ASAP is the story of a few people who believed that they could help make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. It is the story of a very small action turning into a years-long commitment to an entire school. ASAP has grown from a grassroots effort to send a soccer team to camp into a large-scale organization to help student-athletes at San Francisco’s Mission High School achieve their dreams of going to college.
In 2004, after a series of gang-related student deaths, Scott Kennedy – the school’s athletic director and soccer coach – hoped to bring his team to summer camp at UC Berkeley, not only to learn skills but also to remove them from the violence in their communities. The San Francisco Chronicle featured an article about the gang violence affecting the soccer team at Mission High. Responding to the article, Judy Grossman helped to raise money to send those 18 soccer players to UC Berkeley for summer camp. As she got to know the students better, she realized the need to create a larger support system to help them explore academic and athletic opportunities, as well as to apply for college. Working with Scott Kennedy and then-Principal Kevin Truitt, they created the Athletic Scholars Advancement Program.
ASAP has expanded from working with five students in 2004 to more than 300 scholar athletes in 2012. It has evolved into a year-round comprehensive program that provides assistance and support for students from all backgrounds. Since its inception, over 800 students have attended summer enrichment programs on college campuses, at no cost to the participant. Over 25 dedicated volunteers help staff the office and provide mentoring, tutoring and individualized college advising, application and scholarship assistance.
ASAP provides students with full scholarships to attend summer programs (primarily academic, leadership-building or sports-related residential programs on college campuses) so that they experience a college setting and meet new people.
ASAP provides students with academic assistance to improve grades and develop academic potential.
ASAP assists students with the college selection, application and financial aid processes.
- • High school students ages 13-18
- • 70% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch
- • 47% are English Learners
- • 93% are students of color
- • 60% immigrants
- • Over 90% will be the first in their family to go to college
- • Reside predominately in Bayview-Hunters Point, Mission, Fillmore, and Western Addition neighborhoods
- • Participate on an athletic team (as a player or a team supporter)
- • Maintain a 2.5 GPA
- • Have excellent attendance
- • Involved in community service