How It Began

Our Story

While teaching fifth grade at Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School in Los Angeles, Sara Hahn was inspired by the resilience, motivation, and hope for the future that she witnessed in her students–almost all of whom rode a bus for over two hours a day to avoid their neighborhood schools and receive a better education.

Sara realized that if a passionate, caring educator supported the same group of students through middle and high school, the impact on them would be tremendous and life changing. She determined that this commitment would provide an optimal level of learning, giving deserving students the confidence and tools to go to college and graduate.

In 2005, Sara began working with a select group of her fifth-grade students as they transitioned into sixth grade, and with the generous support of actor/activist Hank Azaria, co-founded Determined To Succeed.

Sara’s original group of students, the students who inspired the program, graduated from high school in 2012 and are enrolled in colleges across the country! They will graduate from college in 2016!

Determined To Succeed ‘s Mission was achieved with a high school graduation rate and college enrollment rate of 100%! (According to the California Department of Education, the 4-year high school graduation rate in the LAUSD has averaged 54% and only 63% of those high school graduates go on to college, 12% less then the state average.)

Our first graduation class set the bar very high for generations of Determined To Succeed students to come. Our year-round program currently provides support and programming to more than 100 students in middle school, high school and college in Compton and Los Angeles.

Learn more about our program!

2525 Ocean Park Blvd. Ste 116, Santa Monica, CA 90405 | Phone: 424.226.9527 (O) | Copyright © 2017 Determined To Succeed