SF State announces $1.3 million gift to enhance student leadership skills, job readiness
Gift helps students contribute to economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond
San Francisco State University has received a $1.3 million gift from the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation to create the President’s Leadership Fellows Program, which will prepare students to be job- and career-ready while training them to be leaders in the business community.
“We are grateful to the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation for their ongoing support of SF State students and for this generous and transformational gift, which will create student engagement opportunities to enhance career exploration and cultivate leadership skills that can be used in future jobs and career advancement,” said SF State President Les Wong. “As the city’s university and one of the most diverse universities in the U.S., this gift will go a long way toward helping our students and graduates contribute to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.”
The creation of the new program builds upon the success of the College of Business Career Services and Professional Development Program, as well as the College’s Fellows program, both of which were launched in fall 2014 and were funded by a gift from the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation. This unique, "opt-in" program prepares first-generation students for career success in Bay Area companies. The Fellows Program more than doubled in size the first year and provided more than 250 students with management and professional skills through a combination of lectures, hands-on experiences, 1:1 mentoring/coaching opportunities, resume writing, interview techniques and networking with business professionals.
The new, three-pronged program will:
- Expand the Presidential Fellows Program to provide up to 500 student ambassadors with leadership development skills, including professional development skills training, experiential learning opportunities, one-on-one-coaching and opportunities to attend networking events.
- Expand the University’s student career services offerings and establish a new Career Services & Leadership Development Office that will support and benefit all 30,000 SF State students in gaining self-awareness, identifying viable career pathways and aligning educational goals with career aspirations.
- Develop strategic partnerships with corporations in numerous industries to identify placement options, externships, internships, full-time job opportunities and special consulting projects and activities for students.
Undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 2.75 and graduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply to serve as Presidential Fellows, ambassadors of the president and the University. A selection committee will invite up to 500 students campuswide by 2019 to participate, with the first cohort of 100 ambassadors beginning this semester.
The Presidential Fellows Program will feature an online career services course that includes bimonthly workshops covering topics such as personal assessment tools, career research and “how-tos” for getting hired. Fellows will be encouraged to participate in a variety of the more than 50 university events held annually that engage alumni, parents and friends of the University, including the President’s Distinguished Speaker Series, which features prominent community and business leaders.
Established in 2005, the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation seeks out and supports high-impact, highly leveraged programs and organizations in education, equity and inclusion, job training and safety net sectors. “As a funder, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team at SF State. Not only are they dynamic and collaborative, but they have consistently demonstrated the capacity to quickly develop and execute to plan. In fact, I am so impressed with the team's performance and their impact on students that I have signed a three-year, $1.3 million commitment to transform the COB Fellows into a campus-wide program ― the President's Leadership Fellows Program,” said Kathy Kwan, president of the foundation.
“Career and leadership development is essential to the success of our students. This program intends to breathe life into the University’s five core values of courage, life of the mind, equity, community and resilience,” said Luoluo Hong, vice president for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. “Our Presidential Fellows will be challenged to exemplify a higher standard of emotional intelligence, young professionalism and servant-leadership in the service of social justice.”