Meet the Richmond Promise Scholars, a growing movement of hundreds of students from Richmond and North Richmond who are currently attending over 100 colleges and universities. They are beneficiaries of the Richmond Promise college preparedness, scholarship and guidance program, which is part of a $35 million, 10-year investment by Chevron to help make college more affordable and attainable for local students. For some students, the Promise wasn’t just an opportunity to achieve their college dream, but also to help younger generations do the same. In this series, we feature interns from the Summer Associates program talking about their experience.
Jennifer Jimenez graduated from Middle College in 2017 with both her AA degree and High School diploma. She is now a third-year at San Francisco State University as a Child Development Major. She has been working with Richmond Promise for about two years now and loves being able to give back to her community by providing guidance and personal experiences to help young students from Richmond become successful in their educational path.
Q: How has the Richmond Promise played a role in your education?
“Richmond Promise has had a huge influence on my education and career. I went to college as a pre-kinesiology major wanting to be a physical therapist. When I first came across [the Promise’s] near ambassador job I decided to apply not knowing it would change my mind on my major and what I wanted to do. Helping the youth brings joy to my heart which is why I changed my major to child development. The Richmond Promise team is so amazing. They have been the greatest support system since I received my scholarship with them. They also check up on you to make sure you are doing well along with providing their students with job opportunities to work with them.”
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Expand on hardships/motivational factors that influence you to this day.
“A big motivational factor is my family who’s been supporting me since the beginning. I would also like to thank Richmond Promise for allowing me to work with them since my second semester at SFSU. At first, I decided to take the job because money was tight and I needed help paying my tuition but then it impacted my whole career which is why I changed it to child development. I also love seeing Richmond alumni graduate from so many great schools which keeps me motivated because I aim to be just like them.”
Q: What do you want to contribute to Richmond or the world?
“I want to contribute my experience and educational success with Richmond and those in it to show them the endless possibilities in life. I want every student in Richmond to break that stereotype that’s made about us and make it out to become someone bigger. I want to provide guidance, advice, and mentorship to every student I come across.”
Q: Can you tell us about your current college experience?
“Being a first-generation college student made things harder for me. I didn’t know what to expect from college but it has treated me pretty well. Although I’ve always wished for the full college experience, I can’t complain. SFSU has given me a great education. All my teachers so far have been great which is a plus for me. They have lots of great programs to help you throughout your four years in college. I’m also happy to say that I will be graduating a year early.”