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USF Social Justice in Schools Prize

“To encourage and support young leaders in our schools by recognizing and identifying high school-age students whose vision and efforts have created more equitable conditions in urban schools.”

Annual Essay Competition

The School Counseling program at the University of San Francisco hosts an annual essay competition to reward young leaders who have demonstrated outstanding work in pursuit of equitable conditions in San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) high schools. One student will receive a cash prize of $300 for exceptional work in promoting social justice in schools.

To apply:

  1. Deadline May 1st.
  2. You must be a current high school student in SFUSD.
  3. Write a 1-page essay describing:
    (a) how you have helped your community, and
    (b) your social justice goals.
  4. Include your full name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
  5. Include ONE letter of support from a school counselor, teacher, educator, community member.
  6. Email your materials to Professor Christine Yeh at cjyeh@usfca.edu OR mail your materials to:

    Professor Christine Yeh
    School of Education
    University of San Francisco
    2130 Fulton Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117-1071


USF recognizes the need for more equitable conditions in public schools and is proactive in seeking positive change by empowering youth to become part of the solution.

The USF Social Justice in Schools Prize is intended to identify and reward young leaders who have taken initiative in their own schools.

Students who have been involved in
an activity or activities that have
contributed to making positive
changes in their school are
encouraged to apply.

Through this effort and collaboration with schools and students in SFUSD, it is our hope that this prize will not only identify students who have shown commendable work, but also encourage and inspire others to join in this common goal.

Social Justice Initiative

As social justice change agents, the School Counseling Program (SCP) graduate students at the University of San Francisco (USF) are committed to creating more equitable conditions in local schools and communities. Since 2009, SCP students have implemented the following social justice initiatives:

  • In 2009-2010, SCP students held a supply drive donating school supplies to students at El Dorado Elementary School in San Francisco.
  • In 2010-2011, SCP students partnered with St. Ignatius High School and Charity Water to fundraise for the building of water wells in developing communities to provide access to clean water, as well as addressing related issues like sanitation. Students lead a 3.0-mile “Walk for Wells” in order to raise awareness.
  • 2011-2012, SCP students have partnered with Raoul Wallenberg High School, holding a “Bowling for Books” fundraiser to foster a college-going culture among high school youth by providing them with opportunities for success. As a result, this scholarship will provide financial assistance for college expenses (i.e. tuition, books, school supplies) for two college-bound seniors.