All posts by Jose Diaz

PriceSmart Members Donate Over $1.1 Million to Support Aprender y Crecer

Students in Honduras receive school supplies from Aprender y Crecer.

Founded by Sol and Robert Price, PriceSmart operates membership warehouse clubs in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  PriceSmart sponsors an annual fundraising campaign to benefit the Aprender y Crecer program.  The campaign that took place in November and December 2016 brought in an astounding $1,124,111 through donations from members at the cash registers as well as collection boxes located in each club.  Price Philanthropies committed to match these donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum amount for each country yielding an additional $440,000, bringing the grand total raised to $1,564,111.

Aprender y Crecer provides school supplies and educational materials to more than 86,000 students and 4,200 teachers at 180 public schools in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.  Each student receives a package including everything from notebooks and pencils to scissors, geometry sets, colored pencils and glue.  Each teacher receives a package of materials for use in the classroom and the schools each receive a selection of cleaning supplies.

As a point of reference, the Long Beach Unified School District, the third largest public school district in California, has around 78,000 students.  Since its inception in 2006, Aprender y Crecer has donated more than 442,000 school supply packages to students.

PriceSmart Senior Vice President of Marketing and Member Services José Luis Marin and his team are instrumental in the planning and execution of the annual campaign.  “For me personally and without question, being able to visit one of these schools and see these kids get excited for their new books and supplies is one of the greatest satisfactions of my work here at PriceSmart,” commented Mr. Marin.  “Knowing that this program has been able to deliver over 400,000 school supply packages to children is just amazing.”

Aprender y Crecer school supply recipientsDonations and matching funds raised in a certain country are invested in the schools participating in Aprender y Crecer in that country, for things outside the regular scope of the program like reading books given to each child, literature collections for the libraries, furniture, equipment, and professional development for teachers.  To date, Aprender y Crecer has given more than 279,000 books directly to children, in addition to thousands more books donated to equip school libraries.

Depending on the amount of funds raised, Aprender y Crecer may select additional schools to participate in the program so that more students and teachers receive the basic school supplies necessary for a quality education.  At last count 96 of the program’s 180 schools are maintained with fundraising monies.

The amount of money collected is especially significant given the cultures and realities in the countries where the donations are made.  Despite the prevalence of these types of fundraising campaigns in supermarkets and other retailers for the benefit of a variety of causes, many people are very skeptical about donating, fearing the money will never reach the intended beneficiaries.  In contrast, PriceSmart members are confident their donation will be well utilized because of the reputation of the business, the credibility of the Aprender y Crecer program itself, and the fact that the foundation also contributes matching funds.

PriceSmart campaignSince 2007, the fundraising campaign for Aprender y Crecer has collected nearly $5.5 million in donations from PriceSmart members plus nearly $2.3 million in matching funds from Price Philanthropies.  Each year the amount of member donations has grown substantially.

“It is amazing to see the growth that our campaign has had during the last ten years,” said Mr. Marin.  “Year after year when our campaign ends I have that mixed feeling of knowing that we exceeded our goals, but also knowing that there is always much more we can do.”

City Heights Location Addresses Growing Need for Mental Health Services

Rady Children's Hospital and Price Philanthropies staff at the Behavioral Health Urgent Care open house.
Rady Children’s Hospital and Price Philanthropies staff at the Behavioral Health Urgent Care open house.

In a coordinated effort to address the growing need for mental and behavioral health services in young people, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and Price Philanthropies Foundation have partnered to open a specialized urgent care clinic in the San Diego community of City Heights.

The Behavioral Health Urgent Care clinic is staffed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and receptionist/registrar and operates from 9am to 8pm, Monday through Friday, with walk-in services available from 4pm to 8pm for children and adolescents requiring immediate mental health assessment or crisis intervention.

Price Philanthropies has awarded Rady Children’s a five year, $1.4 million grant to establish the recently-opened clinic, which is housed within the existing Rady Children’s Urgent Care clinic located in the City Heights Center at 4305 University Avenue in San Diego.

“With approximately 190,000 children in San Diego suffering from a mental or behavioral disorder, the need for these services is immense,” said Robert E. Price, president of Price Philanthropies. “Establishing this clinic in partnership with Rady Children’s is an important part of our holistic approach to helping youth and families in City Heights grow and prosper.”

