Promesa Boyle Heights collaborative set to grow with $1M investment from Ballmer Group



January 14, 2020 –Proyecto Pastoral has been awarded $1,000,000 by Ballmer Group to invest in the strategic growth and expansion of the Promesa Boyle Heights (Promesa) collaborative. Funding will strengthen Promesa’s infrastructure to ensure long-term sustainability, including building data and evaluation capacity to drive impact, and expand Promesa’s innovative Community-School model to two more schools by December 2020.


Promesa formed in 2010 with a Promise Neighborhood Planning grant, as a cross-sector collaborative of residents and 30+ partners working together to build a cradle-to-college-and-career pathway in Boyle Heights, for which Proyecto Pastoral serves as the backbone organization. This recent investment comes on the heels of an initial investment by Ballmer Group in 2018 to fund the first phase of Promesa’s strategic planning, which laid the foundation to enter this new phase of growth with deep commitment and unity among Promesa stakeholders.

“The Ballmer Group investment underlines the success of Promesa’s model in engaging residents and convening community partners to transform Boyle Heights, together,” said Cynthia Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer of Proyecto Pastoral. “With Ballmer Group’s support, Promesa is carrying out the second phase of strategic planning, deeply involving partners, schools and residents as decision-makers in the process to determine strategic priorities for the next five years.”

Promesa’s Community-School model - which convenes school administrators and partners to identify gaps in student achievement and build capacity to more effectively serve students - has been critical to improving high school graduation rates in Boyle Heights. The model first launched at Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High in 2011. Within five years, the graduation rate had more than doubled, from 34% in 2011 to 95% by 2016. Growing philanthropic interest allowed the expansion of the model in 2015-16 to two more schools: Theodore Roosevelt High School and Hollenbeck Middle School.

“As part of the second phase of strategic planning, we are developing a process for school expansion by engaging school principals, families and partners to decide which local schools to expand to,” said Aracely Hernandez, Promesa’s Community-School Director. “In the 2020-21 school year, Promesa will place a Community-School Coordinator at each new school site to begin implementing the Community-School model there.”

As the model expands to two more schools in 2020, Ballmer Group investment will help more students graduate high school ready for college, 21st century careers and lifelong success.

About Proyecto Pastoral & Promesa Boyle HeightsPromesa’s innovative Collective Impact model convenes community partners and institutions around a shared vision to more effectively impact social transformation at the community-level. Promesa’s shared vision is that 1) Every individual has access to a range of supports in the home, in our schools and in the community to foster school and life success; 2) Organizations are collaborating, well-functioning and closing the opportunity gap; and 3) A powerful resident-led collaborative is winning system-level policy changes that create a safer, healthier, and more stable Boyle Heights. The model elevates the role of residents as decision-makers in driving community solutions. More information on Proyecto Pastoral and Promesa Boyle Heights is available at: www.promesaboyleheights.org and www.proyectopastoral.org.

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