SAN FRANCISCO - On Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and her office celebrated the new recipients of the city's "Bridge to Excellence Scholarship."
Graduation is a time to look back on students' accomplishments and, for many of them, a time to look forward as well.
Breeds wants to ensure that money does not stand in the way of that path. She awarded 15 students with this year's Bridge to Excellence Scholarship, which gives each of them $5,000 over two years.
"But this is just the beginning. This is the beginning of an opportunity to hopefully lead to the life that you know you want, but also the kind of life you know you deserve," said Breed.
Among those recipients was Audrey Bryant who recently graduated from Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. Audrey is headed to Cal State East Bay and looking to major in biological science.
Her family moved to Oakland while she was still in high school, which meant she had to hit the road every morning at 6 a.m. to commute to school. She had to take AC Transit, BART, and then Muni, in order to get to class.
She's already looking to her own future as well as those around her.
"I have a younger nephew and he doesn't know too much about college, but he seems interested in it," said Audrey. "So, I feel that if I can show him, 'Hey college is fun, and you get to learn extra and get paid a little more, you can do it too.'"
Audrey is the first in her family to go to college and credits her academic success to a strong mother and father who was an eager student. She says the Bridge to Excellence Scholarship will help pay for her living expenses and meal plan; costs above and beyond the basics that are covered by her Pell grant and Cal grant.
"I wanted to have the full college experience like living in the dorms. You see it all the time, living in the dorms looks fun, eating the college campus food looks, not fun, but nutritious," said Audrey. "It's part of the experience."
Since the city launched the scholarship program in 2019, Breed has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarship funding to 76 students.