SEO Scholars San Francisco Raised Over $4M In Support of Bay Area High School Students

The 2022 event was the largest fundraiser in local organization’s history

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SEO Scholars San Francisco, a non-profit organization addressing the widening academic opportunity gap for underserved high school students in the Bay Area, hosted its first in-person event in San Francisco after two years of virtual events last week. SEO brought together leading companies from the legal and finance worlds to honor 66th Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and J-P Conte, Chairman & Managing Director of Genstar Capital.

SEO Scholar’s unique eight-year program is free for underserved public high school students. Over 92% of Scholars are first-generation college-bound students; all of SEO’s participants identify as people of color, and come from low-income households across the Bay Area. SEO Scholars provides 750+ hours of year-round supplemental academic classes, mentorship, experiential learning opportunities, parent/guardian guidance, career exposure through internships, and college coursework through a partnership with Chabot Community College. The impact of SEO’s model has led to a 100% college acceptance rate.

“We were thrilled to have such a large turn out for this year’s event. It demonstrates the desire to support high school and college students from underserved communities as we help create pathways for generations of youth behind them,” said Omar Wandera, Executive Director of SEO Scholars San Francisco.

Historically, 100% of SEO’s Scholars are admitted to 4-year colleges and universities, with 70% over the last two years accepted to some of the nation’s most competitive universities including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia University, NYU, Northwestern, Santa Clara University, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, and UC Berkeley.

SEO has proven to be an essential resource for companies looking to make a direct impact in reducing the opportunity and wealth gap for people of color once they graduate college. As businesses tout DEI initiatives, top companies such as Carrick Capital Partners, Genstar, Kirkland and Ellis, Orbis Investment Management, PNC Bank, Thoma Bravo, Still Capital Partners, and Vista Equity Partners, to name a few, are investing in SEO’s Scholars and Career programs, empowering thousands of Black, Latinx, and Asian students on their path to college graduation and career advancement.

In partnering with SEO, companies are able to connect with candidates from diverse backgrounds – candidates who would otherwise not have the relationships, academic guidance, or professional mentorship to be considered. With the continued support of their corporate and community partners, the San Francisco Scholars program is rapidly growing and expanding to schools across the Bay Area, providing life-changing opportunities to students in underserved East Bay communities.

“SEO’s success is beyond graduation rates, college acceptances, and career placements. It’s seen in the changes in corporate leadership, in the boardroom, and in the impact these students will have on their family’s generational wealth and their children’s future across the Bay Area,” said Wandera.

SEO Scholars San Francisco’s Achievement Benefit took place at Pier 27 on Thursday, Nov. 3rd.

About SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity) Scholars

Founded in 2011 by SEO Career Alumnus Adam Karr, SEO Scholars San Francisco addresses the widening academic opportunity gap for underserved high school students in the Bay Area, with a challenging and engaging out of school academic program. By providing students with year-round supplemental academic classes, mentorship, experiential learning opportunities, and career exposure during high school, we equip our Scholars to earn admission to – and graduate from – four-year colleges around the country. SEO Scholars is a program of SEO which was founded in New York in 1963 with a mission to provide talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to superior educational and career opportunities. For more information, visit

Angela Baldwin

SOURCE SEO Scholars San Francisco