Koshland Young Leader Awards

Koshland Young Leader Awards

Video produced by Wayne Bonilla

In 1999, Dr. Daniel Koshland Jr., the son of our foundation’s founding chairman, established the Koshland Young Leader Awards (KYLA), an awards program that recognizes young leaders who balance extraordinary challenges, yet continue to show academic promise and community leadership.

Candidates embrace a commitment to strengthening their families and communities despite facing formidable life challenges, such as economic and family responsibilities. Each year, 11 outstanding San Francisco Unified School District juniors are provided $10,000 each to fund tuition and/or education-related expenses. To date, the awards program has awarded nearly $1 million to more than 170 young leaders to give them a jump start as they enter college.

Applications for the 2023 Koshland Young Leader Awards are open.

Click on the sections below to read more about the Koshland Young Leader Awards application requirements, process, and timeline.

Application Requirements

Student applications for the 2023 Koshland Young Leader Awards are now open.

Competitive candidates must:

  • be a junior in a San Francisco Unified School District High School
  • have demonstrated academic excellence (at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA) and be college-bound
  • have demonstrated significant leadership in their community, school, work, and/or home including active participation in school clubs, sports, volunteer work, religious community, college prep programming, family responsibilities, etc.
  • have overcome significant hardship (e.g., unstable housing, non-native English speaker, economic insecurity, health issues, immigrant story, family situation, etc.)
  • have a recommendation from a teacher, counselor, school administrator, or college prep program staff who can speak to their qualifications.

Tax ID or Social Security Number (SSN) is not required to apply, however, if selected, the student will need to provide either a Tax ID or SSN. If you do not have a Tax ID, visit The Unity Council website to help you obtain one.

Application Process and Timeline

February 9, 2023: Student applications are open for the 2023 Koshland Young Leader Awards.

April 7, 2023: Applications are due.

May 2023: San Francisco Foundation notifies all 2023 Koshland Young Leader Award winners.

June 8, 2023: In-person event to celebrate the 2023 awardees.

For questions about the awards program, please contact Mayra Roman at mroman[at]sff.org.

How to Apply

The San Francisco Foundation and trustees of the Koshland Young Leader Awards are excited to host this year’s awards program. Given the many challenges students are navigating today, we have significantly streamlined the KYLA application process.

To apply, please review the student application instructions and follow this link to our online platform, Submittable, to complete your application by 11:59 pm PT on April 7, 2023. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

You will need to submit:

  • Application Video answering these 4 questions. See student application instructions.
  • Copy of your high school transcripts
  • Reference Form
  • Consent and Release of Liability Form
  • List of Leadership Activities

For questions about the awards program or the application, please contact Mayra Roman at mroman[at]sff.org.

Past Koshland Young Leader Award Winners

2022 Koshland Young Leader Award Winners

Yuli Zhang Hung Mission High School
Thailyah Leeann Miller Gateway High School
Nathaly Perez Mission High School
Janessa Reyes Mission High School
Vicky Huang George Washington High School
William Cao Lowell High School
Sally Hong Lowell High School
Tuvana Soronzonbold Mission High School
Roman Alvarado Munoz San Francisco International High School
Yena Im Lowell High School
Winnie Yu Raoul Wallenberg High School

2021 Koshland Young Leader Award Winners

Agnes Liang Mission High School
Jazmine Guzman de Anda John O’Connell High School
Joanna Chen Balboa High School
John Huynh Balboa High School
Johnny Lin George Washington High School
Kristel Mantilla Ulloa Mission High School
Lilian Emelife Phillip and Sala Burton High School
Marcus Young Galileo High School
Kaylie (Meiqi) Li Balboa High School
Songia Goodwin Mission High School
Wilson Wu Galileo High School