In addition to providing walk-in services, the clinic accepts patient referrals from healthcare providers, schools, community organizations, and Rady Children’s primary and urgent care centers and emergency department. After being seen at the clinic, patients will typically be referred back to their existing community therapist or healthcare provider and linked to other necessary social support services. Staff are also available to provide follow-up at the clinic, including psychological education for patients and family, assistance making arrangements for on-going therapy or support in the community, short-term crisis stabilization interventions, case management and advocacy services, and monitoring the patient’s adjustment to new medications.

“Rady Children’s has made a long-term commitment to provide comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services to San Diego’s most vulnerable children, who struggle to access timely, high quality care,” said Dr. Donald Kearns, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rady Children’s. “There is a huge need not only to provide care to these young people, but to spread awareness and education about the mental health challenges so many children face. Price Philanthropies shares this vision and we are so grateful for their vital investment.”

The clinic complements the full range of services offered by Rady Children’s for children, adolescents and their families who are coping with mental and behavioral health issues. Rady Children’s offers outpatient services for conditions including depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, behavior problems, psychosis, and eating disorders; and inpatient care through its Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) unit for children and adolescents with psychiatric illness. The CAPS unit includes an Eating Disorders/Medical Behavioral Unit, the only child and adolescent medical/behavioral inpatient unit in San Diego, and a Crisis Stabilization Unit, a short-term crisis assessment and treatment program that assists patients during a mental health crisis. Emergency and crisis intervention is available 24 hours a day at Rady Children’s through the Sam S. and Rose Stein Emergency Care Center.

The renovated space for the new clinic accommodates four offices and a patient waiting room. An open house was held on January 19th.

December 2016

Alliance San Diego
Price Philanthropies awarded a grant to Alliance San Diego to develop an emergency response to inform all Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth in San Diego. Alliance San Diego seeks to build on its prior outreach and assistance to the DACA eligible youth in the county to provide critical information, serve as a trusted point of contact, and continue to build a movement in support of humane immigration reform.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County provides one-to-one mentoring to socioeconomically disadvantaged children through three umbrellas of programming: community based mentorship, school based mentorship, and workplace mentorship. Price Philanthropies awarded a grant to support a needed technological infrastructure upgrade.

Cesar Chavez Service Clubs
Cesar Chavez Service Clubs is an organization dedicated to teaching youth to believe in themselves and to know that they can make a difference in their community. The clubs are built on the ten values of Cesar Chavez and are designed to engage club members in leadership and community service activities. A general operations grant will support their efforts.

Girl Scouts of San Diego County
For a century, Girl Scouts has helped girls, ages 5-17, develop the courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts is America’s premier leadership development organization for girls, with 2.3 million Girl Scouts from every culture, supported by nearly 1 million adult volunteers. A grant will support the general operations.

Home Start
Home Start is a child abuse prevention and treatment organization that provides case management, mental health services, benefit enrollment, parent education, employment assistance, and transitional housing to help maintain children in healthy homes.  Price Philanthropies awarded a grant for their programs serving the refugee community in East County of San Diego, as well as their Maternity Shelter Program that provides safe, supportive, stable housing for pregnant and parenting homeless women and their children.

November 2016 Grants

City Heights Community Law Project
City Heights Community Law Project, a program under California Western School of Law, provides pro bono legal services and community education in City Heights and San Diego County.  With the support of California Western School of Law and in partnering with Price Philanthropies, Community Law Project has operated continuously in City Heights since 2009. Today they serve more than 800 individuals across San Diego County each year.  A general operating grant will support their work in City Heights.

Family Health Centers of San Diego
Family Health Centers of San Diego is a community health center that offers primary and specialty care services.   They have 41 sites, including 23 primary care clinics, 6 dental clinics, 2 vision clinics, 6 behavioral health facilities and a pharmacy.  A general operating grant will support their work in City Heights near the Crawford Cluster schools.

La Maestra Community Health Centers
La Maestra Community Health Centers operates five primary medical clinics, nine dental clinics, a mobile/dental unit, and a mental health clinic in San Diego.  In addition, they run four school-based satellite medical clinics in City Heights.  La Maestra addresses the medical, dental, and mental health needs of the community through its primary medical care, pediatrics, geriatric women’s laboratory, pharmacy and dispensary, dental, vision and behavioral health services.  A general operating  grant will support their efforts in City Heights.

Living Coast Discovery Center
Price Philanthropies awarded a general operating grant to the Living Coast Discovery Center. Their mission is to partner in collaborative research and restoration of coastal wetlands and bays, provide student-focused education through STEAM, and increase knowledge of coastal environments.

