170 search results for "sparkpoint"

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Fall 2021 Grove Scholarship Program

Grove WallSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students for the Spring 2021 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by 3:00 p.m. on September 14th, 2021.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirements of a 2.0 GPA and a 75% completion rate. Once selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or send an email to grovescholar@smccd.edu.  Additional information and support can also be found through the SparkPoint website.

 

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Spring 2021 Grove Scholarship Program

Grove WallSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students for the Spring 2021 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by 3:00 p.m. on February 17th, 2021.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirements of a 2.0 GPA and a 75% completion rate. Once selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or send an email to grovescholar@smccd.edu.  Additional information and support can also be found through the SparkPoint website.

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint and Skyline College Lead Historic Bay Area 2020 Census Count

Library Census StationSparkPoint and Skyline College partnered with United Way Bay Area to do outreach for the 2020 Census and we have received the official BAY AREA COUNTS 2020 report.  People and communities throughout the Bay Area will have better access to services, more resources and better political representation because of these efforts.

THE INVESTMENT: Over $27.5M in investments and millions of dollars of in-kind resources were allocated to hundreds of organizations across the Bay Area.

THE REGIONAL RESULT: The Bay Area Counts 2020 network has made millions of outreach impressions in 68 languages and these impressions made a significant impact. Despite all of the challenges that we have faced this year, the Bay Area’s self-response rate (SRR) and rate of increase compared to 2010 Census consistently ranked higher than both the state and national averages. The Bay Area region’s SRR is over 75% (3.5% higher than the 2010 Census)! And of the top 10 highest responding counties in the State, 6 of them are in the Bay Area.

THE LOCAL RESULT: Although the Bay Area has done well as a whole, San Mateo County is ranked 1st in the state with a Self Response Rate of 78.6% (5.4% higher than 2010).  Without a doubt, these local results are a product of the many meaningful and personal interactions that SparkPoint, Skyline College and other local partners have had with community members on a regular basis. More individuals from “hard-to-count”(underrepresented) populations were reached thanks to our email blasts, check-in calls, flyer distribution and the incorporation of census outreach into the Dream Center, Library, financial coaching and food distribution programs.

A special thanks to Bradley Cleveland from the San Mateo Labor Council and Kevin You from the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center, as well as our very own Rika Yonemura-Fabian, Pamela Ortiz, Lori Lisowski, Jessica Silver-Sharp and Chad Thompson for leading and supporting these efforts.

 

Written by Chad Thompson

Photo by Jessica Sliver-Sharp

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Fall 2020 Grove Scholarship Program

Grove Scholars wallSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students for the fall 2020 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by 3:00 p.m. on September 9.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirements of a 2.0 GPA and a 75% completion rate. Once selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or send an email to grovescholar@smccd.edu.  Additional information and support can also be found through the SparkPoint website.

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Spotlight Award Recipient: Eric Torres

Eric SparkPoint at Skyline College would like to recognize our second annual SparkPoint Spotlight Award Recipient. Each year SparkPoint recognizes one student that has demonstrated their commitment and dedication to their financial goals and involvement with SparkPoint services.

As a full-time student and single parent, Eric Torres qualified for the CalWorks program on campus which connected him to additional programs including: EOPs, SparkPoint, and child care services. Eric acclimated quickly to the campus and started a Student Assistant position at the Financial Aid office. Working in a department where he was exposed to different avenues to generate income, led him to apply to the Grove Scholarship. This was the commencement of Eric’s engagement with SparkPoint, but like the other areas campus, Eric immersed himself in the support that was being offered. He has accessed the following services: Grove Scholarship, financial coaching, SparkPoint Cash, career coaching, our on-campus food pantry, the Free Community Market, and public benefits access.

In one year, Eric eliminated his entire $15,000 debt, increased his credit score to a 748 and currently has 3.54 GPA. Eric is elated by his current situation and attributes his success to the resources and benefits that SparkPoint and Skyline College have provided for him.

Please visit the SparkPoint Center at Building 1, Room 1-214, to see the display for Eric Torres, additional information about his story and success, and for our available services.

Article and Photo by Flor López

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Fall 2019 Grove Scholarships

Grove ScholarsSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students for the Fall 2019 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by 3:00 p.m. on September 12th.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirements of a 2.0 GPA and a 75% completion rate. Once selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or email our SparkPoint Coordinator, Flor Lopez, at lopezf@smccd.edu.

SparkPoint is located in Bldg. 1, Room 1-214.

