By Kiana Morales, Program Associate
I grew up in a low-income single parent household. When I was younger my mom and I went through financial hardships and no one was there to help or guide us through those times. No one was there to give advice about going to college.
Which is why the work we do at Santa Cruz Community Ventures means so much. In SCCV I have found an opportunity to ensure that others don't have to go through the same hardships I went through and that they know how to utilize the resources available to them.
I’m especially excited about the Children's Savings Accounts program being launched. The program will provide a small seed investment to every newborn in Santa Cruz County. As 51% of the children born in Santa Cruz County are low income and 56% would to be first generation college students, I understand how much this seed investment can mean to their futures. Being part of this work is exciting!
I first joined SCCV during my sophomore year are part of their Youth Leadership Fellow program. In that role I was certified as a Financial Counselor and developed a financial capability program for girls in Middle school. The program focused on introducing the girls to financial concepts, career choices, and related educational requirements and financial impacts. While working with them I saw how much one person with the slightest bit of information can really impact the girls’ future choices. Seeing the students faces brighten up and seeing them smile about their future was a very motivating experience for me.
Which is why coming back to SCCV as a Program Associate was one of the easiest decisions I have made. I can’t wait to see how impactful the work SCCV is doing will be to its community.
ABOUT KIANA: Kiana is a first-generation UC Santa Cruz student. She is graduating in June 2019 with a degree in Business Management Economics with a minor in Mathematics.