Pacific Arts Movement
Price Philanthropies awarded a general operating grant to Pacific Arts Movement. Their mission is to present Pan Asian media arts to San Diego residents and visitors in order to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society.

Reality Changers
Reality Changers’ mission is to transform lives, schools, and communities by providing underserved youth with academic support, financial assistance, and leadership training to become first generation college students. Price awarded a grant to support their general operations.

San Diego Center for Children
San Diego Center for Children provides a continuum of behavioral health care for children and families.  Price Philanthropies is providing a three year grant to pilot a new mental health care delivery model at their Family Wellness Center.  This goal of the program is to ensure that families in need of mental health services can been seen together, by one provider, without multiple external referrals, and receive any needed wrap around and supportive services.

San Diego Family Care
San Diego Family Care provides medical care, mental health care, and multi-cultural health promotion, with a primary focus on central San Diego.  They have three main clinic sites, Mid-City Community Clinic Pediatrics, Mid-City Community Clinic Adults, and Linda Vista Health Care Center as well as three school-based health centers in City Heights.  Price Philanthropies awarded a general operating grant for their work in City Heights.

San Diego Unified School District – Euclid Elementary School
A grant will support swimming lessons for grades 1-4, educational programs for grades TK-5 with the Natural History Museum, and afterschool reading intervention for targeted students in the 2016-17 academic year.

San Diego Unified School District – Hamilton Elementary School
A grant will support an educational arts program for 3rd grade students. Students will design, develop, and produce a large scale mosaic mural that will be installed on the school campus in the 2016-17 academic year.

San Diego Unified School District – Normal Heights Elementary School
A grant will provide students in grades 3-5 with afterschool Art Labs to develop a custom mosaic mural that will be installed on the school campus in the 2016-17 academic year.

South Bay Community Services
South Bay Community Services provides children, youth and families with services that reinforce the family’s role in our community and help them achieve lives of self-fulfillment.  The organization serves over 50,000 people a year through an extensive array of programs, with a focus on specific populations that include foster youth, victims of domestic violence, and children and families involved with the Child Welfare System.  Price Philanthropies is providing a general operating grant to support their mission and services.

Support Programs Serving San Diego High School
Price Philanthropies is collaborating with San Diego High School to provide additional mental health supports for students and their parents through three nonprofit organizations who have been providing services at the school. Grants were awarded to: Union of Pan-Asian Communities for parent groups and parent counseling; YMCA of San Diego County – Youth and Family Services for youth support groups; and Family Health Centers of San Diego for student mental health services.

September 2016 Grants

Center for Community Solutions
Center for Community Solutions helps victims of relationship and sexual violence achieve safety, justice, and economic stability. They provide the following programs and services: emergency domestic violence shelters, a rape crisis center, 24-hour domestic violence crisis helpline, court accompaniment, forensic examination accompaniment, healthy relationship workshops, as well as legal and counseling services for those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.  A general operating grant will support their efforts in the Mid-City area of San Diego.

Father Joe’s Villages
Father Joe’s Villages, also known as St. Vincent de Paul, is San Diego’s largest homeless service provider.  They prepare up to 3,000 meals and provide a continuum of care to nearly 1,800 individuals every day—from infants and adolescents to adults and seniors. This general operations grant will support their efforts.

Karen Organization of San Diego
Price Philanthropies awarded a general operating grant to Karen Organization of San Diego. Karen Organization provides social services, benefit enrollment, employment assistance, advocacy, housing support, interpretation, and after-school programs for ethnic minority groups from Burma who reside in San Diego.  They are committed to educational and social enhancement of the groups from Burma, and they aim to be a bridge between refugees from Burma and San Diego’s local community.

Kids’ Turn San Diego
Kids’ Turn San Diego was created in 1996 to bring peace to families who could no longer communicate without conflict.  Programs include: family workshops for separated and divorced families; counseling for children; and support groups.  Price Philanthropies awarded Kids’ Turn a grant for general operating.

License to Freedom
License to Freedom provides mental health services, support groups, legal assistance, self-sufficiency programs, community education and advocacy for refugee/immigrant survivors of domestic violence and those at risk of domestic violence. The majority of their clients are recent refugees and live in the East County. The staff are able to meet the language needs of families and provide interpretation and translation in Farsi, Arabic, Chaldean, and Kurdish. Price Philanthropies awarded a grant for general operating.

PATH
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) works to end homelessness by prioritizing housing while providing customized supportive services for people in need.  They operate Connections Housing in Downtown San Diego, which provides permanent supportive housing, interim housing and supportive services for homeless individuals.  This general operations grant will support their efforts.

