SaversSparkPoint at Skyline College continues its partnership with Opportunity Fund in order to promote Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to students. Opportunity Fund, a not-for-profit social enterprise encouraging California families to build financial stability, offers students and community members orientations to the IDA savings program at Skyline College’s campus. The IDA program is a 2:1 matched savings program which encourages eligible families to build their savings towards future asset goals. Through its College Savers program, participants work with financial coaches at SparkPoint at Skyline College and Opportunity Fund to gain financial education, create a budget, and implement a savings plan for a two year period. Program goals promote the positive financial behaviors of building savings and utilizing those savings for asset building.

This is a great program for students planning to transfer to a 4-year university within the next two years. The maximum amount a participant may save is $2000 which the IDA program matches twice over for a total of $6000 in savings. Since 2011, over 40 students have enrolled in the IDA program building a combined savings of over $100,000 to use primarily for educational expenses and small business endeavors.

Thank you to Angelita Hernandez, Community Relationship Manager at Opportunity Fund, and Mayra Cerda, Savings Program Coordinator, for conducting the workshops. Also, thank you to Skyline Colllege faculty, staff and student programs & services, especially TRiO, Financial Aid, EOPS, the Transfer Center and the learning communities who have encouraged their students to attend the orientations. Special thanks to Adolfo Leiva and Josh Jubelirer for supporting the workshops this semester.

The next Opportunity Fund IDA orientations will occur in Spring 2014. Dates and location will be announced in January. Program eligibility requirements will be reviewed and applications will be available then. Orientations are open to all so please encourage students and community members to attend. For more information, please contact SparkPoint at Skyline College at (650) 738-7035.

Article submitted by Melanie Espinueva, Counselor at SparkPoint at Skyline College.