Thriving Neighbors is an engaged teaching, scholarship, and sustainable development program that links Santa Clara University with the five, predominantly Latino neighborhoods that make up the Greater Washington community in San Jose.
Greater Washington is home to a driven and dedicated populace with a large immigrant population, strong community organizations, and seasoned community leaders. Conversely, it is also one of the most socioeconomically challenged regions of Santa Clara County, where families face significant barriers that impede their ability to live healthy and productive lives.
The mission of this program is to advance the community and its people by promoting economic pathways, skills / training, and supplemental youth education to advance school readiness, support ongoing achievement and enhance access to post-secondary education. The program utilizes the collaboration between community, faculty & staff, and students to create initiatives for the betterment of the community as a whole.
Our Jesuit Tradition
The Jesuit tradition of service to others is about educating the whole person—mind, body, and soul—and preparing students to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Our partnership with the Greater Washington community works in solidarity with community members to promote respect for human dignity, and create sustainable program models that improve community and university outcomes while making the community a more just and sustainable place.
Thriving Neighbors - Article Highlights
The Power of Community Engagement
As the Senior Program Director for the Ignatian Center's Thriving Neighbors program, Irene Cermeño understands the power of community engagement. She has been involved in some capacity with the Ignatian Center from the start of her "Super Bronco" journey, but it is her relationship with the Greater Washington community members and their trust in her that fills her with joy.
Changing Paths, Changing the World
After graduating from SCU with a degree in Finance, Anthony Hascheff '15 chose a different path and volunteered with the Peace Corps for 18 months. Now pursuing his Master's in Public Administration from Columbia University, Anthony attributes this change in direction to his time with the Ignatian Center's Thriving Neighbors program.