Quality SAT Prep for 600 Low-Income HS Students

by SEE College Prep
A few of our first academic-year students!
A few of our first academic-year students!

Dear friend,

A while ago, you made a donation to SEE College Prep (now named CollegeSpring) through the Global Giving website.

I am emailing to let you know what a difference your support has made. 

Our work started with a simple realization: low-income high school students tend to score much lower on the SAT than their peers, making their dreams of attending four-year colleges and universities much harder to realize. For many students, improving SAT scores significantly could mean the difference between a high school diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree.

Because donors like you believed in our work, CollegeSpring has helped approximately 2,100 students in the Bay Area and Los Angeles understand the college admissions process and raise their SAT scores by an average of almost 200 points. In 2012-2013, we will serve approximately 2,500 students through both summer and school-year programs. Your support and encouragement in the early phases of our work helped us to grow from a completely volunteer-based project to a sustainable non-profit with a permanent full-time staff of 9, allowing us to increase dramatically the number of students we reach.

Because we are no longer receiving donations through Global Giving, you will no longer receive CollegeSpring updates unless you opt-in to our mailing list. If you aren't already on our mailing list, we hope you will opt-in now in order to remain connected to us!

We are also active on social media, and encourage you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay more abreast of the work we are doing to help students realize their potential.

Again, we thank you for your support, and the difference you've made in the lives of the students we've served.

Yours in service,

Garrett Neiman, CEO and Founder

Mentors work with small groups of 3 to 5 students.
Mentors work with small groups of 3 to 5 students.
Professional teachers deliver general content.
Professional teachers deliver general content.
Mentors review material with students.
Mentors review material with students.
Mentors are role models of college success.
Mentors are role models of college success.
CollegeSpring has served 2,100 students!
CollegeSpring has served 2,100 students!


Dear Friends of SEE College Prep,

Thank you so much for helping low-income high school students access the colleges and futures that they deserve. We are happy to share with you that thanks to your support, nearly 600 students at our 16 summer program sites improved their SAT scores and gained the tools they need to successfully apply to college. This summer:

  • Students in our programs improved their SAT scores by an average of 194 points.
  • The number of our students scoring above the national median on the SAT doubled.  
  • 93% of our students felt more confident about taking the SAT as a result of our program.
  • 85% of our students felt that their SEE mentor was the best mentor they'd ever had.

We are also happy to announce the recent launch of our first school-year programs, in collaboration with two charter management organizations in Los Angeles, Alliance College-Ready High Schools and Green Dot Public Schools. Already this school year, 800 students in six schools are benefiting from our programs. Here are two reasons why we are excited about our school-year programs:

  • Providing programs during the school year allows us to partner with schools who cannot afford or are otherwise unable to offer summer programs.
  • By offering our curriculum during the school day, we are able to reach the entire Junior class at each school.  This allows us to serve more students and improves our ability to track student outcomes.

In order to provide high-quality services to as many students as possible, we will continue to offer both summer and school year programs, and will actively work to expand our reach.  

If you or anyone you know is interested in making a difference by joining our team (either as an undergraduate mentor or as a full-time staff member), please see our website for a list of current openings.  

Thank you for your continued interest and support!

All the best,



Dear Friend of SEE College Prep,

Summer of 2011 has been very busy!  We're very happy to give you an update about our progress serving low-income California high school students with SAT preparation and college counseling content.

  • Our summer programs are nearing conclusion.  All sixteen of the schools we are serving have reacted positively to our program, and the results so far are quite promising.  While it's too early to tell with certainty where all students will end up, with three of the four diagnostic tests completed nearly all students are showing positive improvement.  We're hopeful that we'll beat our prior achievement of 200 point average increases!
  • We are preparing in full force for our first school-year programs, and are excited by their efficiency and scale. Through Alliance for College Ready Public Schools and Green Dot in Los Angeles, we will serve at least 600 students at six high schools beginning next month!  We will train nearly forty teachers in early August for programs that launch in late August and early September. After the program starts, we will begin recruiting undergraduates who will join the program in January as mentors to the students, much like in our summer programs.
  • Our June 15 online campaign via Global Giving raised over $10,000 in just 24 hours—thank you to those who played a role in this effort!  We've also secured generous funding in the past month from two foundations and several major donors to help us end our year strongly.
  • We are also very excited to welcome a new Board Member to our leadership.  Rick Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He has been a leader in the development of economic analysis of educational issues, and his work on efficiency, resource usage, and economic outcomes of schools has frequently entered into the design of both national and international educational policy. Rick’s wealth of knowledge concerning charter schools and teacher quality, and prominence in the research of these fields, will contribute greatly to our efforts to reach more students and offer high-quality services to all participants. Rick’s illustrious academic career will bolster our organization’s efforts to deliver a program that is backed by data and the latest research. Welcome, Rick!
  • We've also just welcomed a new staff member, Krystal O'Leary Flores, to our team as our Los Angeles Programs Manager; in this role she'll be responsible for ensuring our LA-based work goes well, including recruiting and managing excellent teachers and mentors to serve our students.  Krystal has a career as a professional educator, and was most recently a Lead Teacher and Program Coordinator in the Media Academy at Crenshaw High School in LA.  Welcome Krystal!

