The Brosnahan Fellowship award selection committee has named its recipient for 2019: Alvaro Carvajal, School-To-College Coordinator at the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC).
The fellowship funds a monetary gift to an outstanding JDC employee each year. Carvajal plays an integral part in JDC’s School-To-College program (STC) by ensuring diverse students at The Academy – San Francisco @ McAteer High School in San Francisco receive adequate college readiness and financial aid support to attend local and national universities.
Unlike other educational programs of JDC, STC does not directly intersect with the law but addresses a fundamental challenge students face when considering the prospects of their future. 79% of STC students are first-generation students, and STC is there to mentor them through the college application process. In this way, STC helps change students’ lives and create lasting change. Understanding that low-income students of color are less likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and disproportionately experience more negative encounters with the law, Carvajal develops positive relationships to help actualize students’ potential. STC’s success rate is astounding: 97% of STC students go on to attend college.
Carvajal’s role also entails planning college tours that provide students with greater awareness of their collegiate path. Carvajal’s leadership and commitment have made the possibility of attending college a generational investment for both students and families. His love for the work has also led him to plan efforts with SFUSD’s African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative and Academy staff to provide students with unique experiences that their build character, leadership skills and morals.
STC has been operating since 1999 and with Alvaro’s arrival in 2014, new students were introduced to the program when he partnered with Academy’s athletic director to develop a summer program that requires any student he trains to also be enrolled in STC. Leveraging his background as a football coach, he uses this partnership as an innovative and strategic way to reach students that may not have come to the program otherwise.
Carvajal has also collaborated with BASF’s Lawyer Referral Information Service to provide resource nights for parents to receive access to safe legal help without fear of deportation or judgment. Lastly, he has been voted “Head of the Wolf Pack” numerous times by students and faculty of the Academy which highlights the enormous impact he is making in that environment. Truly one of a kind, Carvajal is well deserving of this year’s award and JDC congratulates Alvaro Carvajal, as their newest Brosnahan Fellowship awardee.
We thank Joseph Cotchett, Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy, for his generous gift in 2012 establishing the fellowship, named after 1977 BASF President James Brosnahan, Morrison & Foerster, in recognition of his commitment to justice for disadvantaged people.
To learn more about STC, visit www.sfbar.org/stc.