Neighborhood Wellness Foundation
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Organization Details


The INnovators Academy (IA) purpose is to improve high school educational engagement with diploma achievement, pathways to college or sustainable vocational careers by assisting students heal from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Toxic Stress. Our goal is to create a new cultural of mental health wellness, self-efficacy, educational attainment, and sustainable economic growth for Grant High School students and our Del Paso Heights (DPH) Community utilizing the integration of an interdisciplinary team. IA will work within Grant High School to help develop approximately 60 students who have been identified with ACES and Toxic Stress and are at high risk of not completing high school. IA targets students with grade point averages (GPAs) of 1.0 or below and/or higher performing students who are also experiencing socio-emotional challenges. To complete their high school requirements, our program covers five primary areas: Math, English, Reading, Civics, and History.

The goal is to develop a four-day per week curriculum broad enough to bridge the pathways for high school graduation, college acceptance, and/or workforce readiness including development of employability skill sets relevant and sustainable to their career advancement. Our program will utilize culturally relevant and innovative engagement processes for building infinite possibilities for our students and our community in Del Paso Heights. IA will integrate the expertise of the interdisciplinary team that includes parents, grassroots DPH mentors, community based organizations, academic tutors, faculty, administrators, Twin Rivers campus police, North Sacramento Police Department, Twin Rivers School District and the business community. The team will work collaboratively to change the cultural narrative of the DPH community in the 95838 zip code and reduce the impact of and ultimately eliminate intergenerational ACES, low educational attainment, poverty and economic stress.
Program Successes
- We are on a movement to disrupt inter-generational trauma and poverty in Del Paso Heights from the inside out.
- Last year, our pilot program of 30 girls improved GPAs by 67%.
Community Wellness Expo has successfully served our North Sacramento neighborhoods for the past six years. We partner with the City of Sacramento and Grant High School and other nonprofit and community based organizations intentionally partnering with vendors who offer much needed resources to our neighborhood residents. Our focus is building a healthy community by addressing the social determinants that impact our families such as adversity/trauma, educational attainment, financial literacy, housing stability, economic development, fitness, nutrition, health care, and much more.

We have an exciting day of fitness and dance demonstrations, various forms of art therapy engaging both adults and children such as painting, sewing, knitting, and coloring. We have offered mobile mammograms and breast health because our neighborhood women have a high incidence of advanced stage breast cancer. We have offered sports physicals for our youth, health screenings, dental screenings, and mental health workshops and discussions. In 2018, we presented a small business market hosted by women business owners. The past two years and going forward, the Wellness Expo has partnered with the MLK Neighborhood March which significantly increases our attendance and allows for volunteers to work on a nationally recognized day of service.
Program Successes
- Women screened for breast health; resources available for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Attendance has increased every year by 30% over the past six years.
- Continuous Support by Resource Experts.
- Increased Neighborhood Awareness of available resources.
- Engaged Children in Art & Fitness Activities.
- Implemented local Small Businesses Component.
- Residents are more confident of accessing resources.
The Neighborhood Wellness Foundation is the program co-designer, coordinator and fiscal agent for Brother to Brother. This organization over a two year period has been instrumental in developing ex-offenders and ex-gang members into community leaders and effective mentors. They are an authentic, grassroots, "boots on the ground" organization, led and supported by African-American men who have generational roots in DPH and are adept to serve the highest need African-American boys and men who have a history of low educational attainment, intergenerational poverty, childhood adversity, unemployment, drug and gang affiliation, and incarceration.

The program features:
- Recruitment & Mentorship: Hard-Core, gang-affiliated African-American Male Adults and Youth
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Adult Trauma
- Release the Brakes: Youth Engagement for Reentry Success
- Educational/Skill Development Pathways
- Restorative Community Service/Civic Engagement
- Cultural and Non-Traditional Healing Methods
- Youth and Adult Engagement Activities
Program Successes
- Participated regularly in restorative justice through civic engagement resulting in ex-offenders now being viewed as community leaders
- Prevented four shootings in DPH
- Partnered with Neighborhood Wellness Foundation with their Mentorship program for the highest need students at Grant HS
- Created monthly homeless feeding program
- Monitors for 4,000 strong MLK Neighborhood marchers
- Developed effective crisis response team for curbing gun violence
- Taught poetry and spoken word to high risk youth at summer program
- Served as effective Security guards at Summer community program
- Attended a UCD medical center certification class on helmet safety and received helmet donations
- Seven Lead Mentors completed creative writing class and are now able to assist 916Ink in classroom engagement

