Atlantic Philanthropies and the California Endowment have announced grants totaling $22.2 million to the Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, and Alameda Health System to expand pathways to healthcare careers for students in Oakland and Alameda County.
Grants totaling $12.2 million were awarded to OUSD and ACHCSA to bolster college- and career-readiness programs and internship opportunities for high school students and to expose middle school students to a broad range of healthcare careers. As part of a statewide health workforce diversity initiative, the California Endowment awarded $1.2 million over three years to ACHCSA's Alameda Health Care Pipeline Partnership, a consortium of programs working to provide mentorship, academic enrichment, leadership development, and career exposure to disadvantaged and minority youth. And, in conjunction with the grants to OUSD, Atlantic awarded $10 million to AHS, one of the largest public health providers in Alameda County, to expand training and internship programs for middle and high school students in Oakland public schools as well as East Bay area college students. To be administered by the Alameda Health System Foundation, the grant also will be used to bolster the capacity of AHS to provide quality services in low-income communities of color.
"We've seen pathway programs make a real difference in the lives of thousands of Oakland students, and we want to expand pathways so that, eventually, every OUSD student has the opportunity to experience Linked Learning," said OUSD superintendent Antwan Wilson, referring to the district's efforts to combine rigorous academics, real world technical skills, and work-based learning and personalized student support — an approach first implemented in the district with support from the James Irvine Foundation. "Graduation rates are 25 percent higher for students enrolled in career pathway programs, where they benefit from a college preparatory curriculum, technical instruction, and academic and social supports, while taking part in workplace learning that provides the kind of hands-on experience needed to open the door to fulfilling, productive careers."