San Diego Unified School District – Edison Elementary School
A grant will support an artist residency program that will provide art instruction for TK-5 students in the 2016-17 academic year.

San Diego Unified School District – Rowan Elementary School
A grant will support extended learning interventions to struggling students and provide Focused Collaborative Planning Time to teachers while students participate in high quality art, music, and dance instruction in the 2016-17 academic year.

SAY San Diego (Social Advocates for Youth)
SAY San Diego provides comprehensive services for youth, families and communities including delinquency prevention and juvenile diversion, extended day, after-school programs, health promotion services, school readiness and support, mental health services, child abuse prevention, drug abuse prevention, family support and development, and community development. They also provide advocacy and translation services for refugees and immigrant families.  A general operating grant will support their work in City Heights.

June 2016 Grants

Assistance League of Greater San Diego
Price Philanthropies awarded a grant to the Assistance League of Greater San Diego to support the purchase of quality school uniform clothing for City Heights children in need.

Balboa Park Institutions
General operating grants were awarded to the following organizations:
San Diego Air and Space Museum
San Diego History Center
San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego Natural History Museum
Old Globe Theatres
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Museum of Photographic Arts

Feeding America San Diego and Jacobs & Cushman SD Food Bank
Over the last two years Feeding America San Diego and Jacobs & Cushman SD Food Bank have collaborated to improve the systems by which food is distributed. The organizations successfully decreased wait times and increased client choice at 14 Mid-City agencies. Price has awarded a new grant to support the expansion of this project to 11 new agencies. In addition, Price awarded fresh produce matching grants to each organization to ensure that clients have access to healthy food options.

Griffin & Wong Institute for Education & Training – Hannah’s House
Hannah’s House offers family therapy and a safe place for supervised visits for more than 200 San Diego families per week experiencing family conflict caused by domestic violence, child abuse, and substance abuse. A general operations grant will support their efforts.

Interfaith Shelter Network
Price awarded a general operating grant to Interfaith Shelter Network, which provides support to situationally homeless families and adults in San Diego County. Programs include a winter rotational shelter, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and financial services to help families secure housing.

San Diego Blood Bank
Established in 1950, San Diego Blood Bank is the safety-net for San Diego’s blood needs, and a primary supplier of blood to the majority of hospitals throughout San Diego County.  They operate six donor centers and nine bloodmobiles that travel throughout the county. A grant will support the purchase of a FrioZone Refrigerated Blood Storage System. At maximum capacity, the refrigerator can store up to 3,831 units of blood which can help save the lives of up to 11,493 patients.

San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre provides a multicultural and multidisciplinary performing and visual arts center in San Diego serving audiences of 150,000 people each season. A grant will support the Project Discovery Education program, which provides educational productions that provide study guides, back stage tours, and meetings with artists for San Diego students at drastically reduced rates.

San Diego State University Research Foundation – Guardian Scholars
Established in 2007, Guardian Scholars provides scholarships and support services to students who are homeless, aging out of the foster care system, under legal guardianship, or are wards of the state. A grant will provide housing assistance to 100 scholars in the 2016-17 school year.

San Diego Unified School District – Franklin Elementary School
A grant will support STEAM programming in the 2016-17 academic year at Franklin Elementary School.

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center
St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center is a vocational day training program for adults with developmental disabilities.  Their mission is to educate and empower individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential.  Price has awarded Sophie’s Center a capital gift to support a new aquatics complex and locker room facility.

Voice of San Diego
Voice of San Diego is a public service, nonprofit news organization that focuses on in-depth, investigative reporting. They cover the issues that are crucial to the region’s quality of life: its politics, educational system, environment, housing, and economy. A grant will support the Voice of San Diego’s general operations.

May 2016 Grants

ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
A five-year grant will support the ACLU’s Border Litigation Project. The Border Litigation Project aims to improve the policies, practices, and precedent of border law enforcement agencies.

College Scholarships
Price Philanthropies provides two college scholarship opportunities for Hoover High graduating seniors. The Stephen Effron Scholarship Program provides scholarships for up to five years at community colleges, universities and vocational schools to any selected student with a financial need. The Jesus “Chuy” Morales Memorial Scholarship Program provides one-time scholarship disbursements to selected students attending community college or four year universities.

