Let's Help All Children Succeed
At a recent Collaborate PASadena Leadership Council meeting, a discussion ensued around the initiative's core purpose -- supporting the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Unified School District, along with community partners, to work better together toward helping all children succeed.

Discussion led to exploring the WHY of what we do, and brought into sharper focus a singular overarching goal: All students graduate from high school prepared for college and/or career.

Other existing goals support this key area:
  • Early developmental needs are met and all children are prepared to enter school
  • Students are healthy - physically, mentally and socially
  • Parents are engaged with their children and school
  • Children and families are supported by communities that are safe, stable and nurturing.
None of this is new. But the way Collaborate PASadena is focusing its efforts is evolving. Students and families in the PUSD remain at the heart of our work. Come join our Student Success Work Group, along with reps from Caltech, PCC, PUSD, Reading Partners, CAP, PEF, Pasadena and Altadena Libraries, and more. And stay in touch; visit our website at collaboratepasadena.org and/or email us at lisa@collpas.org to learn more.
The Vision | The children of Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre all grow up in a safe, stable,
                        and supportive environment that prepares them for success in school and in life.
Going Deeper to Support Children and Families
Among the Pasadena Unified School District's efforts toward supporting the whole child are two programs that put "boots on the ground" for children and families: Healthy Start Family Centers, and the Personalized Support Plan initiative.

Healthy Start Family Centers are located at five campuses, with staff rotating to additional sites. The Centers and their caring, compassionate staff members strive to improve the academic achievement of students by connecting families to physical health care and education, mental health care referrals, Pre-K and after school programs, parenting classes, social services resources and referrals, food, clothing, transportation, utility assistance, health insurance outreach, and much more. Click here to learn more.

The Personalized Support Plan initiative aims to address three key dimensions for students deemed "at-risk" -- academics, attendance and behavior. Support for the children and their families aims specifically to help eliminate the challenges outside of school that impede student success. Home visits are one method used, with the goals of building trust, creating "contact persons" for each family, increasing awareness among families and students regarding student achievement, academic requirements and support opportunities at their school, and increasing understanding among school staff regarding the needs and realities that ethnically and linguistically diverse students face. The program is being piloted this school year.
CAP: Taking Graduates to the Next Step
With the desire to address a gap in college knowledge and enrollment among low-income and first-generation college-going students in Pasadena’s public schools, educators Mo Hyman and Kathleen Parent founded College Access Plan (CAP) in 2006 in Pasadena. Working closely with counselors and teachers, CAP developed a comprehensive program that works in partnership with schools to add meaningful and individualized college readiness support that is open to all students, regardless of when their “I want to go to college” light bulb might turn on. Since the beginning, CAP’s programs have emboldened students of all ages to envision themselves with a college degree from an institution that best fits their unique interests, personalities, and needs.

Says Hyman of the program, "We do not believe that individualized support should be at a premium, so we appeal to students through a variety of flexible opportunities: presentations and workshops, short-term courses, daytime college counseling for alternative education students, drop-in after school programs on high school campuses, online tools and social media reminders, and parent-focused resources. Our through-college program, I Heart College , not only supports our local students through college graduation but engages alumni to serve as peer-mentors, share their college experiences, and build their acumen as PASadena’s civically-engaged leaders of tomorrow."
CAP co-founder, Mo Hyman, has 20 years of nonprofit experience as a direct service provider, Program Director, and Executive Director as well as 18 years of experience as a college English professor. A graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in English, she also possesses an MA in English from the University of New Mexico and an MPA in nonprofit management from USC. She has been the Executive Director since CAP’s inception, helping to grow the team from one to eight staff members and two Americorps VISTA members. Hyman serves on Collaborate PASadena's Leadership Council and is a huge advocate for college for all.
An excerpt from an essay written earlier this year entitled College Education and the Public Good says it all: " If we wish to see a future where our political and community leaders represent diverse backgrounds and experiences and prize fact-based research, science, and critical thinking, we need to encourage vigorous exposure to a broad range of disciplines. The value of a Bachelor’s degree is further enhanced when our colleges are packed with students from communities that enrich campuses with a wide array of experiences but that are traditionally underrepresented at (even discouraged from attending) these institutions. A college education is, of course, a road to career success and financial security, but it also advances, fine-tunes, and challenges students’ understanding of the world in a context that requires them to engage a range of beliefs and assumptions."

Click here to read the entire essay.
PUSD High Schools Honored
All four of the Pasadena Unified School District’s comprehensive high schools - Blair School, John Muir High School, Marshall Fundamental, and Pasadena High School - have, for the first time, been placed on America’s Most Challenging High Schools 2017 list by The Washington Post. The list annually ranks how successfully schools challenge their students to take advanced and college-level classes. Only 12 percent of the nation’s high schools qualify for the honor.
Washington STEAM Resource Fair
On Thursday, November 2, the Healthy Start Family Center at Washington STEAM Magnet Academy held a Resource Fair, with participants displaying resources that directly benefit students and their families. Collaborate PASadena joined representatives there from PEF, CAP, Day One, the City/Human Services and Recreation, PPD, Young & Healthy and more. A few dozen parents enjoyed the event and took home important resources.
News and Events
Click here to find the latest news and events on the Collaborate PASadena website! We happily post partner news and events on our site and on our Facebook page and Instagram. Submit to elizabeth@collpas.org.
Partner Praise
Since its founding as the Board of Trade in 1888, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association has played a major role in the development of our internationally renowned city. In the 21st century, the Chamber's primary purpose remains supporting the prosperity of member businesses and enhancing of the business climate and quality of life in Pasadena.
More and more we are called upon to share resources for families, so each month we will feature some here. Take a moment to explore these:
v. to make stronger; enlarge; extend