Santa Clara University


A Message from Jackie

Hello from the NPI Program Manager!

sm-schmidt-posner-jackieSince fall 2010, I have been working with students, SCU faculty and staff, and community members to create the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI). It’s been a journey in which we are discovering, together, how SCU undergraduate students can use the knowledge and skills they are learning in the Business School to contribute to prosperity in low income neighborhoods in our surrounding community. So far we have focused on the greater Washington neighborhood of San Jose, the location of SCU’s place-based community engagement effort, called the Thriving Neighbors Initiative (TNI). 

Throughout our development, we have received considerable support from Dean Drew Starbird and the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff. Our goals are guided in connection with the University’s strategic plan, specifically objective two, Engagement with Silicon Valley. NPI ultimately enables students to:

- Increase learning, service, and research opportunities with Silicon Valley corporations, institutions, and communities. 

- Promote Jesuit values in ways that enhance the humanity and common good of the Silicon Valley community. 

We have spent our time learning about businesses in the neighborhood by interviewing business owners and creating databases that can be used by City staff, as well as by the team developing TNI. We have worked with the local public elementary school, Washington Elementary, to teach workshops on resume writing and networking to the students--planting the seeds for professional careers later on. Our NPI Fellows (interns) at the Center for Employment Training (CET) have developed marketing materials and job search workshops for CET students—among other contributions. For nearly a year we have been working with a small corner market and catering business—Yolanda’s—to help her business to be more efficient and profitable. 

This winter (2014) we will embark on a new venture in partnership with Wells Fargo Bank and the Center for Employment Training—the Small Business Renovation Grant program. Small businesses, selected through an application process, will work with teams of SCU and CET students to plan and carry out improvements designed to make the business more successful. And we are always on the lookout for ways that SCU students can contribute to economic development and prosperity in our community. 

Along the way we have gotten to know dedicated and talented community residents and leaders, as well as professionals working in government, business organizations and the non-profit sector who provide insights about local issues and serve as role models for community engagement over a lifetime. There have been ups and downs as we build partnerships, but we learn from it all together. 

I have returned to SCU after more than 20 years supporting students to learn and contribute through service-learning and community engagement activities at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. This work is my passion! Before attending graduate school at Stanford (Ph.D. Educational Policy) I worked at SCU as a career counselor and was founding director of the Women’s Resource Center. I love being back at SCU and collaborating with so many talented students committed to using their education for social justice. After living in the South Bay for several decades, I recently moved to Berkeley and enjoy exploring this new community with my family. 

I welcome your ideas and interest in the NPI!

JSP Signature 


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