Because of your support, Rise Together Education is currently assisting 53 students with financial need to attend college! Most of our scholars are first-generation college students and all are from low-income families, which currently equates to an annual income of $46,000 for a family of four. They are supported by RTE volunteer adult and peer mentors and community advisors who help to guide and motivate them to reach their goal of obtaining a college degree. 

One of our bright and conscientious scholars is Brianna Moreno-Alcocer who is expected to graduate ontime this spring at Pitzer College. Pitzer is ranked among the top 100 national colleges and universities in the Social Mobility Index. Read about Brianna below.


Brianna at Pitzer College

Brianna Moreno-Alcocer

Brianna Moreno-Alcocer (Paly Class of 2019) is majoring in Political Studies and minoring in Anthropology. She is expected to graduate on time in the spring of 2023. 

What is one of your favorite subjects/classes this term? Why?

Brianna: This term, my favorite course is Environment and the Third World. This particular course is very interesting to me because the study of the “Third World” is considered a contemporary process. Meaning it is being written as we speak. Currently, I am learning about the early biases and preconceptions that have led to the theoretical development and naming of the “third world”. Learning about the Global South is important as it forces one to truly evaluate their positionality in the world.

What has been the best part about going to college?

Brianna: The best part about going to college is being able to exercise my independence, I have the freedom to manage myself as I see fit. However, most importantly, I love being able to make new friends and network with faculty, as I was unable to do so for two years due to Covid-19.​

Has RTE made a difference in your decision to pursue a college degree and/or in  college?

Brianna: RTE has made a significant difference in my decision to pursue a college degree because RTE has provided me with the tools necessary to confidently seek higher education. Throughout the college process, I felt very much supported and due to this support, I am on my way to becoming a college graduate. The RTE program has not only supported me with mentors and guidance but it has given me peace of mind. RTE made it clear what path would be best suited for my educational and personal needs. Monthly check-ins with mentors and coordinators made it easy to commit to my college. Last but not least, I am able to truly be a full time student and not stress about finances because of RTE scholarship award.

Did any adults help/support you in the process of getting to college? 

Brianna: Yes, Kimberly Schwan [RTE Mentorship Chairperson] has been very helpful in the process of getting to college. She is very organized and reminds students like me about important updates, conferences, and opportunities. This helped with establishing a reliable network.

Do you have an idea of what you want to do after college?

Brianna: After college, I intend to take a year to be a part of the Fulbright's English Teacher Assistant Program. It provides college graduates with the opportunity to go abroad and work as an English language teaching assistant for nine months. I will apply to be placed in Spain. This opportunity will push me to become more independent. Upon my return, I would like to look for a job related to use my degree in Political Studies.

Social Mobility Index

As you know, in today’s world, a college degree provides economic and social mobility. In addition, people with a college degree tend to have a healthier life and live longer. But let’s have a look at which colleges and universities actually help economically disadvantaged students who are also RTE’s target audience. Economists have come up with the Social Mobility Index (SMI), which measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs.

In other words, if you invest your money (tuition) at highly ranked SMI schools, you are more likely to become better off financially than when you came in. Among the top 20 ranking public institutions in the nation are ones in which our scholars are attending in the California State University system such as campuses in Long Beach, East Bay, San Francisco, San Marcos and Pomona. Read about our featured students here.

You can learn more about the SMI in higher education here.


RTE received Candid's 2022 Gold verification

To reduce income inequality, we must continue to support young people in our community who want to attend college. Please consider a financial gift to RTE this Giving Tuesday because we simply cannot exist without your financial support. RTE is an all-volunteer organization with 98% of our fundraising going to college scholarships. Details can be found in our Annual Report​.

On behalf of the volunteers at Rise Together Education, we thank you for your continued support!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Break!