College Avenue Compact
College Avenue Compact is a collaboration between Price Philanthropies, San Diego State University, and San Diego Unified School District serving students attending Hoover High School, Wilson Middle School, and Monroe Clark Middle School. The goal is to provide academic interventions and supports that improve achievement and readiness for college. Through this initiative, students who attend Hoover for four years (9-12th grade) and meet specific criteria are guaranteed admission to San Diego State University upon graduation.

Foundation for the Children of the Americas – Dental Clinic at the Hospital Infantil de las Californias
The Foundation for the Children of the Californias works to raise funding and awareness to support the Hospital Infantil de las Californias in Tijuana. The hospital aims to improve the health and nutrition for the children of Southern California and Baja California, Mexico through a pediatric medical specialty and education complex. Price awarded a challenge grant to support the purchase of equipment for a new pediatric dental clinic.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
The Museum of Contemporary Art received a grant to support the Extended School Partnership program. This educational program empowers teachers in grades 6-12 to use the Museum as an extension of the classroom and inspires lifelong connections between students and the arts.

Rady Children’s Hospital
Price Philanthropies is partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital to establish a new Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic in City Heights.  Scheduled to open in September 2016, the clinic will provide emergency psychiatry and psychology services for youth experiencing a mental health crisis or urgent need.  It will also connect youth and their families to existing behavioral health providers for ongoing care.  Walk in services will be available Monday through Friday from 4-8pm, with follow-up services available during the day.  The new clinic will be located within Rady Children’s existing pediatric urgent care facility at 4305 University Avenue.

Salk Institute
Price awarded a grant to the Salk Institute to support educational programming.

San Diego Unified School District – Monroe Clark Expeditionary Learning Program
The Monroe Clark Expeditionary Learning Program is a continuation of the School in the Park experience for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at Monroe Clark Middle School. The San Diego Zoo, SALK Institute, Air and Space Museum, Ocean Discovery Institute, and Birch Aquarium visit the school campus and bring their expertise into the classroom as well as an experiential outing where students travel to the respective institution for an in depth inquiry into grade level appropriate standards based content.

San Diego Unified School District – Music Programming
Price believes that music education is important to youth of all ages. In 2016-17, Price will continue to fund enhanced K-12 music programs at Rosa Parks Elementary, Monroe Clark Middle, Wilson Middle, and Hoover High Schools. A grant will employ a full time music teacher at Rosa Parks, music coaches at all four schools, and music supplies and activities.

Somali Family Service
Somali Family Service helps Somali and other African families become independent and contributing members of San Diego through its programs that promote health, educational and economic success, and leadership. Price awarded a grant that will support general operations.

School in the Park
School in the Park is an experiential learning program that shifts the classroom from City Heights to museums and the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park for students at Rosa Parks Elementary and Wilson Middle School, grades three through seven. Students spend between four and eight weeks per year learning in a stimulating environment of museum galleries and Zoo exhibits.  Museum educators work with school teachers to provide instruction by using resources from the various Balboa Park institutions.

Voices for Children
Voices for Children operates the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program in San Diego. CASAs act as the eyes and ears for juvenile court judges in the home and support the best interests of the child. A grant will provide support for general operating.

Zoological Society of San Diego
A grant will support educational programming at the San Diego Zoo.

April 2016 Grants

Burn Institute
A grant will provide funding for the emergency needs of burn victims at the Burn Institute, located in San Diego.

Greater San Diego City Tennis Council
A grant was awarded to Greater San Diego City Tennis Council in support of tennis court repairs.

San Diego Hunger Coalition
A general operating grant will support the San Diego Hunger Coalition’s mission to lead coordinated action to end hunger in San Diego County.

Monarch School
Price Philanthropies awarded a capital grant to Monarch School to support the school’s new career academy, Launch Pointe. Launch Pointe will prepare homeless youth for careers that are relevant to today’s economy through hands-on projects and work-based learning in partnership with industry experts.

Union of Pan Asian Communities
A general operating grant will support Union of Pan Asian Communities’ work to provide health and human services to underserved ethnic populations of San Diego, with a special emphasis on immigrants.

March 2016 Grants

Casa de Amistad
A grant will support tutoring and mentoring services for underserved children in coastal North County.

Community Resource Center
A general operating grant was awarded to Community Resource Center. The Center provides basic needs for families in crisis and offers programs that facilitate the safety, stability, and self-sufficiency of low-income and episodically homeless households – including domestic violence victims.

Legal Aid Society of San Diego
A grant will support the hiring of an attorney to assist families with eligible children enroll in SSI and other benefits.

Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Five Elementary Schools
The San Diego State University Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program provides therapeutic counseling support to children and their families at Adams, Edison, Ibarra, Cherokee Point, and Central Elementary Schools through a Price Philanthropies grant. The program helps address emotional, social, and behavioral concerns of children to improve their academic achievement.

National Conflict Resolution Center
Price Philanthropies awarded a grant to support an event that will build awareness of Restorative Justice programs in schools.

Women’s Resource Center
A grant was awarded to support the Alternatives to Abuse Shelter, managed by the Women’s Resource Center in Oceanside, California. The shelter is designed to provide immediate safety and security and stabilize families suffering from domestic violence while helping them secure more permanent housing.

January 2016 Grants

Anti-Defamation League
A grant will support the Anti-Defamation League’s work in defending democratic ideals and fighting for civil rights and fair treatment for all.

Copley-Price YMCA
A grant was awarded to the Copley-Price YMCA to support scholarships for those who cannot afford the membership and program fees.

San Diego Junior Theatre
A general operating grant was awarded to San Diego Junior Theatre. It is the oldest continuing children’s theater program in the country, operating since 1948.

Whispering Winds
A general operating grant will support Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center. The Conference Center hosts youth and adult groups for camps and retreats in the rural setting of Julian, California.

Interfaith Community Services
A grant was awarded to Interfaith Community Services. Founded in 1979, Interfaith Community Services empowers people in need to stabilize and improve their lives through comprehensive programs, in partnership with diverse faith communities and people of compassion.

December 2015 Grants

Adult Literacy Program
A grant will support ALTA, an adult literacy program in Trinidad.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County
A matching challenge grant was awarded to establish a High School Bigs program at Hoover High School, Rosa Parks Elementary, and Franklin Elementary. This is the second phase of BBBS’ expansion in San Diego’s Mid-City neighborhoods.

California Western School of Law
A grant to California Western School of Law to support the Community Law Project. The Community Law Project provides free legal information in a variety of areas to low income residents. In City Heights, the Project offers free weekly clinics at Hoover High and Rosa Parks Elementary.

Children’s Hospital Costa Rica
A grant was awarded to support the purchase of equipment for the Transplant Unit.

City Heights Community Development Corporation
A general operating grant was awarded to support the City Heights CDC’s mission to enhance the quality of life in City Heights by working with the community to create and sustain quality affordable housing, livable neighborhoods, and foster economic self-sufficiency.

North County Lifeline
A grant will support Club Crown Heights Youth Program, which provides support to 190 high risk youth ages 5-18 in Oceanside, CA.  This after-school program focuses on education, employment readiness, and civic-engagement.

San Diego Botanic Garden
A grant will support the construction of the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory at the San Diego Botanic Garden. The conservatory will expand the Botanic Garden’s education offerings and opportunities for community involvement.

San Diego Unified School District
Grants were awarded to Hamilton Elementary and Normal Heights Elementary to support art programs for students.

November 2015 Grants

AjA Project’s Photo City
A grant was awarded to support the AjA Project’s PhotoCity after school program at Hoover High School. PhotoCity uses photography to teach youth to turn the lens outward to examine community issues such as safety and violence. The project also serves as a platform for cooperative solutions between youth, school administrators, community organizations and policy makers.

California Food Policy Advocates
A grant will fund a pilot project in City Heights to test a science-based nutrition standards policy for food served in family child care home settings. The long term vision is for a state-wide implemented food policy in child care to improve the children’s lives and elevate the quality of care, without negatively impacting the viability of the family child care home workforce. This change in legislation would positively impact over 335,000 children.

California State University, San Marcos
A grant was awarded to support CSU San Marcos’ Alliance for Excellence in Education. The Alliance guarantees admission to CSU San Marcos to students in partnering school districts who meet specific admissions criteria.

Campanile Foundation
A grant was awarded to support a new cohort of Price Community Scholars in 2016. Price Community Scholars is a four year program that matches high-achieving incoming freshmen at SDSU with 7th grade mentees from Wilson and Clark middle schools. Mentors and mentees meet regularly for tutoring, community service and other activities designed to build a sense of community and a college-going culture among the mentees. All of the mentors are residents of City Heights. Mentors receive scholarships for their participation.

Cesar Chavez Service Clubs
A general operating grant was awarded to support the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, an afterschool program teaching youth self-reliance, leadership skills, collaboration, and community involvement by studying Cesar Chavez’s Ten Core Values. The program serves more than 1,600 youth at 20 schools.

