Nonprofit Semillitas Aims to Open College Savings Accounts for Every Santa Cruz County Newborn

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Hello everyone, my name is Emily Rangel, and I am a student at California State University Monterey Bay CSUMB. I am currently going into my senior year and working as an NPC intern through my field training program in Collaborative Human and Health Services.

Today’s topic is one I closely relate to and I am fully supportive of this project. Nonprofit Semillitas is planning to open college saving accounts for newborns in Santa Cruz County – read the full article by Aiyana Moya of the Good Times HERE.  To summarize the goal is to begin a child’s and parents’ journey to invest in their child’s health and education; In collaboration, Dientes will deposit money into the child’s savings account for dental milestones. This collaboration brings rewards to oral health and helps a child’s future education.

I found this article and was truly amazed, the importance of a college savings account is key; speaking as a college student who did not have college savings until I got my first job and began saving on my own. Beginning to save at a young age and encouraging parents to save will help increase the number of students attending college. One major setback as a student who wants to further their education is worrying about funds. For many students the cost of attending colleges holds a student back from applying to college since there is worry about where the money is going to come from; However, if a student has a savings account dedicated to furthering their education, they will be motivated to pursue a college education. The model Santa Cruz County is using comes from the Ohio SEEDOK program where they begin savings account for every newborn. Some of the studies following the program reveal that children who have funds in a college savings account have improved mental health and social health. Most likely, these students feel like they have some security prepared for college.

Personally, I didn’t think about college until I was in high school and even then, when I asked my parents if I had a college savings account, I was met with a “no” since they weren’t sure if we wanted to go to college. I remember feeling a little anxious, since at that point I had decided I wanted to attend college but I wasn’t sure how or if I would even have their support because there wasn’t an already established college fund. I believe if my community would have had a program like this, it would have helped many more students explore higher education.  It might have taken away some of the financial burdens we faced, scrabbling to find a job and begin a savings account at the last minute.

How do others feel about this idea? Also, how can other nonprofits contribute and collaborate?


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