- Reduction in DPH holiday crime, due to their presence at the Halloween Trunk or Treat neighborhood event (400 participants), according to North Sac PD
- Honored as 2017 Partner of the Year, Sacramento City Police Department
- Lead Voter Registration Drive, and voted (some for the first time)
- Partner with Captain Seyffert to address DPH Crisis Prevention & Intervention
- Neighborhood Clean-up and Dialogue with new recruits of North Sac PD
- Monitor Leaders for Neighborhood MLK March
- Escorts for NeighborWorks Afternoon Tea for Seniors
- 80% Leaders are employed
- Certified Mentors from Gang Awareness & Prevention (GAP)

- Matriculation to College (two troubled youth mentees)
- Provided security at multiple community and sports events
- 100% prevention of recidivism for leaders

- Founded of a monthly Homeless Feeding Program
- Partnered with Police Chief Hahn and successfully prevented a retaliation of two notorious north area gangs at a Grant Football game
- Honored by Grant HS for Community Service
- Established annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive
- Established an annual Bike Give-A-Way, provided 200 bikes
Sister to Sister is a neighborhood mentoring program for our highest need African American high school girls. The Sister to Sister Youth engagement program is designed to address childhood trauma that has undermined their ability to thrive academically and socially. We build relationships established in trust, care, intent listening, and shared life experiences. We have a connectedness to these young girls that is unmatched. Our focus is to offer these students a neighborhood roadmap from hopelessness, trauma, and high risk behavior to unlocking their potential, hopefulness, healing, education engagement, diploma attainment, skill development, and a plan to achieve their goals.

Adult Women:
Our adult Sister to Sister program meets twice weekly and connects up to five times weekly with our highest need African American neighborhood women to address childhood adversity and how it undermines learning and their ability to reach their full potential. We have authentically created an environment of safe space to discuss challenges and goals and their individual pathways to help strengthen, educate, and empower them to build self-efficacy and become more resourceful and self-reliant. The twice weekly discussions intentionally address the neighborhood's socioeconomic challenges identified in the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment Data and most importantly are driven by the voices of our neighborhood residents. Our goal it to guide our young women, mothers, and grandmothers to understand their history of adversity and the impact, to recognize and become aware of their health challenges and learn to effectively navigate available resources to support them.

Program Priorities:
- ACES & Adult Trauma awareness and counseling
- Educational attainment
- Skill development
- Health awareness and education
- Outdoor educational field trips
- Engagement in various forms of trauma healing
- Generational impact
Program Successes
- 67% increased their grade point average after 10 months into the program (20 out of 30 highest need girls)
- Higher self-esteem and greater self awareness
- Increase awareness of neighborhood resources
- Positive feedback reported by parents, teachers, and administrators
- Mentors received training and certificates to teach Human Trafficking Awareness to faculty and students 7th-12th grade
- Six months of high attendance of once weekly meetings with many women requesting three times weekly meeting days
- One homeless women transitioned into group housing and preparing for adult high school completion course
- Two women into county services for housing and other needed services
- One woman with End-stage renal failure qualified for Section 8
- Mom of four encouraged to attend expulsion classes and show up for court after five failures; completed court mandated classes to clear record
- Four moms signed up for high school completion classes
Christmas with Neighbors provides an opportunity for neighbors to share their prosperity by helping others. The holiday celebration kicks off with a hearty breakfast prepared by volunteers from everywhere. The Grant High School lunchroom is converted into a beautiful Christmas Shopping Center with tables filled with donated toys, clothes, homegoods, and canned food; neighbors shop for free. New and gently used items are donated to help the community ease the burdens of holiday.

This is a Great Christmas experience for a Community with 34% families in poverty including 73% single mothers living in poverty. Sunshine Academy Preschool and Daycare and North Avenue Headstart Preschool are also recipients of our Christmas with Neighbors program. Toys, books, stuffed animals, coats, and blankets are donated to the children attending these programs and their siblings.
Program Successes
- Served over 1,800 neighbors, the program started in 2012 with 200 participants.
- Improved quality and quantity of donations.
- Attracted more volunteers because the program filled a need in the community.
- Arranged donations for six families with multiple children who missed the scheduled event.
- Donated Christmas toys to two preschools.