Cora Monokandilos | July 1, 2021
Categories: Student stories
The San Francisco Foundation has awarded the Koshland Young Leader Award (KYLA)to three Mission Bit students: Lilian, Johnny, and Agnes. Each student was given ten thousand dollars for college. This award is to honor San Francisco juniors in high school who show community leadership and academic promise despite extreme challenges in their lives.
“Attending college will be the only way for me to pursue my dreams and also make a change in my community because I will be able to acquire a lot of skills.”
— Lilian Emelife
“It’s an honor to be given this opportunity to even apply to this scholarship and make my dream a reality.”
— Agnes Liang
The ceremony was held online and started with a few words from Fred Blackwell, the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. Blackwell congratulated the awardees on their hard work and encouraged them to keep thriving.
“We at the foundation are so proud to be a part of KYLA, so proud to have such a small role in your success, and we wish you nothing but the best in your futures.”
— Fred Blackwell
Due to COVID-19, students submitted self-recorded video applications, which were shown during the ceremony. The students shared their challenges and what they did for their community.
“You’ve had a very tough year on top of the struggles, you have already in your lives, and you not only survived, you excelled.”
— Gail Koshland
Johnny Lin shared how he had difficulty finding experience opportunities, so he founded Operation Start. It is an online bulletin that provides youth in San Francisco with accessible and enriching opportunities for experience.
Johnny and Lilian are both a part of Mission Bit’s Student Advisory Board, where they plan events and work on small projects. They hope to impact other students at their schools by representing Mission Bit.
“Mission Bit provided me with exposure to coding and tech. My way of giving back was to be on the Student Advisory Board and work on different projects that I knew would impact the Mission Bit community and my community positively.”