BENEFITING: WEST CONTRA COSTA PUBLIC EDUCATION FUND
One of the most satisfying and challenging aspects of the Ed Fund’s work is to provide support to graduating seniors from the West Contra Costa Unified School District Public Schools. We receive amazing stories of perseverance and success. One student recently remarked, “This past year has been one of the most interesting years of my life. Through all the complications in my life, I managed to strive and succeed in my first of college!” This experience is the outcome we hope for all our students. However, all too often, we hear another story from our students, like this one:
“I come from Richmond and our schools are underfunded leaving students with fewer resources to gain college prep in order to become college ready. I took AP classes in high school thinking I’d understand the basics of college work, but I was mistaken. When I attended classes at college, I realized how much stress I was under but by that time it was too late to drop any classes. I lacked time management, did not use the resources provided to students, and did not ask for help. I believed that I could do the work on my own, but I was proven wrong when I received my test scores and grades, which placed me on academic probation."
The Ed Fund is working to create educational environments where our students thrive and succeed in their chosen endeavors. This past year, in our strategic planning process, we asked the question, “What can we do to help our students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college or in their chosen career?”
We concluded that the pathway to help our students succeed is to build a collaborative movement that captures the collective vision and will of community based organizations that are committed to creating an environment where all of our children thrive. We began this work in 2011 with the convening of the West County College Access Network and the Out-of-School Time Collaborative. These groups came together to assess how we could be change agents for our children’s education.
Among the successes we’ve achieved, I want to share and highlight two in particular. First, the College Access Network’s Financial Aid Application Completion Campaign doubled the number of students and their families in our district completing the application from 33% to 66% over a two year period. This resulted in our students attaining eligibility for millions of dollars in financial aid. Second, the Out-of-School Time Collaborative launched a Quality Initiative Pilot to improve program quality for student’s in Out-of-School Time programs, establishing county-wide Quality Standards and awarded Quality Improvement Seals to 6 Out-of-School Time providers.
These two accomplishments are encouraging and inspire us to continue working to change the educational climate for our students so that it works for them.
We cannot do this work without your help. Won’t you consider making a gift of $100 today? Together we will help create a future where students have the opportunities they need to achieve their goals.
Thank you for your generous support.
Joel Mackey, Executive Director