172 search results for "sparkpoint"

SparkPoint Snacks Continues to Address Food Insecurity on Campus

SparkPoint has distributed over 4,434 snacks to students in the first three weeks of operations! There are currently thirteen strategically placed SparkPoint Snack baskets around campus, each one hosted by a sponsor program working with SparkPoint to ensure that the baskets are fully stocked and supported at all times. We have also received a number of basket requests from faculty, staff and administrators throughout the campus who want to offer their support to this program and their students. With the help of these host programs, we will continue to disburse more throughout the academic year.

SparkPoint Snacks is a synergistic component of Skyline College’s paradigm of comprehensive support for the whole student. While it addresses food insecurity, it also serves as a point of contact for other SparkPoint services, all of which are specifically designed to assist students to overcome financial barriers – each snack has a SparkPoint business card attached to it in order to connect food-insecure students with CalFresh application assistance, financial coaching, the SparkPoint Food Pantry and more. Since the launch of SparkPoint Snacks, student engagement and requests for these SparkPoint services has steadily increased.

If you have any questions regarding SparkPoint Snacks or other SparkPoint services, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint and Career Services, at thompsonc@smccd.edu.

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Cash Provides Incentives for Positive Financial Behaviors

SparkPoint at Skyline College has launched SparkPoint Cash; a financial education program that rewards students for smart money management.  SparkPoint Cash simplifies the financial coaching process for students by providing them with a menu of positive financial behaviors from which to choose. Students meet with their financial coach, identify a positive financial behavior, accomplish that behavior with the financial coach or on their own and then schedule a check-in meeting.  Students earn $25 for each completed positive financial behaviors for a maximum of $100.

SparkPoint Cash is based on behavioral economic concepts, which SparkPoint at Cañada College successfully implemented in 2016.  The first financial incentives “nudges” students to engage with a Financial Coach and complete a positive behavior, while the additional incentives “nudge” students to complete additional positive behaviors that eventually become positive financial habits.  When students complete behaviors like applying for CalFresh, completing a spending tracker, increasing their savings by $25/month, or review their credit report, they are preparing themselves to overcome potential financial barriers that might otherwise affect their academic success.

These positive financial behaviors and habits could ultimately be a determining factor for a student to persist in their educational program and/or degree, and lead to long-term financial stability and self-sufficiency.

If you have any questions about SparkPoint Cash or if you would like to refer a student to any SparkPoint Services, please contact (650) 738-7035 or skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu.

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Snacks to Address Food Insecurity on Campus

On August 27, 2018, SparkPoint at Skyline College launched a much-needed project to support student success: SparkPoint Snacks. This project addresses a most basic human need – food – by making free snacks available to Skyline College students with no barriers to access. Intended to dramatically impact student food insecurity and curb the stigma with which it is often associated, SparkPoint Snacks has twelve strategically placed baskets filled with popular snacks around campus, each one hosted by a sponsor program working with SparkPoint to ensure that the baskets are fully stocked and supported at all times. SparkPoint distributed over 2,100 snacks to students in the first week of operations, and will continue to disburse more throughout the academic year.

SparkPoint Snacks is a synergistic component of Skyline College’s paradigm of comprehensive support for the whole student. While it addresses food insecurity, it also serves as a point of contact for other SparkPoint services, all of which are specifically designed to assist students to overcome financial barriers – each snack has a SparkPoint business card attached to it in order to connect food-insecure students with CalFresh application assistance, financial coaching, the SparkPoint Food Pantry and more.

If you have any questions regarding SparkPoint Snacks or other SparkPoint services, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint and Career Services, at thompsonc@smccd.edu.

Article and Photo by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Fall 2018 Grove Scholarships

Grove WallSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students the Fall 2018 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at www.skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by September 12 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 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 Bldg. 1, Room 1-214.

 

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Highlights Marjourie Quintanilla

Marjourie QuintanillaSparkPoint would like to highlight an amazing Latina, mother, scholar and advocate. Marjourie Quintanilla balances the duties of being a single mother, full-time student, public benefits specialist and active San Bruno community member with grace and commitment. She is always smiling and helpful and she inspires us all. An alumna of Capuchino High School who will graduate from Skyline College this Spring, Marjourie assists students and community members with obtaining and maintaining public benefits at SparkPoint, Skyline College. Marjourie also has spoken to underrepresented minorities at numerous public engagements, including teen mothers from Hilltop High School, PUENTE and La Rasa scholars. She assisted patrons of Skyline College’s library, facilitated a classroom of first graders as part of the Big Lift Summer Camp, and worked with second graders through the Reading Partners program. Marjourie is a recipient of numerous scholarships including the Grove Scholars, Len Herzstein, San Bruno Community Foundation Crestmoor Neighborhood Memorial scholarships.

