On Saturday, Community Service Council’s (CSC) The Power of Families Project celebrated its first graduating class of 24 promotor/as in partnership with Tulsa Community College (TCC) and Comunidad de Esperanza.
The event took place at TCC’s Metro Campus with 150+ in attendance and featured a networking breakfast reception with pastries and fruit donated by Supermercado Morelos and a marble cake donated by Arvest Bank. The March of Dimes also provided a $1,500 grant to support the Power of Families Project efforts.
An invocation was provided by Reverend Alvaro Nova with Comunidad Esperanza and Reverend Liz Albertson. Opening remarks were also provided by the Assistant to the Mayor for Community Development and Policy, Christina Starzl Mendoza; CSC Chief Program Officer, Vanessa Finley and TCC Assistant Professor of Child Development, Debbie Diebert and TCC Associate Dean and George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Childhood Development Dr. Harriette Dudley. The ceremony concluded with a presentation of certificates.
CSC’s The Power of Families Project helps to build equitable early childhood experiences through the promotora model, which has primarily been used in the healthcare arena, to support the needs of marginalized communities and promote trust of local systems and institutions.
Promotor/as are individuals who are recruited and trained on best practices in early childhood development and use their leadership skills to understand the barriers that Latino immigrant families face. They connect families to local resources, services and information and assist them as they navigate systems such as education, health, mental health and housing.
The promotor/as also plan and organize opportunities to engage with their local community schools and libraries by hosting baby book clubs, health fairs and education resource events. To date, The Power of Families Project promotor/as have served 156 families, with approximately 200 children under the age of five.
“It was wonderful to see our first class of promotor/as receive their credentials,” said Maria Elena Kuykendall, Community Adviser for CSC’s Power of Families Project. “This joint effort has paved the way for future opportunities to connect Latino families to critical resources.”