by Director Richard Raya

These are exciting — and busy — times for the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), so I wanted to make sure you are updated on recent events and what’s ahead. Thanks for being part of MPN!

By the Numbers: MPN is All About Relationships
MPN has Family Success Coaches (FSCs) embedded at eight schools in the Mission, plus at early care and education centers. These FSCs work with MPN partners to connect families to a web of supports in the community, ranging from housing to health, financial literacy to legal rights, and more. So far this year, FSCs and community partners have made 823 such connections (referrals) for 461 families. Read more about our powerful referral tool here.We’re currently working with community partners to revamp the referral tool, using human-centered design. If you are a partner and would like to participate, please contact Technology & Data Systems Manager Michelle Reiss-Top at

State Passes California Promise Neighborhoods Act
I’m thrilled to announce that SB 686, The California Promise Neighborhoods Act, was passed by both the full Senate and the Assembly Education Committee. Now, it is heading to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This legislation would fund up to 20 Promise Neighborhoods at up to $5 million per year, and is part of a package of proposals that could significantly reduce child poverty within four years. As part of the End Child Poverty Campaign, we participated in an awareness-raising bus tour that started in Chula Vista and ended in Sacramento. Mission families and community-based organizations have played a leading role in this effort! Ten MPN partners submitted letters of support, and four accompanied us to hearings, including Instituto Familiar de La Raza, Parents for Public Schools, Support for Families, the San Francisco Board of Education, and the City and County of San Francisco.

Connecting Family Child Care Providers to the MPN Support Network
MPN is expanding its Family Success Coaches’ reach to bring Family Child Care providers (FCCs) into the MPN network of supports. MPN hosted an orientation on June 4 for newly added FCCs. We now have formal working agreements with 10 FCCs. We are excited to collaborate with our MPN partners such as Instituto Familiar de la Raza and MEDA’s Business Development Program team, who also support some of these providers.

MPN Manager Ada Freund Appointed to Children’s Planning and Advisory Council
MPN Early Learning Manager Ada Freund has been appointed to San Francisco’s Children’s Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC). The CPAC identifies local priorities and policies for child care and early education. We’re thrilled that Ada will be representing Mission Promise Neighborhood in this new leadership role! This appointment is a recognition of the groundbreaking work that Ada and her team have been leading in the early-education community. CPAC members are appointed to three-year terms by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Board of Education, in accordance with state and local law. Please join us in congratulating Ada!

New MPN Advisory Board Member from San Francisco Foundation
Director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation Jessica Dalesandro Mindnich, Ph.D., of San Francisco Foundation has agreed to join the Advisory Board. Jessica is joining Board of Education Commissioner Gabriela López as the newest MPN Advisory Board members.

The next Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for July 19.

Capacity Building for Parents of Children 0-5: Abriendo Puertas
MPN partner Support for Families hosted its Abriendo Puertas graduation on June 12. Abriendo Puertas is a parent capacity-building program created by Latino parents for Latino parents. Our parents are their child’s first and most-important teachers, and Abriendo Puertas supports families in growing their leadership skills. MPN’s Early Learning partners are projected to provide a total of 14 cohort trainings to over 200 family members this year.

Tools for Transitioning from Pre-K to Kinder
One of MPN’s Early Learning partner strategies is to support families, as they transition from Pre-K to Kinder, through the use of transition tools known as Family Portfolios, and over 280 families have been reached so far this school year. Seven Early Learning partners have participated: Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Head Start; Good Samaritan; Felton FCD; and SFUSD schools Bryant, Las Americas, Chavez and Sanchez elementary. With the support of these partners, we were able to provide 16 Family Portfolio workshops to 118 parents.

Summer Schedule for Family Success Coaches
Another school year has come to an end, but school-based FSCs will remain at sites and continue to work with families at the following summer program sites: Sanchez; Flynn; and Everett (Mission Graduates and Urban Services YMCA; BVHM; and James Lick (Jamestown).

School Board Resolution for Latinx Students
We continue to work with School Board Commissioner Gabriela López, MEDA Board Member Paul Monge, and the San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition to develop a Latinx School Board Resolution. The first draft was completed and is now being reviewed by the full SFLPEC body and external community groups, with a goal of submitting to School Board committees by August, and the full Board in September.

Sharing Best Practices from Mission Promise Neighborhood
MPN joined Hayward Promise Neighborhood and Marin Promise on a panel discussion of Bay Area Promise Neighborhoods at the Rise Together Opportunity Summit in San Jose.

You can access the presentations from the Summit here.

More MPN Staff Accolades
Family Support Manager Celina Castro-Saelao was selected as a 2019 NALCAB Fellow and participated in the fellowship training in Portland. This highly competitive program was developed to ensure that next-generation Latino leaders build the skills needed to fill the increasing leadership gap in the community economic-development field. Congratulations, Celina!

Associate Director Liz Cortez completed the RBA Professional Certification from Clear Impact. Results-Based Accountability is the framework MPN uses to measure impact in the community. Liz has been MPN’s in-house expert for some time, and is now recognized outside of MPN as well. Congratulations, Liz!

Upcoming Events

Planning for the annual MPN Education Forum is underway: The free community event will be held on August 10 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at City College – Mission Campus. We are reaching out to MPN partners to lead workshops and offer resources during the event. We are looking for volunteers to help run fun interactive activities for families. Thanks to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services for providing us with 300 backpacks.

For more information, contact Celina Castro-Saelao at

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by Richard Raya, Director, Mission Promise Neighborhood

These are exciting — and busy — times for the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), so I wanted to make sure you are updated on recent events and what’s ahead. Thanks for being part of MPN!

