San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced the launch for this year’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors from low-income and under-resourced communities to help overcome financial barriers they face attending college.
Now in its fifth year, Mayor Breed’s scholarship program awards $5,000 scholarships over two years to graduating high school seniors. Last year, the Bridge to Excellence program provided 16 students with scholarships.
Since 2019, the Bridge to Excellence Program has awarded more than $300,000 to 61 students. This year, around 15 students will receive awards funded by the City’s Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF).
“Someone’s economic situation should not determine if they are going get the skills and knowledge they need to flourish,” says Mayor Breed. “I launched the Bridge to Excellence Scholarship because I understand firsthand the challenges that students face when pursuing higher education, especially when they come from a low-income background or are the first in their family to go to college.”
According to data from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) for academic calendar year 2021-2022, 52% of the approximately 16,000 high school students who attend SFUSD schools are socio-economically disadvantaged. This is not inclusive of Charter schools.
“The Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship provides recipients with critical financial support while they are in college,” said Dr. Maria Su, Executive Director of DCYF. “The additional resources can be life-changing for students who confront economic barriers when pursuing higher education.”
Applicants for Mayor Breed’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship must attend high school at either a SFUSD or San Francisco Charter high school. Students must be graduating in Spring of 2023, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20, with plans to attend a four-year college.
Additionally, applicants must demonstrate a significant financial need and be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college.
Testimonials from previous scholarship recipients
“The Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Program has allowed me to further pursue opportunities I once thought I could never achieve. With the program’s help I have been able to finish my undergraduate education and will graduate spring 2023 with a bachelor's of science. I will be the first in my family to have a bachelor's degree.” - Jackie Bell, Senior at San Francisco State University
“After college, I plan to complete my master's degree in public health. Afterwards, I hope to pursue a DrPH (Doctor of Public Health) to demonstrate the practical application of public health principles in a variety of settings, with a focus on health equity. As I am currently interested in analyzing the trends of infectious diseases and how it disproportionately affects people of color, I hope to work within the epidemiology field.” - Kamiah Brown, Senior at George Washington University (Washington D.C.)
“Not only did the Bridge to Excellence Scholarship Fund help me overcome my financial stress, but it also helped me overcome the fear of not being able to find internships. I was able to have more quality studying time and stay in school with the help of the fund.” - Lucia Huang, Senior at University of California Davis
Qualifying candidates can apply through Friday, March 17, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. The Mayor’s Office will review all qualified candidates and notify recipients by the end of May. Interested students can apply at: sf.gov/apply-bridge-excellence-scholarship.