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.

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

Application Requirements

Competitive candidates must:

  • be a junior in a San Francisco Unified School District High School 
  • have demonstrated academic excellence (at least a 3.4 GPA) and be college/junior college – bound. 
  • have demonstrated significant leadership in their community, school, work, and/or home including active participation in school clubs, sports, volunteer work, paid work, religious community, college prep programming, family responsibilities, etc. 
  • have overcome significant hardship (e.g., unstable housing, non-native English speaker, economic insecurity, health or mental 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. The recommendation should not be from a relative. 

Tax ID or SSN not required to apply, however if selected, the student will need to provide either Tax ID or SSN. If you do not have a Tax ID, this organization can help you obtain one.

Application Process and Timeline

February 8, 2024: Student applications are open for the 2024 Koshland Young Leader Awards. 

April 8, 2024: Applications are due. 

Late May 2024: San Francisco Foundation notifies all 2024 Koshland Young Leader Award winners. 

June 2024: Event to celebrate the 2024 awardees. 

How to Apply

To apply, please follow this link to our online platform, Submittable, to complete your application by 11:59 pm PT on April 8, 2024. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

You will need to submit:

  • Application Video – We want to learn about you and your story! Please record one video of yourself answering all the questions below. For high-quality recorded videos, we recommend watching this video. 
    • If a video recording is not possible and you prefer to submit a written version, please contact Mayra Roman at mroman[at]sff.org.
    • The video must be recorded in English.  
    • The video must not be longer than 8 minutes. 
    • Video can be recorded on your phone, mobile device, or laptop, and need not be polished or have high production value. If you are unable to record in a private, quiet space or are concerned about the sound quality of your recording, we suggest using closed captioning.
  • Transcript – your most recent (unofficial or official)   
  • 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

2023 Koshland Young Leader Award Winners

Sofie Azmi Abraham Lincoln High School
Melany Flores San Francisco International High School
Lucia Gomez San Francisco International High School
Fiona Ma Lowell High School
Nixon Ooi Life Learning Academy
Samrawit Tesfai Balboa High School
Meagan To George Washington High School
Tiarri Washington Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts
JiaHui Wen San Francisco International High School
Mandy Zhao Balboa High School
Cammy Zou Galileo Academy of Science and Technology

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