strong community bond.
3. School Placement: SMART works with families to facilitate the admissions and financial aid process, advocating for families in schools, conducting tours, and training families to become strong educational champions through workshops and one-on-one guidance.
4. Middle School Achievement Program: A twice-weekly after-school program equipping our Scholars with the skills to succeed in academically rigorous schools and in life through tutoring, mentoring, and a curriculum designed to bolster them academically, socially, and emotionally.
5. College Achievement Program: Scholars in high school balance academic achievement while preparing for the next phase in their lives. The College Achievement Program advances SMART Scholars toward high school graduation and a college education. Weekly programming supports our Scholars through career and college exploration and assists with the college and financial aid application processes, while emphasizing community engagement and self-advocacy.