PrintAt crowd-filled Cease & Desist last night, the community came together to Start & Donate at the first of a trio of planned 2017 fundraisers for the Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship Fund. This initial event was called “Tips for Tuition.”

The result? A terrific start, with $3,000 raised. (Donate on Razoo.)

The need
The Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship Fund started a year ago, helping send four deserving John O’Connell High School seniors to college. All matriculated in fall 2016, their college dreams and career aspirations now within reach.

This scholarship fund is now entering its second year, as we look to send more Mission youth on to postsecondary education.

There is a definite need for such a fund. The education initiative has worked hard to create a college-going culture at home, plus provide mentoring via partners such as Mission Graduates; however, 77 percent of Mission Promise Neighborhood families earn less than $35,000 a year household income (survey, page 11). That translates to paying for daily necessities being a struggle in an expensive city like San Francisco, leaving little to nothing to set aside in a college fund.

The fundraiser
With the throng filling the back-bar area, tip jars quickly showcased 10’s and 20’s as guest bartenders, donning Mission Promise Neighborhood T-shirts, poured for attendees. A special shout out to those guest bartenders, including: Jill Marinelli of Mission Graduates; Amy Abero from John O’Connell High School; Lucia Obregon and Ernesto Martinez of MEDA; Juaquín Sims, a MEDA Junior Board Member; and DoubleDutch’s Claire Sands, who is also a MEDA Junior Board Member.

Plenty of money was raised via raffles, with generous donations from Tartine BakeryMateo’s TaqueriaGiordano Bros.Mitchell’s Ice Cream and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. A bevy of volunteers circled the room to meet the demand of those looking to engage in a game of chance, all for a great cause. Our lucky winners — Darius, Ryan, David, April, Cat and Abraham — are going to be eating well real soon.

Stay tuned for news of upcoming fundraisers for the Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship Fund, and thanks to all in the community for the ongoing support of this worthy cause.


Can you make college dreams come true for another deserving Mission Promise Neighborhood student?

Please donate today on Razoo.


About Mission Promise Neighborhood

The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

Read More

PolicyLink Blog #2 BlogWhen MEDA received a federal grant in December 2012 to start a Promise Neighborhood at a quartet of low-performing schools in San Francisco’s Mission District, the four-decades-old agency remained at the vanguard of nonprofit best practices by implementing a comprehensive service integration strategy, whereby the families of students are offered free asset-building services. The aim is that every family succeeds and every student achieves, as these two outcomes are intricately linked. Staff know that the stressors of a family in economic distress create obstacles to a student’s academic success.

MEDA is proud to announce that its Mission Promise Neighborhood efforts have been recognized as part of a just-released, 50-page guide from PolicyLink, the Oakland-based, national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity. Entitled Integrating Family Financial Security into Promise Neighborhoods: A Resource and Implementation Guide, this influential work “aims to describe the programs, policies and practices that set families on a path to financial security while achieving prescribed Promise Neighborhoods results.” This guide is part of the Growing Assets Program—generously funded by The Citi Foundation—with the goal of incorporating essential asset-building strategies into the network of Promise Neighborhoods across the nation.

The Citi Foundation offers the needed support so that myriad programs can allow community partners to test, deliver and scale innovative approaches to asset building. These programs are designed to provide consumers with the tools and support they need to achieve their fiscal goals, morphing financial ken into efficacious action. Financial coaching and counseling programs abet consumers to implement financial plans, make payments, increase their savings, reduce debt and build their credit.

The report was co-authored by Alexandra Bastien and Solana Rice. Bastien, the current program associate at PolicyLink, conducts research on policy solutions to address the racial wealth gap and maintains a compendium of resources on strategies to achieve financial security for all. Rice was an associate director for over five years at PolicyLink, where she directed research on asset building and other strategies focused on enhancing economic security in financially challenged communities, particularly communities of color.

Bastien explains the guide’s purpose as follows: “There is substantial research that shows that low-income families can save. Savings and assets are the tools that allow families to withstand financial crisis and invest in their future. In addition, children with a savings account in their own name are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in college than children with no account.”

Pages 30-34 of the guide showcase the case study of MEDA’s best practices relating to the nonprofit’s innovative service integration model that aims to create assets for its low-income, mostly Latino families, who are often immigrants. The guide advises that this insightful case study should serve as an example other Promise Neighborhoods should follow.


One powerful quote from the MEDA case study claims: “Bringing financial education ‘in-house’ to select schools and hubs is filling a significant gap in clients’ knowledge and services. This approach of ‘meeting people where they are’ is proving to be a valuable one and is facilitating MEDA’s entry into new areas of the community and the recruitment of families into the MPN pipeline.“

To start sharing this report’s important data, MEDA’s Director of Asset Building Programs, Christi Baker, has been tasked with leading a presentation on this PolicyLink guide at the Promise Neighborhoods National Network Conference, being held this week in Arlington, Virginia.

Also, PolicyLink will be conducting a Webinar July 10th at 11am PT, with information in the guidebook being delved into further. Check back for details.

Read More


We’d love to hear from you!

(866) 379-7758
2301 Mission Street
Suite 303
San Francisco, CA 94110

Get the latest news and information on
what’s happening in your neighborhood.