2023 Spring


“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

– Carter G. Woodson
(considered the Father of Black History)

This Black History Month SFA honors the contributions of African Americans andrecognize their sacrifices. As we reflect on the experiences of our alumni and current scholars, and prepare to award the next cohort of scholarship recipients, we are mindful of legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and look to continue in that traditions. Since its inception, SFA has helped to open the path to postsecondary education for more than300 African American young men, widening their access to gainful employment.

This month, we invite you to reflect with us on our nation’s history, as we continue to work to make our city as vibrant and egalitarian as we imagined we could be during the Civil Rights era.

Graduation rates from first institution attended for first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students at 4-year
postsecondary institutions.

DO you know

DO you know

Nearly half (47.5%) of African American students need more than 4 years to graduate from college? At SFA, we are thinking more critically about and developing programs that enable our students to successfully move through their postsecondary education more efficiently and effectively—including bolstering their understanding of A-G requirements, and easing the transition to and through postsecondary education.




SFA Scholar Alumnus

The Other “Equity” Gap

Homeownership can change a family’s financial worth for generations.

Today, homeownership rates of African Americans lag even further behind white’s rates, affecting their ability to build wealth.

Leroy Jackson, an SFA alumnus who graduated college in 2021, is on the path of becoming a homeowner before he turns 25! Shortly after graduating college, Leroy had an opportunity to join the Davey Resource Group – one of the largest nationwide environmental consulting firms—as an Enhanced Vegetation Management Specialist. He is now looking ahead to start his own consulting firm and saving to purchase his first home!

I’ve been learning a lot and have been especially interested in learning the back-end knowledge on the different regulatory requirements and processes necessary for projects like this to function, as well as how our contracts with PG&E work. All of which become greatly useful to me when I eventually start my own ENVS consulting firm.

This has been an excellent opportunity for me, and I feel very blessed to be able to earn a good salary 6 months out of college.

I honestly thought it would take me years to achieve this kind of financial situation, but I am staying humble and trying to put my money to work for me and to good use. I project I’ll buy my first home in 18 months, which puts me well on track to my longtime goal of being a homeowner by 25.

2023-24 SFA Scholarship Interviews – In the coming months, we will ask our stakeholders and supporters for their help in interviewing applicants for the SFA Scholarship. This is a wonderful opportunity to get involved and learn more about SFA. Please contact us if interested –

Awards Ceremony – Our annual Awards Ceremony will be held in May. Join us in welcoming and celebrating our 2023-24 SFA Scholarship recipients. Stay tuned!

15th Anniversary Celebration – What started as a pilot project of Dr. Henry Safrit’s Meritus College Fund has blossomed into an organization that empowers African American young men to lead and thrive in education and beyond. We are planning a big commemoration event to celebrate this milestone. Stay tuned for details.

ED’s Corner

Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.


Before Black History Month rolled around this year, I started thinking about the Civil Rights Movement’s legislative successes. I was drawn to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. I wondered how much that landmark piece of legislation impacted educational opportunity today.

Our society is more dependent on knowledge and education than ever before, and that focus is particularly acute in African American communities. At the center of these challenges are the persistent gaps in educational achievement between white and non-Asian minority students who often do not have the access, guidance and support needed to avoid many of the pitfalls. Unlike their counterparts, African American boys often have to combat notions that their level of achievement is a function of culture or a lack of effort and will. However, these assumptions miss an important reality: educational outcomes for minority children are much more a function of both their level of access to critical educational resources and the multigenerational legacy structural alienation.

Given that our educational system is one of the most unequal in the industrialized world, minority students routinely receive disparately different opportunities according to their social status. These systemic inadequacies lead to disadvantages when it is time for African Americans to enter both the postsecondary arena and the workforce. And the outcomes are worrisome; only 39% of Black students enrolled at four-year colleges and universities graduate within six years. We can do better!

As SFA’s Executive Director, I have spoken with many stakeholders. We all understand the enormity of the task; that the solution is not to “fix” Black young men but to address the current fractures in the system. We agree that supporting institutions that enable Black students to navigate the education system successfully from grade school to postsecondary graduation is the goal. In many ways, that is part of what the Civil Rights Movement sought to accomplish and what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 sought to address.

This Black History Month, as we honor the contributions of the African Americans, let’s reaffirm our commitment to the Movement’s ambitions.

Join the

Volunteer – A paramount piece of SFA’s scholarship awarding process are one-on-one interviews. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved and meet the young men we serve. If you are interested in being an interviewer, please reach out to us via email at contact@sfachievers.org

Mentor – are you interested in becoming a mentor? Please contact us at contact@sfachievers.org

People Update
In Memoriam

Last year, we lost one of the strongest advocates SFA has ever had. Jacqueline Young, known by everyone as “Jackie” passed away on August 15, 2022. For those who knew Jackie, news of her passing came as a tremendous shock given her remarkable physical and mental vitality at the age of 85.

Jackie spent the last 12 years of her life dedicated to advocating relentlessly for San Francisco Achievers’ mission, which she believed deeply in. Jackie’s commitment to the ideals of equality made her a tireless advocate in ensuring that the door was open for African American young men to enter the workforce more prepared through postsecondary education.

As many people who crossed her path will attest, she made a significant difference in this world and served as a powerful yet graceful role model to many, while helping to keep San Francisco as the bastion of fairness and equality.

To me, San Francisco Achievers went beyond the financial help I received; it provided me with mentorship and internship opportunities, which shaped my career and landed me the job position I currently am at.

Binyam Teklegiorgis

SFA Scholar Alumnus, Mission
High School Class of 2015

SCHOLAR (College):
B.A. in International Business/Economics Ohio Wesleyan University 2020

Gilead Internship 2020

Rotational Program, IT & Corporate Finance
@Gilead – a research-based biopharmaceutical company (Current)