Cradle to Career Project Addresses Latino Families

It takes a community.

Dr. Anita Perez Ferguson joins us today to discuss the value of private-public sectors joining together in collaboration to assure equal access and success for our children’s education regardless of income and cultural roots. She is the Executive Director of a local collaborative called THRIVE.

Santa Barbara, California, is considered an international vacation destination, and, demographically, is know for its ultra-wealthy residents including celebrities.  Santa Barbara is also a great philanthropic community recognizing that there are also people living in poverty in this coastal community.  This is often the case with well-recognized and beautiful communities around the world.

Research throughout the United States shows an alarming achievement gap in the education system related to the low success rates—and graduation rates—of children from low-income.  In Santa Barbara, it is often Latino families. Research also demonstrates that this gap is readily apparent on the first day of school and results in a downward spiral.  Programs like “No Child Left Behind” have made efforts, if unfortunate in its overall success, to correct this issue.

The correlations are as stunning as they are simple. Children are often not prepared to vigorously engage in kindergarten and quickly fall behind.  They often do not learn to read by the third or fourth grade. Those who do not learn to read by fourth grade have astronomically high school dropout rates. Students who drop out of high school are far more vulnerable to gang recruitment and incarceration. These facts provide a bleak picture for these underserved children, while also revealing an equally uncertain future for us all.

To protect the collective economic future of the county, Santa Barbara initiated THRIVE, a project focused on increasing knowledge and attention to prepare and ready the next generation of Santa Barbara County residents for productive lives.  This public–private collaborative is modeled after Geoffrey Canada’s cradle-to-career New York Harlem Children’s Zone.

Because the collaborative involves local businesses, schools, government agencies, nonprofits and families, sustainability and strength is built in.  No one organization tackles the issues.  Instead, organizations equipped to deal with specific challenges work together to form a web of services designed to capture and help each child.

cradle to career

THRIVE is a part of a national network called STRIVE.  Local organizations like THRIVE in Santa Barbara exist across the USA.  More can be created with the energy and dedication of the community to make a difference in their own children’s future and the economic well-being of the whole community.  Education is a lifelong experience that begins well before a child ever sets foot in a classroom and continues long past a cap and gown commencement.

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About Robin Eschler

Robin L. Eschler, the founder of Social Impact Marketing, started her career in developing foundational marketing strategies for companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 to individual entrepreneurs and local businesses. She has developed and implemented international campaigns to launch high tech products and services and guided new business owners to successfully navigate the difficulties of growing a business.

Her life-long passion for helping others led her into nonprofit work for over a decade. Early on, she recognized the need for nonprofits to adapt to a rapidly changing world in which technology dominates and for-profit business practices are central to success. Her determination to help social causes in a sustainable way led to her creation of the Women’s Radio show Socially Conscious Investing.

Impact investing in for-profits with a mission of social change such as the fight against extreme poverty is a blossoming business sector around the world. With the economic decline, it’s clear that Wall Street requires change. Social impact investing addresses that need in a way that provides financial and social ROI.

As the Host of Socially Conscious Investing on WomensRadio, Robin’s goal is to educate people about the growth of social impact investing and social venture. Interviews are conducted with socially conscious business experts including foundations and nonprofits, social venture investment firms, micro-loan organizations, investors, educators, authors and social entrepreneurs.

This show’s mission is to help change the world through sustainable business practices that contribute to the economy, combat poverty, end hunger and provide better lives to all.

Twice, Robin has been recognized and received the highest honorary award that Rotary International gives, the Paul Harris Award, for service above self. Her community work has included developing local programs for disadvantaged populations such as foster children, troubled teens, and people with disabilities.

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