EastBay Today

Posted January 2, 2018

Cal State East Bay’s Hayward Promise Neighborhood Receives Nearly $30M

The funding will allow the program to continue and expand its services

A collaboration of 10 local organizations, HPN is dedicated to alleviating generational poverty and supporting children from infancy through college.
Courtesy of Hayward Promise Neighborhood

The U.S. Department of Education announced it will grant $29.8 million to Cal State East Bay and its partners for the Hayward Promise Neighborhood initiative, making it one of just four programs in the country to receive funding this year.

Hayward Promise Neighborhood serves more than 10,000 residents and 6,000 students in Hayward’s Jackson Triangle neighborhood where families struggle with poverty, a high rate of single-income households and nearly twice the state average of English as a Second Language speakers. The new federal grant will allow HPN to expand its services within the Jackson Triangle and beyond.

“Receiving this grant allows us to continue our collaboration with our partners and build on the success we have achieved over the last five years,” said Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita. “We can now move forward, growing with the needs of our community and ensuring the youth and families of Hayward have the tools to thrive.”

A collaboration of 10 local organizations, HPN is dedicated to alleviating generational poverty and supporting children from infancy through college.

Since programming began, both Cal State East Bay and Chabot College have seen marked increases in cumulative enrollment from Tennyson and Hayward high schools likely due to HPN’s “promise interns” — Cal State East Bay students who work as mentors and tutors in local schools.

“Even though their parents might tell them or their teachers [that they can go to college], it’s easier for them to connect with people who look like them, who are similar in age, who are from their neighborhood — it helps them believe college is real for them,” said Roxana Cruz, HPN outreach coordinator for service learning.

Since 2013, the 126 interns have given more than 24,000 hours of service to local schools and programs. Of these, 56 percent completed their degree at Cal State East Bay.

In addition to targeting education, HPN coordinates and aligns a myriad of resources with those in need including prenatal care, job training and access to community food banks, all in an effort to make it easier for parents to focus on their children.

“It has been a lifeline,” said Tami Rossell, a widow and single mother. “It means a second family for us, an extended family. I felt so isolated and alone, and suddenly, there was community, suddenly there was someone else that could help.”

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday says over the last several years, the agencies and partners that have worked together as part of HPN, have learned a great deal about each other and the community’s critical needs.

“The additional funds, along with the relationships we have built with each other and our community partners during the previous funding cycle will help sustain and expand the Promise Neighborhood success and will facilitate other collaborative efforts in the city of Hayward,” said Halliday.