Cincinnati Music Foundation, Inc.
A grant was awarded to support the purchase of a sound system and music stands.

La Jolla Playhouse
A grant was awarded to the La Jolla Playhouse in support of education and outreach programs.

La Jolla Symphony
A grant was awarded to support the City Heights Music School Program.

Rady Children’s Hospital
A general operating grant was awarded to support Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

Reading Legacies
A grant was awarded to support the Family Connections Program, which serves children who have incarcerated family members. This program provides an opportunity for incarcerated parents to re-focus on family and continue a parenting process with their children at home through reading.

San Diego Symphony
A general operating grant was awarded to support the San Diego Symphony.

San Diego Youth Symphony
A general operating grant was awarded to support the San Diego Youth Symphony.

Scripps Health Foundation
A general operating grant was awarded to support Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego.

Support the Enlisted Project, Inc.
A grant was awarded to support the Emergency Financial Assistance program, which helps military families and transitioning veterans during times of financial crisis.

Volunteers in Probation
A general operating grant was awarded to support Volunteers in Probation. This organization assists low income probationers to become law abiding citizens. Assistance may include bus passes to go to school and/or work, clothes for job interviews, glasses, educational scholarships, and other temporary assistance.

 

Breaking down the barriers to success

Program Director Mariaelena Delgado leads a small group discussion of mentors at San Diego City College.
Program Director Mariaelena Delgado leads a small group discussion of mentors at San Diego City College.

The Price Scholarship Program at San Diego City College is leveling the playing field for 95 community college students who otherwise might not survive the peaks and valleys of achieving a secondary education.

Program participant Katya Echazarreta related a story from her freshman math class in which the professor asked how many thought they were bad at math. Echazarreta said most of the class raised their hand. The professor asked at what age they had made that decision. One student said “in the fifth grade.” The teacher then asked, “How many of you would like a fifth grader to make decisions for you for the rest of your life?”

The moral of the story as Echazarreta related it to her peers is that many of us create barriers in our minds early in life and never overcome them.

Barriers are what the Price Scholarship Program under the direction of Mariaelena Delgado are helping students overcome. Specifically the program provides scholarship money to overcome financial barriers, counseling to overcome mental health barriers, mentorship to overcome social barriers, and expectations to overcome academic barriers. The results have been impressive.

Since the program began in 1997 through an endowment provided by Price Philanthropies, the program has evolved in both service delivery and success. Delgado says the program now consistently maintains an 85% plus success rate of helping students obtain an Associate’s Degree and/or transfer to a four year university. Independent research has shown high dropout rates for students similar to those in the program (first in family to attend college, low income, graduates from low performing high schools) attending college throughout the United States.

What’s the secret sauce to success? “High touch rate,” Delgado says without hesitation.

To achieve a high touch rate, the program incorporates mentors. Mentors are required to have completed a full semester at City College, still be enrolled, have a financial need, and be someone the mentees can relate to. The mentees are incoming freshmen from six local high schools in San Diego and the Urban Corps, are the first in their family to attend college, and have a financial need. In total 35 new mentees and 10-12 new mentors are selected through a competitive process each year. Currently there are 95 program participants on scholarship at City College.

Participants are required to perform community service, in most cases 300 hours a year, at one of seven local non-profits. In return they receive a monthly stipend of $375 to go towards education and living expenses. The scholarships last two years.

Participants are required to take a personal growth class and meet with the program’s full-time, licensed clinical social worker at least once a semester. According to Delgado a high percentage of the students suffer from various mental health issues related to the stressors of being the first person in the family to attend college.

The mentor-mentee relationship is informal and is about supporting others with similar circumstances. Echazarreta said of the mentees, “A lot are embarrassed to ask for help. I help them realize it’s not something dumb people do.”

There are also reciprocal benefits. “You learn a lot from them (mentees). The things they ask about, that you give them advice on, are the same things you encounter later on. You can follow your own advice given when you were level headed.”

City College is a melting pot of students. Many are surprised, Delgado says, when they find out their classes have older students. There are also many international students. Suma Massaley is from Liberia and is at City College studying to eventually get a Ph.D. in Peace and Justice and work at the United Nations. She is a first year mentor and has valuable experiences to pass on to her mentees such as not understanding the culture and having a hard time with the English language her freshman year. Now she feels prepared to transfer to a university.

Last weekend the mentors and mentees attended a retreat in Julian to take on a high ropes course to build trust and reinforce the program’s message that with support you can overcome any barrier, even fear.

