WESLACO— The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement announced that the Kresge Foundation awarded VIDA a $500,000 grant to provide educational and job training opportunities as well as supportive services to motivated, low income adults in the Rio Grande Valley.
Myra Caridad García, VIDA’s Executive Director was thrilled to learn about the award. “The grant from The Kresge Foundation allows VIDA to expand its capacity to serve more people in the Valley; to assist in career pathways that enable economically disadvantaged adults support their families, break the cycle of poverty and grow our economic base in the region. We are so very proud that Kresge has chosen VIDA as part of its Human Services program portfolio in Texas. ”
VIDA’s steadfast pursuit of the Kresge Foundation’s attention dates back to November of 2009. VIDA’s year-to-year persistence rates and the high graduation rates were highlighted as points of particular interest. Last year 91% of VIDA’s low income participants had either graduated or were still in school. Also cited as key components of VIDA’s program delivery model that were in direct alignment with the Kresge Foundation’s objectives are the impact to family units, and the secondary social impact of an educated, working family dynamic; i.e., greater health, community awareness of and involvement in public issues, and higher completion in high school and access to college for the children of those assisted through VIDA’s program.
“Our participation in ISIS (Innovative Strategies Increasing Self Sufficiency), a national random assignment study funded by the Administration for Children and Families, elevated VIDA’s work with Kresge and opened the dialogue for a more specific and immediate funding strategy” explained García.
VIDA was created by community leaders of Valley Interfaith and a strong cross section of business leaders who wanted a vehicle to empower the underserved residents of the region to access education and training and at the same time create a skilled labor force to stimulate the Valley’s economy. VIDA’s educational partners include South Texas College, the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College and Texas State Technical College-Harlingen.
“Creating opportunity for low-income people is a hallmark of our work at The Kresge Foundation,” says President Rip Rapson. “Our programs reflect the inflection points where we think we can actually make a difference in the life trajectories of people who are poor, disadvantaged or underserved in fundamental ways.” The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation headquartered in Metropolitan Detroit, in the suburb community of Troy. VIDA received its award under Kresge’s Human Services program which seeks to “expand access and opportunities for vulnerable, disadvantaged and low-income individuals and families by strengthening nonprofit organizations and generating new knowledge about efforts to ameliorate and, create pathways out of, poverty.”
VIDA’s program works because it is fully integrated with social service agencies, the workforce development system, and community colleges. Many cities and counties in the region and their corresponding economic development entities provide the majority of VIDA’s financial support.
For more information about VIDA, call 1(800) 478-1770 or visit our website at www.vidacareers.org.