SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tipping Point Community, the Bay Area's leading poverty-fighting organization, honored grantees Rocketship Education, Year Up Bay Area and Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative partner the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program at its Sixth Annual Awards Breakfast this morning. In addition, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was recognized with the Tipping Point partner award, presented to an organization or individual that has given dollars, time and resources to support Tipping Point and its grantees. The event was held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco.
Presenters at the breakfast included Tipping Point board chairman Alec Perkins, Tipping Point board members Thomas Laffont and Katie Schwab Paige, and leadership council member Matthew Kahn.
"The problems we are working to solve are huge and some say they can't be fixed. It's daunting to hear that nearly 4 out of 10 children in the U.S. will live in poverty sometime during their childhood. For African American children, that number is nearly 8 in 10," said Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point Founder + CEO. "When we take these things in, we have a choice. We can feel shocked, point fingers, blame politicians, and throw up our hands hoping someone else solves the problem, or we can recognize that we have the power and influence to do something about it."
Each year, Tipping Point Community honors Bay Area organizations working to prevent poverty in the region. The 2012 grantee honorees will each receive a grant of $50,000 from Tipping Point.
The 2012 Tipping Point grantee honorees:
Preston Smith, Co-Founder and President, Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education operates seven charter elementary schools in San Jose and is the leading public school system for low-income students in grades K-5. Using a hybrid model focused on teacher development, parent leadership and individualized learning, Rocketship plans to expand nationally in order to eliminate the achievement gap in this lifetime.
"We believe in the triangle – parents, students and educators. The triangle must be complete and all sides have to be working together for a student to succeed. I feel that the educator part of our triangle was missing for most of my children. To finally see teachers at Rocketship care for my children as much as I do completely floored me. Our daughter Daniella started at Rocketship in 3rd grade, reading at a 1st grade level. Last year, she graduated 5th grade with honors, reading at a 6th grade level." – Karen Martinez, Parent Liaison, Rocketship Education
Jay Banfield, Founding Executive Director, Year Up Bay Area
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.
"Before I started working at Year Up, I was in love with the idea that I was a self-made man -but it's a lie. No one is self-made. Every single person has benefited from someone who was committed to providing them opportunities. Some we've seen and known about, but others we haven't seen and haven't known about. There is at least one person in all of our lives that believed we could do more than we could have imagined. They had high expectations for us, held us to high standards, and they were there to support us when we inevitably struggled to meet them." – Jay Banfield, Year Up Bay Area
Dr. Alicia Lieberman, Director, Child Trauma Research Program
The UCSF Child Trauma Research Program (CTRP) offers assessment and treatment to trauma-exposed children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Through the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative, CTRP-trained clinical interns have served over 500 low-income families at Tipping Point grantee sites across the Bay Area since 2008.
"I fell in love with early childhood mental health as a graduate student, and followed that path to Oakland Children's Hospital where I learned to practice child-parent psychotherapy in the home. I was struck by the number of misdiagnoses I came across, like ADHD and autism, and the unaddressed issues of trauma in the lives of the children I saw. One after another, I heard stories of kids who witnessed domestic violence, slept in cars while their mothers prostituted and used drugs, and kids who had been physically or sexually abused. This work is about healing, not fixing. The Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative has established a trauma-informed approach for communities that are deeply rooted in unaddressed pain, and has begun to erase the stigma of generational poverty." – Markita Mays, Clinical Social Worker at Bayview Child Health Center, Child Trauma Research Program
The 2012 Tipping Point partner honoree:
Matthew Kahn, Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Since 2008, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has contributed more than $1.6 million-worth of pro bono legal support to 13 organizations in the Tipping Point portfolio. Over 40 lawyers from the firm have worked on legal matters ranging from governance policies to real estate documents on behalf of Tipping Point and its grantees. In 2011, Attorney Matthew Kahn joined the Tipping Point leadership council, a body dedicated to fundraising, strategy and providing grantee support.
"Whenever I get a call from Tipping Point or one of its groups seeking legal advice, it's easy to find a lawyer at Gibson Dunn who wants to help out—it's the type of pro bono work we want to be doing. And when we hear back from the leaders of the grantee organizations we've worked with that they feel just as valued by us as any Fortune 500 Company we represent, then we know we're doing something right. We strive to treat every hour spent serving our pro bono clients in the same way we treat any other client. Tipping Point makes it easy for law firms and corporations to get involved and give back." – Matthew Kahn, Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
About Tipping Point Community
Tipping Point Community screens non-profits rigorously to find, fund and partner with the most effective organizations serving Bay Area individuals and families in need. Tipping Point's board underwrites all operating and fundraising expenses so that 100% of every dollar donated goes directly toward the fight against poverty. More information about Tipping Point Community is available at Tippingpoint.org.
SOURCE Tipping Point Community