Sparkpoint studentsSparkPoint at Skyline College continues to promote its financial capability and support services model around the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country. Select community college administrators toured SparkPoint this year, including a delegation from South African technical colleges who wanted to learn more about SparkPoint’s bundled service approach. In addition to these site visits, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office invited SparkPoint at Skyline College to present for dozens of colleges at their Financial Wellness Initiative Kick-off titled, The Role of Financial Well-Being in Student Success.

Owing to SparkPoint’s development and implementation of the Secured Credit Builder Program, Achieving the Dream (ATD) – the  national, nonprofit leader in championing evidence-based institutional improvement – selected Skyline College to host a financial prototypes convening, which brought together 15 colleges from across the nation that have launched innovative approaches to supporting financial capability for students.

On July 13, 2017, the Second Annual SparkPoint Client Celebration commemorated the financial, educational and career achievements of SparkPoint clients, and invited others to take advantage of SparkPoint. Held on a summer evening for the convenience of students and community members, the celebration included dinner, music, fun games, arts & crafts, prizes, and more – imparting a warm, family atmosphere. The over 125 individuals in attendance also included faculty, staff, administrators and funders.

Crucial off-campus program partners such as United Way Bay Area, SF-Marin Food Bank, San Mateo Credit Union and Opportunity Fund supported the event by donating backpacks, flash drives and gift cards. Almerita Rout, a community member, also donated over 100 handmade cloth grocery bags for door prizes in honor of SparkPoint’s food pantry.

The SparkPoint Spotlight Award given to SparkPoint client Reinaldo Figueroa punctuated the night.  In his passionate acceptance speech, Reinaldo recounted his challenges as a student and veteran, and illustrated the role the Grove Scholars Program, SparkPoint, and Career Services played in overcoming them.  He gave special thanks to the staff members who worked with him to create a budget to overcome financial barriers and prepare for his career as a police officer.

Article by Chad Thompson

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