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Updates from our Partners: Somos Mayfair

Somos Mayfair is a long-time partner of BMP on our work on Social Change for Service Providers.  They’ve recently started a new campaign to reverse education and health inequities in their community.  Check their project update below for more information:

Major News from Somos Mayfair!

The In Our Hands Campaign is an effort in the Mayfair neighborhood to reverse education and health inequities by tapping into the community’s knowledge, power and tradition of self-reliance.

At the heart of our plan is the training of a network of peer mentors, or Promotores, to engage their neighbors in addressing community issues. Each will gain skills in mentorship and group facilitation. Together, they will motivate their friends and neighbors to tackle several issues, including closing the achievement gap in third-grade reading, a critical indicator of future success, increasing school readiness for students entering kindergarten and establishing neighborhood-wide norms for healthy nutrition, exercise and emotional self care.

“Through this campaign, Mayfair will see more academic success and greater wellness in its homes, but more importantly, we will achieve the most critical goal of transforming Mayfair into an engaged community of mutual support,” said Jaime Alvarado, Executive Director.

“The solutions to communities’ pressing challenges often lie within. We’re excited to see how the Promotores can draw those solutions out and help the people of Mayfair build a better community,” said Judith Kleinberg, San Jose/Silicon Valley program director for Knight Foundation, which promotes informed and engaged communities.

Through a smaller, pilot program, we found that, on average, the volunteer Promotores were 27 % more effective than paid staff in engaging, training and mentoring other community members to support early childhood success and family wellness. A Santa Clara County evaluation also found that through the pilot neighbors felt more connected and supported through the program. With Knight funding, the program will expand our mission and be enacted neighborhood wide.

“It gives me pride that the work of engaging Mayfair residents is now in our hands,” volunteer Promotora Nelly Blas said. “I feel that we as Promotores have the power to pass on to other Mayfair residents everything that we have learned at Somos Mayfair so that they also have the opportunity and desire to move forward.”

We are excited to move forward with our community-led efforts and support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years will be critical in ensuring the actualization of our goals.

To build off the momentum of our recent In Our Hands Campaign successes, we are working to raise $100,000 from our supporters by June 30, 2012.

Our newly awarded Knight Foundation grant requires us to double their investment from other supporters for the release of funds in years 2 and 3. Please help us meet our challenge by giving to our Jumpstart Campaign today!

For more information about the In Our Hands Campaign, and ways you can help, contact Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, Associate Director at cfontanilla@somosmayfair.org

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