Source: Rachel Westmoreland, Interim CEO of Oakland Promise.
Organization: The Oakland Promise, a member of the NCCPC, works with Oakland residents from birth to college and career. They provide financial assistance, educational programming, mentorship, and support in order to help every young learner excel in college and career.
Mission: Engaging the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle to college and career achievement.
Vision: A thriving Oakland community without barriers to educational opportunity.
Oakland Promise (OP) is available to young learners (from newborns to college students) and their families who reside in Oakland. OP offers every child the financial resources, support, mentorship, and incentives they need from birth through their school years to empower them to seek out and thrive in the higher education and career of their choosing. OP provides services through four core cradle-to-career programs at each stage of a young person’s development: Brilliant Baby, Kindergarten to College, College Access, and College Completion. Through these programs, OP offers college savings accounts (529s), Early College Scholarships, two-year to four-year college scholarships, financial guidance for parents and students, college-building culture programs, and critical resources to empower students to develop their college and vocational bound identity and persistence.
Photo credit: Oakland Promise
As of November 2021, Oakland Promises has provided
- over 1,000 Brilliant Babies with $500 savings accounts,
- 30,000 Kindergarteners with $100 OP Scholarship funds,
- 2,300 high school graduates with nearly $17 million in college and career training program scholarships, and
- over 1,300 mentors for Oakland Promise scholars.
A FOUNDING STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER
Oakland Promise focuses on enhancing opportunities for young people, especially those of BIPOC and lower-income communities to achieve post-secondary education and then their career aspirations. Our policy and legislative work with the NCCPC Coalition as a founding Steering Committee member, among other collaborators, helps us realize our goals of broad, long-term systemic change in tandem with our work directly serving our students and families.
WHAT COLLABORATION LOOKS LIKE
Our focus areas in the Coalition are Policy and Campus Partnerships. Oakland Promise is involved in the Policy Committee, where we focus on legislative proposals that enhance opportunities for young people, especially those of BIPOC and lower-income communities, to obtain a higher education and thrive in the career of their choosing.
Oakland Promise operates in three roles – direct service provider, intermediary partner, and policy influencer.
Oakland Promise’s involvement in the coalition allows us to add to the overall mission of NCCPC — to support more students from underrepresented communities. There is power in joining together with other Promise organizations to support that goal.
GOALS FOR 2022 AND BEYOND
We want Oakland students and families to know that Oakland Promise supports them in whatever stage they are in: newborns, elementary, middle, and high school levels. And we support them throughout their journey in college and career programs.
We will continue to support the efforts of all Northern California Promise organizations that strive to help students who need opportunities for postsecondary education.
Oakland Promise seeks to broaden support for long-term systemic change that will provide more equity for not only Oakland and Northern California, but for California and the nation as a whole.
Photo credit: Oakland Promise
WHY NCCPC AND WHY NOW
NCCPC is a dynamic organization that champions the opportunities for students, especially prospective first-generation college students, and those from Black, Latinx, and other BIPOC communities to attend and graduate from college or career programs.
NCCPC makes a difference for Northern California students to attend and graduate from college. If this is a focus for your organization, you should support the NCCPC to influence essential policies that will benefit students from under-resourced communities.