December 2015 newsletter
By Faith Network of the East Bay
It’s Never Too Soon to Think about College
College graduates are 2 times more likely to be employed and to be productive participating members of society. And yet today, 80.5% of children from low-income families do not graduate from college.
For the last few years, Faith Network, in partnership with the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, has created the opportunity for middle school students from Longfellow, King, and Willard Middle Schools in Berkeley to visit the University of California, Berkeley campus. The intention is to expose these students to resources that will help in their pursuit of higher education. Funding for transportation, t-shirts, and meals is provided through the Max Martinez Memorial Fund.
In the 2014-2015 school year, campus visits occurred during the month of April. Participants had the opportunity to visit the Cal campus where they engaged with UC Berkeley Incentive Awards Program (IAP) Scholars and talked to them about multiple topics: experiences as low-income and first-generation college-bound students, transition to high school from middle school, emotional and academic support in high school, and college prep.
Middle school students appreciated the IAP Scholar small circle discussions where further engagement into academic motivation, family support, and study habits/skill building were among the most appreciated topics. Students especially enjoyed their lunch at the Crossroads Dining Commons, experiencing what it’s like to have meals in a college dining hall with Cal students, professors and staff.
President’s Corner: Counting Our Blessings
While it’s true that there is a great deal of suffering, injustice and conflict in our
world – both far away and close to home – we still have so much to be grateful for. As we gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving, let us pause before feasting to count our blessings.
Faith Network is profoundly grateful for…
- over 300 Good Samaritans who volunteer their time and talents to give hope to vulnerable children and help them reach their full potential, while at the same time creating a positive working environment for school personnel;
- our 50+ collaborative partners, the pillars of our network, for their sustained commitment to invest in the next generation and pool resources for the common good;
- the many individuals, families and institutions for their financial support during the year. It is through your generosity that Faith Network is empowered to carry out our mission.
Our staff team joins me in wishing you and your family a joyous Christmas filled
with peace, hope and love. May God grant us grace to be attentive to the persons
He puts in our pathways, to rejoice when a child’s life is touched and transformed, to embrace the mystery of the mustard seed – the transformation of entire communities, one life at a time.