Driven by the belief that all people in our communities deserve the opportunity to succeed, the Sobrato Family Foundation is working to promote access to high-quality education in underserved communities and create avenues to careers that can elevate families’ economic standing and security.

21st Century Education

In Silicon Valley, an estimated 75,000 students across grades K to 12 are low-income, struggling academically and lack access to high-quality school options. Our 21st Century Education grantmaking expands avenues for low-income and English learner students to attain a college credential through improved educational quality, equity and choice, thereby increasing their economic opportunities. The Foundation’s funding includes a range of partners who support educational leaders and teachers in traditional public districts, charter schools and Catholic schools.

Downtown College Prep’s new 1,100-student flagship campus opened in San Jose with support from Sobrato’s program-related investments (PRI).
ACE Charter Schools, whose innovative model actively recruits students performing below grade level, completed a long-term lease deal and renovation at the Independence High School campus in the Eastside Union High School District, also with the support of Sobrato’s PRI program.

As one example, we’re proud that our grantees ACE Charter Schools, Downtown College Prep, KIPP Public Charter Schools and Voices College-Bound Language Academy have opened seven new schools and, in 2017, expanded their enrolled seat capacity to serve an additional 1,114 children.

IN 2017 ALONE:

Pathways for Success

Sobrato is supporting pathways to sustainable jobs by building connections between employers and the workforce to train people for higher-paying jobs.

Year Up participant sharpens his presentation skills.

More than a third of Bay Area workers earn less than $18 an hour, and the majority of these workers earn less than $12 an hour—well below a living wage. Barriers to effective training and job experience keep what opportunities do exist out of reach—curbing economic mobility for hundreds of thousands of Silicon Valley residents. Sobrato is supporting pathways to sustainable jobs by building connections between employers and the workforce to train people for higher-paying jobs.

Supporting low-income adults to obtain gainful employment

Through our investments, we’re fostering partnerships with community colleges. United Way Bay Area launched a SparkPoint center in 2016 at San José-Evergreen Community College District Workforce Institute and has quickly established itself as a leader in Santa Clara County. The SparkPoint center serves as a hub for partners working to address the income gap in Silicon Valley and, through its evidence-based model, offers multiple services under one roof to improve outcomes for participants. The Stride Center has succeeded in establishing a breakthrough relationship with Mission College, co-locating on campus and adding its offerings to the course catalogue.

We’re excited to continue exploring new ways to support financial capability and small business, and pair financial capability with training to help individuals move up the economic ladder.

Training and investing in low-income women and minority small business owners