About Us

Who We Are  |  Our Story  |  Staff and Board  |  Partners and Supporters


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Upward Scholars, then known as Sequoia District Adult School Scholars or SASS, was founded in 2009 by Sequoia District Adult School staff and volunteers committed to enabling adult school students to continue their education at community college. 

The impetus for the organization came from our founder, Elizabeth Weal, a longtime ESL teacher at Sequoia Adult School, who observed that upon graduating from the Adult School, many students were languishing in low-paying jobs rather than taking advantage of the vast ESL and other class offerings available at nearby Cañada College.   

Thanks to initial partnerships with Sequoia District Adult School and Cañada College and the work of an active and committed board of directors, Upward Scholars has been increasing the breadth and depth of its support ever since. 

Upward Scholars provided its first scholarships in fall 2010 to two ESL students transitioning from adult school to community college. This spring we're supporting more than 280! 

While the majority of our students are graduates of Sequoia District Adult School, we also support students who transition to college from other adult schools and community-based organizations in San Mateo County. Although most students attend Cañada College, an increasing number attend the College of San Mateo and Skyline College.

In October 2018, Dr. Linda Prieto became the executive director of Upward Scholars and the organization’s founder, Elizabeth Weal, joined the Board.

You can find out more about our programs here

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