Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County Trains SparkPoint Staff on Immigration and Public Benefits

LegalAidSparkPoint Financial Coaches and Student Benefits Ambassadors with the Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC) project work with students and community members to connect them to public benefits as a way to further their educational and financial goals. However, public benefits can sometimes pose a special concern for immigrants. In order to improve our work with our students and community members, SparkPoint at Skyline College partners with San Mateo County Legal Aid Society’s Bettina Rodriguez Schlegel, a specialist in public benefits and immigration to present a training on August 8, 2013.

Ms. Rodriguez Schlegel, leads a project called LIBRE (Linking Immigrants to Benefits, Resources and Education), which seeks to educate immigrants about public benefits and to advocate on their behalf. Ms. Rodriguez Schlegel spoke to a packed room of SparkPoint staff and community partners on common myths and mischaracterizations about public benefits that exist in the immigrant community. She also detailed which public benefit programs raise a public charge concern for immigrants who are considering applying for benefits. At the end of her presentation, Ms. Rodriguez Schlegel explained how SparkPoint financial coaches and the BACC team can refer students and community members who would like a consultation with an attorney about public benefits.

For more information about SparkPoint and the BACC project, please visit the SparkPoint website at or come visit us in Building 1, Room 1214.

Article by Josh Jubelirer.