The Ed Fund received nearly 40 applications for the 2022-23 Awesome Fund grant, and after a rigorous review process, we are proud to announce that we have awarded over $13,500 in Awesome Fund grants to 15 school clubs across four San Francisco high schools. The Awesome Fund provides financial support for student-led projects at priority high schools that help enhance the school community, keep students involved in school, and/or provide students with a more meaningful educational experience. Students can apply for a grant ranging from $100 to $1,000. The application is open to any registered student club or high school student with a faculty advisor sponsor from six eligible high schools: Balboa, Burton, John O’ Connell, Misson, June Jordan, and Thurgood Marshall.
According to Ed Fund CEO Stacey Wang, “We are honored to provide grants to support hundreds of high school students across San Francisco in their efforts to create meaningful projects through the clubs they care deeply about. We know this funding will help ignite many passion projects and spark inspiration, build character, develop new skills, and support their school and broader communities.”
Below please find a list of the clubs who have been awarded funding this school year. Congratulations to all of the recipients and best of luck with your projects!
Thurgood Marshall High School:
Po’Q Mam Maya Pride: The objective of this club is to spread awareness of indigenous communities of Guatemala, specifically Mam and Maya culture, and empower this subpopulation within Thurgood Marshall’s school community. The indigenous population, mostly from Guatemala, has increased tremendously at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School in the last few years. According to applicant Oliser A., “These students are labeled as Latinx, however their indigenous identity is often not recognized. They need their own space where they feel safe, seen, and can fully be themselves. The purpose of this club is for Mam/Mayan students to feel empowered, connected and valued. The purpose is to share about their culture and identity, and feel a sense of belonging to our multicultural community.”
Their grant will be used to support four projects throughout the year for its 30+ members, including learning a choreographed folkloric dance with traditional costumes to perform during 1-2 school community events; creating posters and lesson plans to share information about the languages, food, art, dance, music, history, and cultural significance of the indigenous culture; cooking traditional Guatemalan food and sharing with classmates; and mentoring middle school students, especially indigenous Guatemalans, by designing community circle questions and discussion topics to share with them and teaching them how to manage stress and adapt to school in the US.
La Raza: Over half (60%) of Thurgood Marshall’s students are recent immigrants to the United States. The goal of La Raza is to help everyone – especially the new students – feel connected with each other. According to applicant and club member Atziri V., “As a club, we want to help each other with homework, opportunities for scholarships and colleges, and information about immigration and college if we are undocumented. Our project will focus on unity, from helping our newer classmates with accessing technology and learning about one another, to celebrating our [different] culture[s]. By the end of our project, we want to have a strong sense of community and feel prepared for life after high school. We are about 25 students hoping to continue to build and mentor our younger and newer students and grow over time.” Funds from the Awesome Grant will be used to purchase graduation sashes for seniors in the club, backpacks for new students, custom t-shirts, and more. Last year, several members from La Raza performed a traditional Guatemalan dance at the Ed Fund’s Back-to-School Gala!
Asia for All: The main goal of this club is to bring light to the Asian community and culture. According to applicant Jenna L., “Over the past few years the Asian student population at our school has decreased a lot, so there has not been much recognition for the Asian community within our community. In order to bring more recognition and school spirit, our club will be doing many activities such as trying cultural foods, doing different cultural activities, and more. The sole purpose of our club is to bring more diversity and recognition of Asian cultures to our school community.” The six members of the Asia for All club will use the funding to sample different types of Asian cuisine, encourage other schoolmates to learn about Asian cultures, and offer culturally-relevant prizes to classmates who participate in their quizzes, and more.
Gender Sexuality Alliance: This club exists with the goal of fighting against homophobia and transphobia at Marshall, and creating a safe environment where all are accepted. Funding from the Awesome Grant will help club members learn about the history of the Castro and the LGBTQIA+ rights movement by taking a field trip to the GLBT History Museum in the Castro neighborhood. Through the grant, they will buy tickets to the museum, lunch, and tickets for a private tour of the Castro in which they’ll learn even more about the LGBTQIA+ rights movement.
Marshall Gardening Club: This is a new club comprised of eight students with the goal of beautifying Thurgood Marshall High School and creating a garden that all students and staff can enjoy. They also hope to grow some vegetables which can be shared with the school’s culinary class. This grant will be used to buy gardening tools, including shears, gloves, a shovel, rake, and soil; as well as plants and mulch.
