Neighborhood Wellness Foundation
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Organization Details


Launched in 2019, iNnovator's Academy (IA) helps to lower the barriers of adversity for students who live in areas where poverty exceeds 55-73%. Our 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 culture of mental health wellness, self-efficacy, educational attainment for up to 60 of the highest need students, identified by Grant High School (GHS) faculty and administration, who suffer from toxic stress and are at high risk of not completing high school. We pragmatically address the insidious ways toxic stress undermines the students learning.

IA is a powerful and effective collaboration of NWF, 916Ink, Square Root Academy, and Social Venture Partners-Sacramento. The program offers a new perspective of excellence, helps to reestablish a "new normal" and disrupt the constant exposure of toxic stress. Our a five-day per week safe space builds resilient through consistent, professional mentorship, social-emotional support, and curriculum development that promotes academic engagement and bridges the pathways for high school graduation, college acceptance, and/or workforce readiness. Our program utilizes culturally relevant and innovative processes for building infinite possibilities for our students and our community in Del Paso Heights. IA integrates 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 95838/95815-zip codes and reduce the impact of and ultimately disrupt intergenerational ACES, low educational attainment, poverty and economic stress.
Program Successes
- 2017-2019, our pilot Sister to Sister program improved GPAs of 67% of 40 highest need students
- Innovators Academy is a Twin Rivers School District approved program which launched in October of 2019
- The program is designed to improve educational outcomes for students
- Reduce Truancy
- Through the 916Ink Partnership - Foster the love of language (oral and written) that generates a curiosity about reading and writing further
- Through the Square Root Partnership - Generate interest in STEM pathways while developing a knowledge base to excel in the field
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. We meet weekly with 40 girls and support a collaboration for bi-monthly Saturday workshops.

Adult Women:
NWF hosts weekly meetings for women in need of a safe space to release years of repressed pain and anger from childhood and adult trauma. We create an environment grounded in love, trust, and shared life experiences. According to Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, one of the avenues to help trauma survivors feel fully alive in the present and move on with their lives is "by talking and connecting with others and allow ourselves to know and understand what is going on with us, while processing the memories of the trauma." We seek to stabilize and with trusted relationships, build self-efficacy through a 10-week empowerment program. Modules for certification includes financial and digital literacy, housing stability, physical and mental women's health, parenting, socialization and workforce skill development and all basic competency building. Our goal, to help our young women, mothers, and grandmothers understand their history of adversity and the impact has on their ability to thrive.

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% of 40 students increased their grade point average after 10 months into the youth program, self-reported Higher self-esteem and greater self-awareness
- June 5, 2019, six girls had poems featured in our published Book "Write Like a Boss" in collaboration with 916Ink
- Positive feedback reported by parents, teachers, and administrators.

- Increase awareness of neighborhood resources
- 6 Mentors received training and certificates to teach Human Trafficking Awareness to faculty and students 7th-12th grade.
- Since July 2018, we have grown from 9-10 attendees to 40 attendees for once weekly meetings with many women requesting three times weekly meeting days.
- Connected countless women to DHS that resulted in permanent housing: elderly, mentally challenged and young mothers with children transitioning from tents, car, and motels into permanent housing as well as enrolled some of these women into our adult high school diploma attainment program.
- 2018, One woman with End-stage renal failure qualified for Section 8 and transitioned from living in her truck to an apartment.
- 2018, 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.
- North Sacramento Police Department regularly refers neighborhood women who are struggling for social emotional and economic support to our program.
Education is power and the key pathway to disrupt Intergenerational poverty. NWF teamed up with Highlands Community Charter School and their independent study program, California Innovative Career Academy (CICA). We create an encouraging and inspiring space to earn your high school diploma at an individual pace at a familiar, welcoming place in the heart of Del Paso Heights. We have a certified instructor from CICA and NWF tutors. We offer class time on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We currently have 15 adult students enrolled and several on our list to start this new year!
Program Successes
- Collaborates with Highlands Community Chapter to offer high school completion classes
- Approved as an independent studies site for high school completion
- 12 Students currently enrolled, 4 are on schedule to graduate in the spring
SHE: Strengthening, Healing and Empowering program is recognized by the Sacramento District Attorney's Office as an alternative to incarceration for women from Del Paso Heights or surrounding neighborhoods and who are identified as candidates. Our SHE program is a unique opportunity to break the legacy of incarceration working with multiple family members for restorative justice, educational attainment, trauma healing, vocational and workforce skill development, civic engagement with the goal to disrupt intergenerational trauma and poverty with each client.
Program Successes
- Program approved by the Sacramento County District Attorney's office for alternative sentencing
- Three (3) participants enrolled
- Enrolled participants engaged in high school completion program
- Enrolled participants volunteer for community restorative justice projects
Community Wellness Expo has successfully served our North Sacramento neighborhoods for the past seven 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. The past two years we collaborated with Sacramento County to offer STD screening for our youth and adults. We featured a fashion show of re-purposed jeans created and curated by a local artist. We offer various health screenings, dental screenings, and mental health workshops and discussions. We include a small business market hosted by women business owners. The Wellness Expo partners 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
Collaborated for 7 years with City Council D2 office, Grant HS and with RFDC for MLK Neighborhood March
- 1,500 residents, including students, participated in 2020.
- 75 youth participated in a discussion on sexual transmitted diseases (STDs).
- 50 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.