Children, parents and local community organizations gathered on Sept. 7 at John O’Connell High School for the launch of a community-wide initiative that promises to provide economic stability and support to Mission District students and their families.
Nine months ago, MEDA was awarded a $30 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education to provide services for low-income residents in the Mission through a program known as Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN).
“We are bringing community organizations together to coordinate and integrate their services to ensure that families can move through what we are calling a cradle to college to career pipeline seamlessly, ” said Victor Corral, Interim Project Director of MPN.
For the next five years, MEDA will receive six million dollars per year to fund the three primary components of MPN: project management, program implementation and data analysis.
“We are funding a lot of partner organizations to continue delivering, expanding and increasing the quality of services for the long term,” said Corral.
Abriendo Puertas, Spanish for “opening doors”, is a free parent education and leadership program at Good Samaritan Resource Center partially funded by MPN. The program was created by Latinos for Latinos and consists of a series of leadership workshops for low-income parents with children up to 5-years-old.
“We cover the…cradle to preschool [stages] by getting the family prepared,” said Aura Aparicio, Service Coordination Manager. “Because parents are the first teachers.”
MEDA dedicated the first six months of the year to finalizing contracts with partner organizations as well as hiring and training new employees.
“We hired 25 people to ramp up and support the MPN and to support the organizational work,” said Corral.
The final component of the initiative will be to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of MEDA and its partner organizations.
“[MEDA] began a partnership with Stanford to design an evaluation process,” said Corral.
Although the frequency of data collection and evaluation is still in the works, one of MEDA’s goals is transparency.
“We will be working with several organizations to conduct a lot of surveys, collect a lot of data, to analyze it and get it out into the community, to[show] how we are using the money and…the impact that it is having,” said Corral. “We want to be transparent.”
For more information on MEDA and Mission Promise Neighborhood visit medasf.org/home.
For more information about Abriendo Puertas visit www.goodsamfrc.org or call (415) 401-4253. Abriendo Puertas is now open for enrollment.