State Legislation for Promise Neighborhoods
We are excited to announce new state legislation that, if passed, would fund 20 Promise Neighborhoods across California, including Mission Promise Neighborhood. This legislation, The Promise Neighborhood Act of 2019, SB 686 (Allen), is co-authored by Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Scott Wiener. You can read more about the legislation here.

If your organization would like to offer a letter of support, please submit to this portal by Monday April 1, and copy Norma Paz Garcia at The first hearing for SB 686 is April 10, and MEDA will be arranging a bus to take community members to Sacramento to advocate for this bill the day before, April 9. If you would like to join the bus trip to Sacramento, please contact Lucia Obregon at

Ending Child Poverty
The SB 686 Promise Neighborhood legislation is tied to a broader campaign inspired by recommendations in the End Child Poverty Plan. These comprehensive recommendations could eliminate deep child poverty for 450,000 California children when fully implemented, while working to break the cycles of intergenerational poverty. The campaign is led by Conway Collis, President and CEO of GRACE. We would like to thank our partners Mission Graduates and Sanchez Elementary for hosting Mr. Collis on March 7; they shared with him how the Mission Promise Neighborhood wraparound model consists of Family Success Coaches working in concert with school administration, out-of-school-time provider Mission Graduates, and mental health provider Instituto Familiar De La Raza.

Stayover Shelter at BVHM

The School Board agreed to allow the homeless shelter at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 to extend services to students at other schools. We are in conversation with the shelter operator, Dolores Street Community Services, to develop a process for the Family Success Coaches at the eight other Mission Promise Neighborhood schools to begin making referrals to the BVHM shelter.

State of Latino Children and Youth
The majority of homeless students in SFUSD are Latino: This is just one of many indicators of the challenges facing Latino students. Mission Promise Neighborhood is working with the San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition to develop a report on the state of Latino children and youth in San Francisco, including a dashboard showing key indicators such as homelessness, early learning scores, graduation rates and more, for presentation to the SFUSD School Board and the Board of Supervisors. We aim to align this information to the Our Children Our Families framework and present it along with a set of recommendations during Latino Heritage Month.

Huge Book Donation
March 7 was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop Mission Promise Neighborhood from rolling up our sleeves and helping Good Samaritan Family Resource Center store a donation of 10,000 children’s books in our building, Plaza Adelante. We look forward to collaborating with Mission Promise Neighborhood partners to distribute these books in the #MissionSF community. Stay tuned.

Visit from Department of Education
On February 22, MPN was honored to host Elson Nash, Promise Neighborhood program director at the U.S. Department of Education. We toured Bryant Elementary with our partner Mission Graduates and San Francisco Unified School District administrators. MPN shared how our collaborative, wraparound approach supports both students and their families.

Upcoming Events

Prop C Outreach
MPN families are helping the City prioritize how the Prop C “ECE For All” funds should be allocated through the Office of Early Care and Education once they are available. On March 7, Good Samaritan families provided feedback and their top two priorities are increasing ECE teacher wages and increasing low-income subsidies. Thank you to Good Samaritan for engaging families and hosting and MPN staff for facilitating this very important planning process. For more info on the Prop C process go here. There are two more outreach meetings to occur at MNC and Felton. The MNC event will occur Thursday, March 21. For more information contact Ada Freund at

Referral Redesign
Our referral tool is our secret sauce: We work with our community partners to make thousands of family referrals to each other for services such as housing, health care, legal services, job training and more (read our brief). But there is always room for improvement. Our Evaluation team is using partner meetings to discuss ways to redesign the referral tool. Using human-centered design concepts, we hope to make the referral tool even more effective. We have conducted four design meetings to date, and the next one is scheduled for April 4. If you would like to get involved, contact Michelle Reiss-Top, Technology and Data Systems Manager, at

Scholarships Fundraiser
Students at John O’Connell High School, in #MissionSF, want to continue their education after high school, but they often struggle with overcoming financial barriers. Together, we can help them realize their dream of attending college. That’s why the Mission Promise Neighborhood Scholarship Fund is raising money that will go directly to graduating seniors to help them achieve higher education. A huge thanks to Mission Graduates! We hope you can attend our popular fundraiser events!

FIRST EVENT: Thursday, March 21st, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at Evil Eye (3927 Mission @ 25th).

Or donate now on our crowdfunding page.

Latino Day
On April 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., a collective of community partners will be celebrating Latino Academic Excellence, Culture and Higher Education. The event is geared toward the entire family. MPN will start off with a youth panel, followed by an all-day Resource Fair. We will have two workshop rotations focused on student reclassification, enrollment, A-G requirements, education supports for undocumented students, Dream Act, and how to apply for financial aid and scholarships. We will end the day with a celebration of academic excellence with the Latin American Teacher Association (LATA) issuing a certificate of recognition to students across schools in the Mission and the Excelsior. The Planning Organizations include Mission Graduates, Roadmap to Peace, My Brother and Sister’s Keeper, Human Rights Commission, John O’Connell High School, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Instituto Familiar de la Raza and MEDA.

Abriendo Puertas
In partnership with First 5, we will be hosting a three-day Abriendo Puertas new-facilitator training March 26-27. The training will build the capacity of new facilitators who work directly with families of children 0-5 years to engage them in a program created by Latino parents for Latino parents. The mission of this 10-session program is to “support parents in their roles as family leader and as their child’s first and most in influential teacher in a home that is their child’s first school.” This two-generation approach builds parent-leadership skills and knowledge to promote family well-being and positive education outcomes for children. We will have a total of eight MPN partner agencies in attendance and a graduating class of 20 new Abriendo Puertas facilitators. The MPN partners include: Tandem, Partners in Early Learning; Mission Neighborhood Centers Inc.; Homeless Prenatal Program; Jamestown Community Center; Felton Family Institute FDC; Good Samaritan Family Resource Center; El Centro Bayview; and MEDA.


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2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

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