Thank you for your interest in our organization and your continued support!



Dear SEE College Prep Supporters and Friends,

In our last update in January, we shared our success to date: through our first three successful summers, more than 1,000 low-income high school students have finished our program, improved their SAT scores an average of more than 200 points, and gone on to college - often as the first in their family to do so. We shared with you our excitement about opening our first office, hiring our first employees, raising our first million dollars, and building our first major school partnership.

In the past three months, more great things have happened:
  • We hired three new exceptional people, bringing our full-time team to six people. Sean Simplicio, VP of Business Development, is directing all of our operations and fundraising work; Rance Graham-Bailey, Programs Associate, is doing a lot of heavy lifting in getting this summer's teaching and mentoring staff recruited and trained; and Greg Szoke, Operations Associate, is working to make sure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.
  • We attracted hundreds of applications from undergraduates for our summer mentor job openings, and made offers to fifty talented young people who will serve as terrific mentors to our students.
  • We built new partnerships with schools and organizations across California such as Envision Public Schools, PUC Schools, and the Oakland Military Academy; we're close to finalizing partnerships with several others.
  • We're exploring the creation of a new academic-year program that would be of benefit to potential school partners for which a summer program might not be feasible. 
  • Our work had advanced greatly with incredible gifts from Gene Sykes, Susan McCaw, Tim and Theresia Ranzetta, Jim Ukropina, and others.
What's next? We'll finalize our partnerships for the summer, make further revisions to our curriculum to better meet the needs of our students, and gear up for two weeks of training programs followed by eight weeks of summer program in which 1,000 to 1,500 students will participate in our 80-hour program and get the tools they need to successfully apply and go on to college.

To make this happen, we need your help. We hope you will consider supporting us by making a contribution to our work.  Every donation truly does make a difference.

Thank you so much for your commitment to our work!
Happy New Year from SEE College Prep!
We would like to thank all of our Global Giving donors for the tremendous support over the last year.  So much has changed in this last year, and we have you to thank!  

When Jessica and I first launched SEE with a bit of support from Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service, we could not have imagined where we would be now. Just two years ago, Jessica and I each ran a small pilot program in our home communities. Now, after serving 600 students this past summer, more than 1,000 low-income high school students have graduated from our program, improved their SAT scores an average of 202 points, and became the first in their families to go to college. 

As proud as we are of our success to date, we are even more excited about what lies ahead. Six months ago, Jessica and I graduated from Stanford and became SEE's first full-time employees. With the generous support of Coleman Fung and other key contributors, we raised over $1 million to expand our program to 2,000 California students, open a second office in Los Angeles, and offer college counseling services to all participating students for the first time. We recently developed a groundbreaking collaboration with the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, where all of the incoming seniors at the Alliance's eight high schools will be invited to participate in our program.  We are currently building a handful of other high-impact partnerships in the Bay Area and Los Angeles to reach our Summer 2011 goal of serving 2,000 students.

None of this would be possible without your support and without the support of our committed, talented, and enthusiastic team and board. We are excited to welcome Julie Bachur, Stacey Dixson, and Susan Tu as our Director of Programs, Director of Strategic Development, and Southern California Managing Director. And we are equally excited to welcome Tom Friel, Coleman Fung, Mindy Rogers, and Ron Gonzales to our founding board.

At a time when we are immeasurably grateful, it is difficult to ask for help. But I hope you will consider supporting us by:
  • Suggesting candidates who might be interested in joining our team as our Director of Operations or Operations Manager (both of these positions are full-time, salaried positions with benefits).
  • Nominating undergraduates who you think would be great mentors at one of our summer programs.
  • Volunteering your time, talent, and expertise.
  • Making a further contribution. Every donation truly does make a difference.

**Please visit our new website to see a complete listing of career and volunteer opportunities.**


Thank you so much for your commitment to our work, and I wish you a prosperous New Year!

Best Wishes,

Garrett Neiman
Co-founder and CEO



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Organization Information

SEE College Prep

Location: San Francisco, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.seecollegeprep.org
SEE College Prep
Project Leader:
Sean Simplicio
Stanford, CA United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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