Every year, approximately 2,200 babies are born into poverty in Oakland. In 2020 alone, La Clínica served 913 babies, many of whom live below the poverty line.
For many of these babies and their families, the barriers to educational and vocational opportunities are seemingly insurmountable.
In order to address these challenges, La Clínica’s Transit Village Pediatric clinic in Fruitvale has partnered with Oakland Promise—an organization working to ensure every child in the city graduates high school prepared for the college or career of their choice. This partnership will enable La Clínica to offer more holistic support to the families we serve as well as expand economic mobility and academic achievement for Oakland children and their families.
Enrolled families and their children participate in the four core programs of Oakland Promise, beginning with “Brilliant Baby,” which are designed to support children and their families with the resources they need to be successful.
The “Brilliant Baby” program begins at birth and spans the early years of a child’s healthy development and school-readiness. During this stage, a college savings account is created for babies and seeded with $500, and parents and caregivers receive financial coaching as well as become part of a supportive network for the entire family.
Through this partnership with Oakland Promise’s Brilliant Baby, La Clínica hopes to help low-income parents address some of the financial stress that is often compounded by the arrival of a new baby, while supporting their aspirations for a bright future for their child.
La Clínica staff enroll eligible babies and their families in the program and conduct studies on the program’s success while receiving training and technical assistance from Brilliant Baby.
To be eligible, babies must be between 0 and 12 months old, be born in Alameda County and currently live in Oakland, and the household must meet income eligibility for health and social services entitlement programs. As of May 2021, more than 60 babies have been enrolled into the program from La Clínica.
One of those babies is Lucas Medina. His mother Licett Medina was very happy to learn about the program through La Clínica and receive support for her family and for her son’s future. Her assigned Brilliant Baby coach has provided her with financial education that has helped her take action towards making her financial goals a reality.
“This resource is very good for both children and parents. It helps us as parents to educate ourselves more and plan for our goals. For children, it’s a great start that will help them study and have a better education and become a better citizen,” she said.
Bárbara Rojas-Báez is the Study Coordinator for Oakland Promise Brilliant Baby at La Clínica Transit Village Pediatrics. She believes this partnership is addressing an important need for the community that will lead to more confident and perseverant youth.
“Our community members need financial literacy and guidance, and Oakland Promise is here to make a change,” Bárbara said. “When families meet with the Oakland Promise financial coaches, they begin learning about the power they hold over their economic well-being and their future.”
Licett agrees. She says that this program has helped her see new possibilities, and understand how her family can implement their goals for a better life. The college savings account that was created for Lucas has also given her hope for her son’s future.
“[Going to university] is a beautiful dream and it fills me with joy because it is something that is good for everyone. It makes me excited to think that we can achieve the goals that we’re planning for,” she said. “I am very grateful to the program and La Clínica.”
In the future, La Clínica hopes to enroll 100 babies into the program each year.
For now, Brilliant Baby and La Clínica will continue to work with families like Licett’s until their child enters school at age five. After beginning school, the child will become part of the next core program of Oakland Promise called “Kindergarten to College.”
You can invest in a family and baby’s path to a brighter future!
To learn more and make an investment, contact Maggie Croushore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our collaboration with Oakland Promise will serve 100 families each year and cost $100,000/year.
This covers costs associated with recruiting and enrolling families into the Brilliant Baby program and Evaluation Study, data collection at five points between enrollment and each child’s fifth birthday, and ongoing data sharing and coordination activities.
Join us in our transformative partnership!