This month we were proud to celebrate our 10th anniversary as a Promise Neighborhood. Mission Promise Neighborhood provides a network of support services to help families achieve economic stability and gives them the tools to support their children’s academic achievement, creating a brighter future for the whole Mission community. The MPN vision includes a future where every child excels and every family succeeds. Students enter school ready for success, and graduate from high school prepared for college and career. The Mission District thrives as a healthy and safe community providing families and their children the opportunity to prosper economically and to call San Francisco their permanent home.
We are one of the few Promise Neighborhoods in the country to harness city, state, and philanthropic funds to make up for the sunsetting of our original 5-year federal grant in 2012 (Promise Neighborhood grants sunset after five years).
How have we done this?
We have done so by building trust with students and families, as well as setting systems in place with 15 partner agencies, nine neighborhood schools, and City departments to provide comprehensive services along the cradle-to-career continuum to over 32,000 people.
During our ten years we have seen dramatic increases in kinder-readiness and graduation rates for Mission District children. When the pandemic hit, government and philanthropic organizations relied on our infrastructure to rapidly distribute income, housing, and health resources to those in need. We believe that this type of cross-sector approach is the future of government – it’s collaborative, accountable for results, and community-centered. That’s why we continue to push for more funding for Promise Neighborhoods in state and federal budgets.
We celebrated a decade of support with dozens of community members, agency partners and elected officials at one of our partner sites, Cesar Chavez Elementary. At the event we provided a team comprised of a MEDA Family Success Coach, a mental health consultant from Instituto Familiar de la Raza, and an after school provider – Jamestown, to work with school leadership to provide wraparound supports to students and their families.
Thank you to our speakers: MPN parent María Reyes and student poet Genesis Ulloa, who delivered a moving poem about how this program has impacted her life in both English and Spanish, Geoffrey Canada from Harlem Children’s Zone, Board Supervisor Myrna Melgar, Catalina Rico from San Francisco Unified School District, Nelly Sapinski of Jamestown Community Center, Rosaura Diaz of Felton Institute, Josh Davis of StriveTogether.
All Promise Neighborhoods are modeled after the template set by Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone. Mr. Canada spoke to the success of our Promise Neighborhood in this historical context, and noted the important role Mission Promise Neighborhood plays as part of the national movement for Promise Neighborhoods moving forward. Supervisor Myrna Melgar spoke about how Mission Promise Neighborhood provides an example for the rest of San Francisco for involving the community in schools and improving school performance. Josh Davis read a statement from Assemblymember Mia Bonta about her commitment to passing the ‘It Takes A Village’ Act to fund more Promise Neighborhoods. Promise Neighborhoods are about intentionally identifying our neighbors most in need, and doing everything we can as a community to work together to address that need. It really does take a village, and we will continue to be here providing direct services until our vision is achieved.