Bay Area, California

In California’s Bay Area, a unique coalition of businesses, early education advocates, policymakers, and real estate developers partner to improve student outcomes throughout the education pipeline.

Achieving Tomorrow in California's Bay Area

San Mateo County had a childcare shortage crisis limiting economic opportunities for families and access to education for the county's children. Using data to position early childhood education and care as an infrastructure challenge, Build Up SMC is growing and improving the supply of childcare and early learning programs through advocacy, strategic partnerships, and making childcare and early learning conversations a priority.

How Summit Prepares Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow

Summit Preparatory High School, a public non-profit charter high school in Redwood City, offers a unique solution to the dilemma of college readiness and the workforce skills gap, the Summit Expeditions program.

These special electives allow students to explore their interests and develop work ready skills through coursework tied to curriculum, emphasizing project-based learning and real-world experience. By giving students the flexibility and the tools to explore their passion, Summit empowers them to build the foundation needed to succeed in their dream job.

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Strengthening Communities by Investing in Early Childhood Education

Build Up SMC was established to alleviate the childcare shortage in San Mateo County. This coalition relies on partnerships with city officials, developers, employers, school districts, and others to bring creative solutions for childcare and early learning facilities to the table in broader city planning conversations.

Businesses in any state, region, or individual city across the country can join together to tackle this challenge. The childcare facility shortage is not unique to San Mateo County, but their approach of integrating with the community and making early education a priority infrastructure conversation across the city’s housing advocacy organizations, community development financial institutions, state and local early education advocates, and others is a story worth sharing.

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Inspiring and Mentoring the Future Workforce

Summit Prep’s unique Expeditions courses allow Matt Tognotti to explore his passions with an internship at Speck Design. Through his Expedition, Matt is developing professional and communication skills that will enhance his profile as he considers the next step in his education and career path.

His supervisor, Lucia Rodilla, also a Summit Prep student, sees the value in mentoring students and becoming workforce-ready. Summit Expeditions give students the big picture, showing how classroom concepts are applied in the working world.

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"A lot of times, people think of community benefits as having open space and parks, but having childcare located near housing can actually make a huge difference. For a lot of working families who don't have access to quality care, they are forced to leave. We're losing valuable workforce in the area but more than that, we're losing the character of our community. That’s why early education is essential for any community to be prosperous."
Director, Build Up for San Mateo County’s Children

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Lucia Rodilla

Student Supervisor, Speck Design
It makes the students that are going through the program more workforce-ready. They will be able to build relationships and know how the workforce actually works, so when they take that job, they'll have that confidence

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Johnny Nguyen

Teacher + Mentor, Summit Prep
When you become a teacher at Summit, you don't just become a teacher; you become a mentor for a cohort of students. This cohort of students has a mentor caring about them from the moment they walk into the building to the moment they leave the building

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Dedra McFarland

Teacher, Footsteps Child Care
We're building a house, if you think about it. Early childhood education is the foundation needed to make sure that house is stable. You can't have a house and then go back and say: we need a better foundation. You need to have that foundation before the house even goes up, which is what we're giving the kids - the foundation before they move on to higher education

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