Article and Photo by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint and Skyline College Highlighted in National Student Food Insecurity Report

SparkPointIn 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) started their work on a national report covering student food insecurity and the promising programs currently being offered to address this issue at the college level. The research team contacted SparkPoint at Skyline College and requested a full day of interviews with staff, faculty and administrators from across the campus, as well as a confidential student focus group. Data was collected for over a year and the report was released on January 9, 2019 (link below).

Highlights from the report:

  • Researchers interviewed universities and colleges from six states. Skyline College was the only community college from California selected for an interview.
  • As of September 2018, over 650 colleges reported having a food pantry on campus. This number has been growing steadily.
  • Of the 3.3 million students who were potentially eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2016, less than half said they participated.
  • The report starts with the following quote, which expresses the impact that student food insecurity can have on the national educational system and budget:

“In fiscal year 2017, the federal government spent over $122 billion in grants, loans and work-study funds through federal student aid programs to help make college accessible to students. This substantial federal investment in higher education is at risk if college students drop out because they cannot afford basic necessities like food.”

  • Recommendation: Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) should clarify the rules and share information on how states help eligible students use SNAP.

This report will increase awareness about the national issue of student food insecurity and prompt more lawmakers, colleges and communities to take action. Please share this report with any colleagues and any other interested parties.

If you have any questions about the report or would like to get more involved with programs addressing student food insecurity at Skyline College, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint at Skyline College, thompsonc@smccd.edu.

You can access the full report here: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-95.

 Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Spring 2019 Grove Scholarships

Grove ScholarshipsSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in the Spring 2019 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at www.skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by February 6, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirement of a 2.0 GPA and 75% completion rate. Once being selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or email our SparkPoint Coordinator, Flor Lopez, at lopezf@smccd.edu.

SparkPoint is located in Building. 1, Room 1-214.

Article and Photo by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Presents at the California Guided Pathways Demonstration Project

flor lopezSparkPoint was asked to present at the California Guided Pathways Demonstration Project on September 7, 2018.

Flor López, the SparkPoint Coordinator and Financial Coach, presented to administrators, faculty and staff from community colleges across California in a breakout session titled, “Ensuring Basic Needs Are Met: Skyline College’s SparkPoint Program.” The break out session was designed to highlight SparkPoint at Skyline College’s services including: financial coaching, benefits access, the food pantry, housing resources and the role SparkPoint plays in connecting students with on and off campus partners. She shared strategies on how to provide student services with equity and dignity as the foundation for a student-centered program. Highlighted in the presentation was the partnership that SparkPoint and the Promise Scholars Program has in assisting students complete a Financial Game Plan and the importance of outreaching to students in their first year.

The presentation was well attended and was an excellent opportunity to present to community colleges wanting to address the basic needs of their students. The individuals present in the break out session had questions about program development, funding and strategies to connect with community organizations in their area.

Now, more than ever, community colleges are understanding that hunger, housing insecurity and financial burdens make it very challenging for students to succeed in higher education. SparkPoint at Skyline College is seen as an example of a program that provides holistic financial supports for students and we always welcome the opportunity to share what we have learned with other campuses.

For more information regarding the SparkPoint at Skyline College, the Food Pantry or the Benefits Office, please contact the SparkPoint at 650-738-7035 or skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu

Written by: Flor López

SparkPoint Presents on Webinar Addressing Basic Needs Stigma at Community Colleges

John Burton Advocates for Youth has invited SparkPoint at Skyline College to be a panelist on Addressing Stigma: Strategies for Facilitating Access to Basic Needs Support at Community Colleges, a webinar highlighting ways in which colleges can structure services to encourage student access and reduce the potential shame or embarrassment that prevents students from accessing available benefits. This free webinar is on September 27, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To participate, please register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2806412563248964099.

Many post-secondary institutions are developing services to help students address basic needs such as food pantries, benefits counseling, and financial literacy support in response to new data on the prevalence of food and housing insecurity among college students. A significant barrier to accessing these types of services, however, can be the stigma often associated with accessing basic needs resources, making students reluctant to engage with available support.

Students who face hunger, malnutrition, an unstable living situation, or homelessness will struggle to reach their full potential in a classroom. Changing the way we address, interact, and intervene on behalf of students can make a monumental impact in their lives and the lives of their families. We continue to look to improve the way we serve these students and remove the barriers they face to reach their goals.

If you have any questions, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, at thompsonc@smccd.edu.

Article and image by Chad Thompson