For many, a quality education is a ladder out of poverty. At the same time, education also ensures our society has an informed and skilled workforce, and it creates a pipeline of leaders for our democracy. But too many of our educational institutions lack the tools to adequately support youth of color who come from families with low incomes. This leads to people of color being disproportionately locked out of good jobs, preventing them from sharing their ideas, talents and brilliance for the betterment of our society.
The Youth Access to Opportunity Fund, a partnership between donors and our foundation, provides grants for youth, education and economic mobility. Launched in 2019, the fund is an innovative three-year pilot program that partners with three Bay Area high schools:
- Burton High School (San Francisco Unified School District)
- Castlemont High School (Oakland Unified School District)
- Kennedy High School (West Contra Costa Unified School District)
Working closely with the schools’ principals, the fund uses data-driven approaches to better support students of color who come from families with low incomes in the following areas:
- College and Career Readiness: preparing students to enter and succeed in post-secondary education and/or career opportunities.
- Teacher Retention and Support: providing professional development and support for teachers to strengthen learning environments.
- Positive School Climate: promoting services and practices that support social, emotional, academic and long-term success for students.