Marjourie self-identifies as a Latina who wants a better future for her family and for those who do not know their full potential. She believes that “sharing is caring” and that she can reach higher success with an optimistic mindset that encourage and motivates.

In her own words, Marjourie explains how education, resilience and advocacy provide opportunities to shape society for ourselves, for our community and for future generations:

“My story begins with coming to America at the age of 2 years old. I was brought up in a society where as long as you can speak the language, you were welcome. I failed to find my voice until I arrived at Skyline College the second time. I now see how I was part of a system that was broken where instead of helping you succeed, it kept you stagnate. It took living a life without a college degree for me to wake up and start setting goals for myself. I have grown to realize that I can open communications to pave the way for young girls, single mothers, and anyone who feels like they are struggling through life. It’s okay not to have all the answers as long as we keep searching for meaning and practice resilience. As I continue my education I will continue to work with and for my community. I am a strong believer that a sense of community will benefit our future generations.”

This fall Marjourie will transfer to San Jose State University and pursue a degree in social work. We will miss having her beautiful smile and powerful kindness!

Article written by Valerie Higgins

 

SparkPoint Presents at Basic Needs Summit

SparkPoint played an integral role in planning and presenting at The Basic Needs Summit held in Sacramento, California on April 26 and 27.

Administrators, faculty, staff, an student leaders from community colleges across California came together to address the role we play and the collaboration needed to impact the alarming amount of our students who do not have their basic needs met. The summit featured a variety of workshops from leaders and innovators from across the state in which Director of SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, Chad Thompson, was called on to present. Chad spoke about “Innovative Strategies in Taking a Holistic Approach to Overcoming Non-Academic Barriers”. The workshop was designed to educate on the challenges students face in the classroom when their basic needs are not met. He shared strategies to help students and their families overcome these barriers to achieve their educational and financial goals.

More than ever before, colleges are seeking innovative and best practices to address basic needs insecurity among their students. The California Community College Chancellors Office approved a new initiative that includes the formation of a workgroup to identify and share best practices regarding food, housing, and other basic need resources available to students, to assess gaps in resources. That group laid the foundation for what would become the Basic Needs Summit. The summit featured a powerful keynote presentation by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder of the Wisconsin HOPE LAB, which is the nation’s only transnational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She shared information gathered from a cross-section of colleges across the country, which Skyline College proudly participated in. She also shared information that detailed how the price of attending college is higher than ever while the average family income has become stagnant. Part-time jobs don’t cover as many costs as they used to and competition for these jobs has risen which negatively affects students with impacted schedules. California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley also participated in the summit and discussed the role that administrators and campus leadership play in addressing these issues and meeting the needs of students. His speech and attendance at the summit reinforced the position of the Board to engage issues of basic needs on campus. The San Mateo Community College District was well represented having staff and leadership from all three campuses, as well as the district office in attendance.

Students who face hunger, malnutrition, 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 these students can make a monumental impact in students’ 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.

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

For more information on the summit visit http://www.cccstudentmentalhealth.org/training/basic-needs-summit/

Written by Raul Amaya

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Spring 2018 Grove Scholarships

grove scholarsSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students the Spring 2018 cohort.  Grove Scholarship applications are available online at the Sparkpoint website and are due by February 1st 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 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 are interested in applying for the Grove Scholars Program or if you have any questions please visit SparkPoint at Skyline College in Bldg. 1, Room 1-214, call us at 650-738-7035, or email us at grovescholar@smccd.edu.

Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint & NOVA Job Center Highlighted in Local Media

NOVA logoIn December 2017, a reporter from the San Mateo Daily Journal visited the SparkPoint Center at Skyline College. The article was originally intended to cover the newly launched NOVA Job Center at Skyline College and the workforce services that are offered to assist unemployed individuals in San Mateo County. However, the reporter chose to expand the article to cover the complete set of services that SparkPoint at Skyline College offers to students and community members. In particular, the article addressed the synergy of different services on offer at the SparkPoint Center, with the goal of assisting community members in San Mateo County achieve long term financial prosperity. The NOVA Job Center is a critical piece because increased income from a successful job search directly improves the financial situation of a family, enabling better housing options, increased ability to afford education, and more capital to account for in a budget.

Many thanks to Anna Schuessler from the San Mateo Daily Journal for taking the time to visit us. You can read the article at the San Mateo Daily Journal Website.

The NOVA Job Center at Skyline College provides job search support for students and community members seeking immediate employment. We offer individualized one-on-one career counseling, job search workshops, labs, an advice line, and more at no cost. If you know of any students or community members who are interested in obtaining a job or internship, please invite them to stop by room 1-221A or contact us at skylinenova@smccd.edu or 650-738-7904.  For more information about the NOVA Job Center, please visit the website.

Article by Kathleen Velasquez

SparkPoint at Skyline College Selected to Participate in California Basic Needs Workgroup

On November 2, 2017, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) hosted a Basic Needs Workgroup to address the issues of food insecurity and housing insecurity for Community College students across the state. This full-day meeting was held in Sacramento and included representatives from Skyline College, Mission College, Saddleback College, the Los Angeles Community College District, Imperial Valley College and Santa Monica College, as well as representatives from the state Chancellor’s office, Foundation for California Community Colleges and the John Burton Advocates for Youth.

Student homelessness and student hunger are major issues in our region, as well as across the state. Recent research like the Wisconsin HOPE Lab report “Hungry and Homeless in College” , has drawn national media attention to this topic, which has influenced state-wide policy, but the Chancellor’s office continues to push for more support for at-risk populations (Hunger Free Campus Funding and Assembly Bill 801 are just two of the major changes that have been implemented year). The CCCCO approved a new initiative that includes the formation of a workgroup to identify and share best practices regarding food, housing, and other basic need resources available to students, to assess gaps in resources. The colleges invited to the workgroup were selected for their “distinct contributions at their campuses – what they are doing is ahead of the curve”. SparkPoint at Skyline College is proud to have been selected to join this cohort and discuss best practices, data, policy and systemic barriers.

The next steps for this Workgroup will be to support and present at a 2-day Spring Basic Needs Summit, which will take place in Sacramento in late April, 2018. Representatives from all of the California Community Colleges will be invited to attend, so that they can bring information back to their colleges and impact their local communities.

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

For more information about the California Basic Needs Workgroup or Spring Basic Needs Summit, please contact the Director for SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, Chad Thompson, at thompsonc@smccd.edu

Article by Chad Thompson

Empty Bowls Fundraiser Raises over $2,500 for Sparkpoint Food Pantry

TSTUDENTS at empty bowlshe 2017 Skyline College Empty Bowl Project once again highlights the capacity of art to inspire a successful community fundraiser!

The Skyline College Ceramics Club hosted its 5th Empty Bowls fundraiser on November 15, 2017 at Fireside Dining Hall. Ceramics students from Skyline College and Capuchino High School made 350 unique handmade bowls. Guests chose from a large table filled with stacks of colorful bowls and had them filled by student volunteers with their choice of soup, catered by Pacific Dining and funded by the Student Organization and Club Council (SOCC). Trader Joe’s donated funds for the desserts, and Pepsi donated the beverages.

Vibrant entertainment included performances by the Soundscape vocal jazz ensemble, directed by Associate Professor of Music Michelle Hawkins, and the Skyline College Jazz Quintet, with Associate Professor of Music Zachary Bruno on keyboards. The Skyline College Dance Program got people moving with a performance choreographed by Associate Professor Amber Steele. The night ended with drawings for ceramic artwork and gift baskets donated by the Ceramics Club members and various community organizations, raising more funds for the evening.

The event raised $2,528, which will be donated to the SparkPoint at Skyline College Food Pantry, helping to serve those in need. SparkPoint had an information table at the event, highlighting SparkPoint’s vital programs and services to visitors.

Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement inspiring fundraising events all over the country, and internationally. The common thread with all Empty Bowls events is using the power of art to bring the community together and help those in need. Thanks to everyone who supported this event!

Article by Tiffany Schmierer | Photos by David Monrroy