September 2015 Grants

The Grant Screening Committee approved general operations grants in September for the following organizations:

  • Access Youth Academy – transforms the lives of underserved youth through education and the game of squash
  • Alpha Project for the Homeless – provides the homeless with the tools they need to achieve self-sufficiency
  • Angels Foster Family Network – recruits and trains exceptionally qualified foster parents to care for abused and neglected infants and toddlers
  • Anti-Defamation League Foundation – defends democratic ideals and fights for civil rights and fair treatment for all
  • Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton – enhances the lives of service members and their families though programs and services unique to military life
  • Girl Scouts of San Diego – builds girls of courage, confidence, and character
  • Horn of Africa – promotes the successful integration of the East African refugee population in San Diego
  • International Relief Teams – assists victims of disaster, poverty and neglect in the areas of medical education, surgical and clinical outreach, healthy communities, and disaster relief
  • Juma Ventures – helps break the cycle of poverty by ensuring young people complete a four-year college degree
  • Mama’s Kitchen – delivers three meals a day, seven days a week at no charge to people living with AIDS or cancer
  • Neighborhood House Association – helps underserved individuals and families through food distribution, education, healthcare, employment services, youth programs and senior services
  • Old Globe Theatre – is a Tony Award-winning regional theatre producing year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on three stages
  • Pro Kids Golf Academy – challenges underserved youth to excel through education and golf
  • Promises2kids – exists to better the lives of children who are in foster care as a result of abuse or neglect by providing tools, opportunities and guidance
  • Voice of San Diego – an online, non-profit news gathering organization

Other approved grants include:

Hoover High School
A grant to support the Pro Active Academic Student Support Consultant at Hoover High School. The consultant will help implement a comprehensive intervention plan to coordinate school services for incoming 9th graders with the goal of increasing student retention and graduation rates.

Reality Changers
Reality Changers provides underserved youth with academic support, financial assistance and leadership training to become first generation college students. The College Town program serves more than 300 youth at 80 San Diego County high schools through mentoring and tutoring. A grant will support both general operations and the College Apps Academy, specifically geared to help students apply to colleges and scholarships.

San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation
A grant will support free swim lessons at the City Heights Recreation Center Pool and scholarships to pay for City Heights youth to attend the San Diego Junior Lifeguard program. The program has operated since 1954 to teach youth, ages 9 through 17, life, leadership, and water skills.

UC San Diego Foundation
A grant will support the EyeMobile/Save Our Children’s Sight program at the Shiley Eye Center. The EyeMobile travels to schools to screen youth for eye diseases and impairments and provides free glasses to those who qualify.

August 2015 Grants

Access Inc.
A general operating grant for Access Inc., headquartered in San Diego, to support the Violence Against Women Act legal program. The program specializes in serving the immigrant and refugee population. Access Inc. also operates youth empowerment programs, immigration services, micro-enterprise development and other self-sufficiency programs.

Elementary Institute of Science
Elementary Institute of Science nurtures the intellectual curiosity of youth living in a low income area of San Diego through hands on experience in a state of the art facility in the disciplines of science and technology. A general operations grant will support the organization’s mission to prepare students for success in education and career.

Feeding America and San Diego Food Bank
The second year of a two year matching grant to Feeding America San Diego and Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to improve food distribution in San Diego County. The pilot project has three main objectives: 1. improve the experience for clients receiving the food; 2. increase the percentage of fresh produce distributed to at least 50% of the overall total; 3. increase the capacity of food distributors in City Heights.

Home Start
A general operations grant will support Home Start, a non-profit committed to child abuse prevention and treatment in San Diego. The organization offers a full range of prevention and intervention services including a maternity shelter program for women and their dependent children.

San Diego Blood Bank Foundation
The Blood Bank operates six full-service regional centers and 12 fully equipped mobile units to collect annual blood donations of more than 100,000 pints. The Blood Bank supplies hospitals in four counties: San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, and Imperial. A general operations grant supports this work.

San Diego Family Care
A capital grant for the purchase of new pediatric and dental equipment for San Diego Family Care’s Linda Vista Health Care Center expansion. The expansion will allow the clinic to serve an additional 12,000 children and 4,000 dental patients per year.

San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Inc.
A general operations grant will support the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, Inc. The Center works to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the LGBT community including housing for the homeless and the operation of two youth programs.

San Diego Opera
A general operations grant for the San Diego Opera. The Opera has hosted internationally renowned artists for more than 50 years, bringing vocal arts and live performances to numerous locations throughout the San Diego community.