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

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