Students strive to stay in city
May 20, 2009 3:40 PM
As the end of their schooling approaches, many SF State graduates are hustling to stay in a big city ripe with opportunity.
But multiple jobs and cramped living situations are sometimes the only options for graduates when the city price tag is out of reach.
Notorious for its high cost of living, San Francisco has also been named the "Best City for Young Professionals," according to Forbes magazine.
The publication proclaims that the city has an "abundance of high-salaried positions in some of the finest big and small business in the country" and attracts the most "elite school graduates."
San Francisco also ranked the fifth "smartest" city in the nation, with 43 percent of residents over 25 having a bachelor's degree or higher.
College graduates prefer San Francisco because of its favorable job prospects.
She currently has an unpaid internship for ABC television station, a job she says gives her a first hand look at her prospective field of work.
"Here is where I need to be for the opportunities," said the 21-year-old. "I'm finally established here after four years and packing up is not something I want to do."
To keep her rent at an affordable $350, she shares a large living room with two friends.
"It's a whole sense of pride just to know that I can do it," she said.
In a time of economic hardship, many students are faced with the temptation of free rent and comfortable accommodations that come with moving back home.
Jay Ly, like Paradero, is fighting to not take that offer. He not only prefers the business market of San Francisco to his native Los Angeles, but also the restaurants and cold, foggy weather.
This determination forces him to work two jobs teaching elementary school kids while he looks for an additional job that uses his college expertise in business information systems.
"I just want to find a job so I don't have to go to a place where you need AC all the time," he said. "I'm just going to keep looking and working hard so I can stay up here."
The 23-year-old has been up until 3 a.m. every day of the final weeks of the semester due to his busy schedule.
Kathryn Elizabeth Styer Martinez shared Ly's end-of-year experience of late nights balancing school and work.
Martinez just finished a framed drawing of a Chicano domestic worker for the final project of her La Raza degree.
American and Mexican flags serve as the backdrop for the painted portrait of a proud-looking, middle-aged Latina woman.
The piece attempts to put the "ordinary" woman, whom Martinez interviewed, on the pedestal of a national figure.
Also a political science major, Martinez is staying in San Francisco because it is the "most politicized" city in the country and the best place to work with immigration and Latino culture issues.
She is trying to get a grant for a community oral history project from the city's many Latino organizations but, if unable, will continue to work at bike shops for a living.
"There is no way I could do as much work in the Central Valley," said the 23-year-old.
She was even called "country mouse" by her friends.
Over her four years studying at SF State she has come to love San Francisco and its diversity.
"This is the best place in the nation for me to be," she said.
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