Children in a classroom cheering with hands up.

Investing in our Youth

The SVHPPP is invested in guiding and supporting Salinas youth throughout their academic career. By investing in the early, formative K-6 years, the SVHPPP impacts the course of children’s educational careers. The development of a culturally rooted, healing-informed social-emotional support program (La Cultura Cura), allows both students and faculty to strengthen and accelerate academic performance. SVHPPP programs span the entirety of a child’s educational career. From interactive whiteboard technology and digital curriculum for math, science and reading in elementary years, to high school health academies, and even rigorous programs at Hartnell College (including the Academy for College Excellence), the SVHPPP provides continued support. The SVHPPP also has strong partnerships with five universities where Salinas Valley students have opportunities to earn baccalaureate and post- baccalaureate degrees. Ultimately, the goal is to create opportunities for meaningful employment and fulfilling careers here in the Salinas Valley. The SVHPPP aides in increasing the number of locally grown, capable and competent health professionals joining the workforce.

Resources provided by the SVHPPP include

  • 75 classrooms East Salinas Elementary Classrooms
  • Interactive Whiteboard Classroom Technology to Increase Student Engagement in Learning
  • Math, Science and English Language Arts Digital Curriculum for Early Skills Acquisition
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • STEM + Healthcare Industry Exposure Events for Students

Meet our new Parent Organizer!

My name is Alma Loredo and I was born in the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. I have lived in the city of Salinas for 13 years. I am a wife and mother of 3 children who encourage me to set an example and inspire me to achieve my goals. I have always enjoyed being involved in my children’s education. Through that journey, I have encountered so many obstacles including not knowing how to navigate the school system in this country. These obstacles helped me discover that my passion is advocating for children and young people and their education and social-emotional health.

With that focus, in August of 2016, the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) organization of East Salinas formed a committee with the vision of transforming the school system into a healthy and equitable place through the leadership of us as parents. We named this committee Padres Unidos. Thanks to the enormous support of the BHC organization and my fellow committee members, I have had the opportunity to do what I am most passionate about—advocating for education. Additionally, I have taken an active role as organizer to achieve district-wide collaboration by empowering the voice of parents and making systematic changes that impact students and their families. Furthermore, I have been part of campaigns that advocate for the equity of the most impacted families. I have had the opportunity to make changes within the school by being a part of the School Council. This has allowed me to advocate for the implementation of necessary programs for the socio-emotional development of young people.

I am very active in the community in different education initiatives with the city of Salinas, and I have been involved in the following committees and organizations:

  • Head Start Parent Committee in 2006
  • César Chávez School Parent Council from 2011 to 2013
  • DELAC Committee of the Alisal School District School
  • Council of La Paz middle school in 2014
  • School Council of Parents of the César Chávez
  • School Parent leader of the Padres Unidos Committee

Now I have the opportunity to partner with the family of the Salinas Valley Health Professions Pathway Partnership within Hartnell College. I feel very hopeful and very motivated to give the best of myself to the community. I believe that with enthusiasm and energy we will be able to empower and inspire other parents to take that step and advocate for their children. Together we can make a systematic change to create a great positive impact in the community of Salinas, a community that needs our work and our support.

Portrait of parent student organizer.

Alisal Vibrancy Program

The Alisal Vibrancy Plan is an action-oriented and comprehensive community strategy to address issues and opportunities specific to the Alisal/East Salinas neighborhoods. Through land use mix, urban design, pedestrians and vehicle circulation, public infrastructure, parks, open space, public facilities, and safety, the Vibrancy Plan seeks to create a robust framework for sustained economic opportunities that lead to a Alisal as a vibrant cultural district for residents and visitors.

Program Link: http://www.visionsalinas.org/alisal

Meeting in gymnasium filled with parents.
Adults sitting around a table at a meeting.

Padres Unidos

Padres Unidos, an organization supported by the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities, advocates for the changes they want to see in their community. The California Endowment aides Padres Unidos in achieving their goals.

This organization, started by Alma Cervantes, has grown to roughly 20 members. While group members are aware of the challenges they face, including poverty, limited resources, low educational attainment and difficult work schedules, they seek to provide positive opportunities for the community. It is a conscious effort to make changes in the community, and though it takes a lot to create consciousness, that’s the only way to create change.

The goal of Padres Unidos is to change the system and involve parents in the Local Control Funding Formula–one of the eight priorities of the state. Padres Unidos was formed as a result of parent experiences and challenges with the local school system. We’re building a model in the Alisal (school district) but parents have children in all the districts in Salinas. The model applies to all the districts.

For more information about Padres Unidos, contact Alma Loredo at alma.parentconeccion@gmail.com

Students at a Padre Unidos meeting.
Parent at a podium addressing a group.


Hartnell College’s Introduction to Coding is a fun program that allows students to gain interest in computer coding and overcome any reservations about working with technology. The program helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively—essential skills for life in the 21st century. The hope is that this program piques students’ interest in coding, encourages them to participate in more than one session, and eventually leads them to sign up for our more focused Coder Dojo program at the Alisal campus of Hartnell College. Our programs have allowed students to understand the basic concepts of computer programming and open their minds in to Computer Science. We like to think that we are the pathway into Coder Dojo and later into CSin3 and beyond! Our Intro to Coding program combines computer time with hands-on activities that are fun and entertaining and will allow students to absorb concepts that they would otherwise consider too hard or advanced.

Program link: http://www.hartnell.edu/K12
For more information about the K-12 STEM Programs, contact Maggie Melone-Echiburú
(Director of K-12 STEM Programs) at 831.755.6970 or mmelone@hartnell.edu.