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Santa Cruz Community Ventures

Organization Mission

Ventures’ mission is to create compassionate and equitable local economies that contribute to the well-being of our communities. We achieve this by partnering with rural Latino working-class families in California’s Central Coast to ensure a shared and equitable economic future for all. Together, we are working towards a shared and prosperous economic future where zip code, race, gender, or immigration status do not dictate income or wealth.

Our three aims:
• Improve early childhood development.
• Raise expectations for higher education.
• Build dedicated savings for postsecondary education and healthy lifelong financial habits.

The Big Idea 2023:
Semillitas ("Seeds" in Spanish)

Semillitas provides opportunity and hope to every baby born in Santa Cruz County by providing all babies with their own college savings account (CSA) and making an initial “seed” contribution at birth. Investing early in children’s education and development will have the greatest impact on their well-being and the future of our county.

Families can qualify for additional deposits to their child’s CSA by meeting developmental milestones (for example, dental and well-child visits), with the potential to earn up to $500 for their child’s account by the time they enter Kindergarten.

I started getting letters from Semillitas after my daughter was born telling me she had a college savings account. I'm excited that I've been able to take advantage of several opportunities offered to grow her account! I wouldn't have thought about saving for college without the information I received from Semillitas.


Florencia, Watsonville resident