Since 1997, SMART's mission has been to provide motivated, financially-disadvantaged students with educational opportunities, personal experiences and social support services in order to foster academic excellence and community engagement. It is SMART's goal that upon graduating from middle school, participants will demonstrate a commitment to intellectual development and a strong sense of values positioning them for personal and professional success in high school, college and beyond.
Only 10% of low-income students earn a college degree. SMART helps close the achievement gap by providing these students with access to private schools, and with intensive social, emotional and academic support from grades 5-12. 92% of SMART students attend college, forever altering the trajectory of their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. Together, the three main components of SMART programming, Placement Services (serving students in 4th, 5th and 8th grades), Private Middle School Achievement Program (serving 5th through 8th grade), and College Access Program (serving youth beginning in 8th grade through high school graduation), provide SMARTís intensive eight-year program of academic, social, and emotional support for the scholars we serve. Placement Services & Private Middle School Achievement Program SMART recruits students in the 4th grade, places them in private middle schools, and works with them through 12th grade, with the goal of ensuring that 100% of the students we serve enter into and succeed in the four year college of their choice. We do this by working closely with 17 private middle school partners to secure placement and financial aid for our Scholars in 6th through 8th grades, while providing supplementary skill-building through a comprehensive tutoring and mentoring program, as well as providing intensive additional academic, social and emotional support. College Access Program For 8th grade Scholars, the high school admissions process begins, and in 8th through 12th grades, Scholars receive support through SMARTís College Access Program. Community Served Each year, SMART receives referrals from over 40 public schools and community-based organizations working with 4th grade students, for approximately 20-25 student placements. Once accepted into the program, Scholars enter SMART as rising 5th graders. Selected participants demonstrate strong academic potential, sincere motivation, and a family commitment to participate in an intensive eight-year program. SMART Scholar applicants attend public schools, live in San Francisco, and qualify for low-income status based on the BASIC Fund scholarship guidelines. The average annual income of SMART families is $30,281 for a household of four people. The self-reported ethnic breakdown of our students is Latino 40%; Asia/Pacific Islander 37%; African American/Black 15%; Caucasian/White >1%; and Multiracial 12%.
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