Read the latest stories from Envision’s students, teachers, schools and partners!
Envision Academy coach Jon Vinson says he has spent two decades doing something he is passionate about: coaching young kids to play basketball.
He insists it is a way to keep them disciplined, engaged and focused. That’s why he pays many of their basketball expenses out of his own pocket and raises money through donations and car washes. Recently, Amber Lee of KTVU caught up with Vinson after hearing that Uber and the Warriors had teamed up to honor the coach and his players by giving them tickets to the January 16th Warriors game against the Cleveland Cavaliers..
Yajaira is a San Francisco student who credits Envision with helping her transform from a shy ninth grader into a confident and independent young woman.
Since 1989, the Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained 6,993 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars; college students in this leadership group graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on their campuses and throughout their professional careers.
The Bob Lenz PDO Award of $1000 cash is given each year to a graduating senior from each Envision school who exemplifies the phrase from Calvin Coolidge “Persistence and Determination alone are Omnipotent.” Erin Brockovich later made these words her motto in her successful campaign to expose toxic water tables in the Central Valley. Bob and his Envision co-founders adopted the motto as well, applying it to the work of Envision schools, to help students develop the persistence and determination to succeed in college. Each of our award-winning students:
- Has gone through significant hardship and persisted through adversity
- Has been accepted t0 and plans to attend a 4-year university or college
OUR 2016 WINNERS
Mahdari Rhodes, Impact Academy: Mahdari has been an outspoken leader of Impact’s community both in and out of the classroom. He is a role model for students and adults of what it means to be compassionate, reflective, and courageous. In his graduation Portfolio Defense, Mahdari exhibited his ability to communicate powerfully to a room full of strangers. He demonstrated a strong understanding of content and skills, as well as his own strengths and areas for growth in acquiring both. UC Merced is lucky to have him!
Bladimiro Martin, Envision Academy: When Bladimiro came to the United States four years ago, he could not read, write, or speak English. After two short years, Bladimiro’s English was proficient enough to enroll at Envision Academy, where he began his junior year, and by the end of that year, he gave a presentation on scientific research he had done through a competitive internship program at UC Berkeley. Bladimiro also presented and passed his College Success Portfolio this spring with Distinction. These unbelievable levels of linguistic improvement are some of the many examples of growth that Bladimiro’s unwavering work habits have allowed him to achieve. Bladimiro proves that consistent hard work, unmatched perseverance, and critical questioning can take a student from unthinkably challenging circumstances to a world-class college education at Denison University in Ohio, where he will be attending this fall.
Carlean Savea, City Arts & Tech: Carlean is an all-around incredible young woman: resilient, caring, and motivated. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood of San Francisco greatly impacted her desire to pursue higher education. She has witnessed her family struggle and takes it upon herself to help her mom, serving as an additional pillar of support for her seven-year-old sister. Her commitment as a caretaker of her family is evidence of her gracious spirit and willingness to make the best of tough situations. Carlean not only pulls strength from her experiences, but also applies the lessons learned to her daily activities. She communicates powerfully with teachers and peers, thinks critically, and is an integral part of the leadership class on campus. This year, she worked with two of her classmates to bring health education to CAT. This fall Carlean will be attending Virginia State University, where she will be majoring in Computer Engineering, motivated in part by the lack of women present in the tech industry and her determination to succeed and defy social stereotypes.
The Jackie Robinson Scholarship Award of $1000 cash is given to one student at each Envision school who exemplifies Jackie Robinson’s commitment to service and excellence. Mr. Robinson did more than break the color barrier in Major League Baseball: he was also the first in his family to graduate from college, served his country in World War II, and worked as a powerful civil rights advocate. To be awarded this scholarship, students must:
- Plan on attending a 4-year college or university in the fall after graduation;
- Be first in their family to graduate from college;
- Deliver an outstanding graduation Portfolio and Defense;
- Exemplify a commitment to service & leadership.
OUR 2016 WINNERS
Richard Osei, Impact Academy: While he was a student at Impact, Richard Osei was regarded as one of the most positive people on campus. Despite growing up in poverty in Ghana, Richard has made the most of every opportunity he’s encountered. Throughout his time at Impact, Richard could be found supporting teachers as a TA, making his classmates laugh with stories about his weekend, or working hard on his school work to meet the high standards he sets for himself. Next year, he’ll be making us proud and working on changing the world at UC Santa Cruz!
Sameenah Muhammad, Envision Academy: Sameenah has definitely made the most of her 4 years at Envision Academy! She has shown consistent leadership and determination in the classroom, as an athlete on the volleyball court, and at work. This past May, Sameenah presented and passed her College Success Portfolio with Distinction, a true indicator of her academic skill, reflectiveness and preparedness for college. Her hard work has paid off, and she has made her family, school community, and Oakland community very proud. Sameenah is headed to Mills College this fall!
Karina Macias, City Arts & Tech: Karina is a shining example of consistent dedication to service, both at CAT and in her community. She has worked steadfastly to be prepared for college by focusing on her academics over her 4 years in high school. She never lets an opportunity pass her by, and ensures the same for her classmates. She contributed tirelessly to the CAT community, serving as an assistant in the school office and as a student ambassador representing CAT on numerous occasions. Karina aspires to major in psychology and pursue a career as a social worker or psychologist. She is committed to serving her community, especially by helping other young people overcome the many struggles they face, including depression. She is choosing this path because she believes that helping others leads to positive social change. She will continue her educational journey at UC Davis this fall.