TMAHS Feminist Club: The goal of this club is to educate their school community about the feminist movement, and to grow the club members from 10 to at least 17-20 students. According to Nesly H., the applicant and club member, “We want to let people know that women [are] as smart and powerful as men. We want to break the stereotypes about women and advocate for our equal rights as any human being under the law. We also want to help improve the conditions of women in our community who are currently struggling.” The club plans to use the money to buy art supplies so they can create posters which they’ll post throughout the school, purchase merchandise like buttons and stickers, and food and ingredients for fundraisers.
Burton High School:
Chess Club: The goal of the Burton Chess Club is to unite chess players and people who want to get into the world of chess. Their club also provides chess lessons, tutoring, and other events so club members can not only play with other people for fun, but also can improve their chess strategies and critical thinking. Their grant will be used to purchase supplies and prizes in two different tournaments this year.
Chinese Culture Club: With nearly 20 members, the Chinese Culture Club has a goal of sharing the Chinese culture with the Burton Community through traditional Chinese food, games, and more. They will be using their grant to support teambuilding and culture-building events including a food fest and a Lion dance. According to club member and applicant Zi H., “Chinese culture is so fascinating and there [are] so many opportunities to learn about it in San Francisco that we may not even know ourselves. Our culture has a very long history and it’s not commonly taught in schools until college. We’d like to give some exposure to it for students who are interested.”
Lost Cards Club: The Lost Cards club is a supportive dance club where students explore their talents and learn or enhance their dancing skills. This club also helps bring students together to develop communities, establish friendships, create special memories, and gain confidence and courage from schoolwide performances. This 12-person club will use their grant to rent a dance studio for three-hour sessions over the course of four days since they don’t have access to a dance studio in the school. They will also use the funding to purchase uniforms and props for their upcoming performances, and support fundraising efforts.
Key Club: The goal of the Key Club is to provide its 24 members with lifelong skills of leadership and cooperation to better themselves and the people around them. Their grant will be used to pay for 30 students’ membership fees, to purchase blankets and clothes for those who need them in San Francisco, and for event supplies.
John O’Connell High School:
Cooking Club: The Cooking Club is a brand new club with 25 members who plan to meet regularly. The goal of their gatherings is to learn how to cook healthy and cost-effective meals with the support of the school’s Culinary Arts Chef, learn kitchen safety techniques, engage in the joy of cooking, and “learn how to take care of themselves with [an important] life skill,” according to applicant and club member Devin S. Their grant will be used to purchase groceries for members to create dishes in the school’s amazing culinary classroom that is modeled after a professional kitchen.
OC Skate: Founded by five students in 2022, the O’Connell Skate Club is a new club that now has over 25 members, comprised of a mix of students who are experienced in skateboarding as well as those who are eager to learn. According to Felipe E. and Kevin S., two members who applied for the grant, “Skating is a positive outlet for many of us and helps our mental and physical health. We skate to make friends, build community, and build positive self-esteem.” The club will use the funding to add skate obstacles to their school yard for more experienced skaters to work on their skills, and purchase gear to help new skaters. They also hope to organize a Skate Jam for the community in the spring.
Science Club: This club meets bi-weekly to discuss, promote, and engage in science, through hands-on experiments, field-trips, guest speakers, and other school-related activities. They recently partnered with an organization that facilitates an after-school program for elementary-aged girls who need tutoring in STEM subjects as well as writing and reading. According to applicant and club member Alana A., “This project will allow our [members] to act as mentors to younger students. This will allow a connection to be made [between] high school students and elementary-aged girls which could lead to further involvement in future science activities.”
Wellness Youth Outreach Workers Program: Wellness and mental health are a priority at John O’Connell. Over a dozen students are eager to bring relevant mental health services to the greater student body through the Youth Outreach Workers (YOWs) program. YOW currently has 15 members, and one of the program’s key objectives is to provide essential hygiene supplies to their student body in an effort to facilitate health and well-being. According to Talianna R and Sanie’ya H., the students who applied for the grant, “As a result of our projects, we will be able to provide health education, sense and sensibility, advocacy for self-care, and an opportunity for students to educate their peers about healthy choices and wellness topics that are relevant to their lives. We are excited to provide essential items and form peer-to-peer connections beyond classroom presentations.”
Mission High School:
The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA): With about 50 members, Mission High’s GSA works to build a safe community for the queer students in Mission High School. The club shares resources to help struggling queer students, as well as provides a safe space for students to gather, build community, make art and learn about LGBTQIA+ history. Their grant will be used for food for meetings, club t-shirts for visibility, and makeup for drag tutorials led by local organization Queens of the Castro.
For more information about the Awesome Fund grant, visit our website here.