More than 200 campus and community members gathered at CSM on November 14 to formally launch the new SparkPoint Center.
President Mike Claire and San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla greeted the crowd, followed by comments from CSM Health Services Director Emily Barrick and United Way Bay Area President Anne Wilson. Two students shared their stories about how SparkPoint has helped to support their education, including Jessica Hudson and SMCCCD Student Trustee Gabriela Topete Eng Goon.
Many community and campus organizations participated in the event, including SparkPoint partners United Way Bay Area, Second Harvest, San Mateo Credit Union, Samaritan House, StarVista, HIP Housing, Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, and the SparkPoint Centers of Cañada College and Skyline College. Many CSM student services and organizations showcased their programs with tabling and tours. Festivities included food, live entertainment by Professor Rudy Ramirez’s band Zanzibar, prize drawings, and tours. Most important, 30 students and community members signed up for SparkPoint CSM financial coaching.
Since its soft opening in October, SparkPoint CSM has already had a significant impact:
- Established a roster of 48 clients (students and community members) to date, 37 of whom have met with SparkPoint staff for more than two financial coaching sessions
- Provided free groceries to an average of 60 households per week, amounting to 1,500 lbs. per week
- Distributed student snack baskets at 12 campus locations
- Co-organizing discounted student Grab-N-Go meals at the Bulldog Bookstore and Pop-up Pantry Grocery Service at EOPS/CARE