Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are currently being served?

Over 80 students at four partner schools: Archbishop Riordan High School and Mercy High School in San Francisco; Holy Names High School in Oakland; and Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda.

What kind of students are you looking for?

Aside from documented financial need and excellent grades (minimum 3.0 GPA), the main criterion for selection is extraordinary motivation. achieve students must be willing to put in the enormous time and effort required to change their destinies. Approximately 95% of students in our program will be first-generation college students.

What kind of financial/family information does achieve require?

We need information pertaining to gross family income, number of people in the household, and any extenuating circumstances that would affect the family’s ability to pay tuition. Generally we are looking for families that meet the government definition of poverty or low income. Only students who complete the high school financial aid process will be considered for the achieve Program.

What is the expectation of the financial responsibility of the family?

Every family is expected to make a financial contribution toward tuition. This contribution is calculated on a sliding scale as determined by the financial aid report and information gathered through interviews.

What is the interview process?

Parents and students are interviewed by Founder and Executive Director, Mrs. Bakar, an achieve staff member, and a representative from the partner school.

Student Testimonials

  • This program has helped me not only create and achieve goals I would not have fathomed possible for myself, it has also shown me that the limits to my success are as boundless as I desire them to be.

    Sofia Ortega-Guerrero '18 - Yale University '22

  • I came into achieve as a young teenager with dreams. I am leaving achieve as a teenager who knows how to make those dreams a reality.

    John Bermudez '16 - Colgate '20

  • Thanks to the achieve Program, I have been exposed to a myriad of opportunities I would not have had access to anywhere else. My internships at the Exploratorium, UCSF Medical Center, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute have been absolutely pivotal in my life.

    Natasha Alvarado '18 - University of Chicago '22

  • The guidance and mentorship of the achieve Program has shaped me into the man I am today — confident in my abilities and ready to tackle the next step in my journey after high school.

    Louie Mezie '19 - Lawrence University '23

  • achieve has shown me that I can be more and I can help other people in my family and community be more, too… achieve has changed my life and I will use the tools given to me to become a driving force in success, change and empowerment.

    Brittany DeWeaver '16 - Carleton College '20

  • Without achieve, Middlebury College would have not been a possibility because I would not have had the knowledge of the college process. Not only did achieve give me the resources to apply to college, but also helped me understand what types of colleges fit me.

    Nestor Orozco-Llamas '19 - Middlebury College '23

  • When I was accepted into the program, my 14-year-old self was not aware of the gifts that would be given to me by achieve in the next four years: knowledge, personal growth, life-changing events, support, and love.

    Samantha Alvarado '19 - Southwestern University '23

  • achieve has taught me that giving back and helping others is something you should do all of your life. It gives you a feeling of happiness when you see others smile and hearing that your actions have benefited the people in your community.

    Gaby Nunez '17 - Lawrence University '21

  • The greatest impact the achieve Program has had on my life is that it has helped me step out of my comfort zone and try new and challenging things that I never thought I would be able to do.

    Melissa Cervantes '17 - St. Olaf College '21

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