The Thriving Neighbors Initiative is an engaged scholarship, teaching, and sustainable development initiative facilitated by SCU’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. Our initial focus is on the five, predominantly Latino neighborhoods that make up the Greater Washington community in San Jose. Collectively, these communities have both extraordinary assets and significant challenges. Greater Washington is home to a driven and dedicated populace with a large immigrant population, strong community organizations, and seasoned community leaders. Conversely, it is also one of the most socioeconomically challenged regions of Santa Clara County, where families face signiﬁcant barriers that impede their ability to live healthy and productive lives. The Thriving Neighbors Initiative links the University and community in projects that yield mutually beneficial outcomes. Together, we seek to encourage high-impact, community-engaged practice that enhances research and learning for the common good.
Thriving Neighbors Goals:
- Build local capacity for expanded educational choice in Greater Washington such that children enter kindergarten healthy and ready to learn, that students are supported and successful throughout elementary, middle and high school, and that they graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
- Improve pathways to prosperity for community members by engaging with community partners to address health, legal and economic disparities with the intention of supporting children in their learning process.
- Engage the University’s students, faculty, and staff in partnerships with Greater Washington residents, businesses, community leaders, and organizations to promote mutual learning, critical dialogue and transformational relationships through collaborative teaching, participatory action-research-based scholarship, and sustainable program development innovation.