United Way Bay Area

Our 2-Generation (2-Gen) Approach

Improving educational outcomes and stabilizing families go hand in hand. These two efforts are linked in our 2gen approach to fight to break cycle of poverty in the Bay Area.

Children living in poverty are five times more likely to drop out of high school than their higher-income peers, and only nine percent will obtain a college degree. Even in the prosperous Greater Bay Area, more than one in four children live in poverty. When these children go to school hungry, sick or worried about challenges at home, they are not prepared to focus in the classroom and often fall behind in school.

At United Way Bay Area, we’re working in elementary schools, middle schools and community colleges to provide services that address the needs of the entire family under one roof.

We realize that when parents are working hard and still struggling to get by, there’s less time for everything else—including their kids.

Through our efforts to improve the immediate and long-term financial stability of parents while ensuring that children are healthy and supported at school, we are disrupting the cycle of poverty so that entire families can succeed—now and far into the future. 

SparkPoint Community Schools, for example, offer everything from food pantries to dental checkups to afterschool programs and business classes for parents. And in Matchbridge, a workfroce development effort, we're creating pathways for youth to gain early work experiences so they will become financially secure as adults.

Consider supporting our two-generation work with a donation.

I didn’t think I’d have time for the Parent University program, but then I found out they offered dinner and child care. That made it so much easier. Community schools are redefining what school is, and I think Westlake has the potential to be a model school.

Amalia Hill
Parent at Westlake Middle School