What Thriving Neighbors Will Accomplish

Thriving Neighbors will bring SCU schools, departments, and community programs together with neighborhood residents, leaders, businesses, schools, non-profit partners, and government to create mutually beneficial, interconnected and multidisciplinary solutions.

In the first phase of Thriving Neighbors’ development, it will host programs aimed at reducing barriers to higher education and improving neighborhood prosperity. Simultaneously, the program will explore with community leaders and other organizations ideas about how best to use Santa Clara University’s resources in conjunction with others toward collaboratively solving urgent local challenges together.


As Thriving Neighbors expands its programming it will encompass numerous offerings including:

Shared geography, experiences, values and objectives

Serving as a hub of engagement for students and their families, Thriving Neighbors will seek a brick-and-mortar presence in Greater Washington. Over time, this center will also become a gathering place for sharing community knowledge and discovering pathways to innovative social change. It will be a place where community leaders and residents join faculty, staff, and students to probe challenges from multiple perspectives and sectors, while forming collective, collaborative solutions.

Expanding educational choice

Designed to make college a reality for all, the first phase of Thriving Neighbors in Greater Washington is the launch of a fourth-and fifth-grade academic enrichment program. The program builds on Washington Elementary School’s educational themes, while integrating science, technology, literacy, and California Common Core Standards into an 8-week, project-based, afterschool program. For its first cohort, the academic enrichment program invited 45 top-performing students of Washington Elementary School to continue on their quest for knowledge through hands-on learning activities that expand the walls of the classroom.


Prosperous businesses

The promise of Silicon Valley grows from its entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. To promote and support community entrepreneurship, the Leavey School of Business will consult with local businesses and implement workshops to build entrepreneurial skills. With time, the program aims to create more jobs, make businesses more sustainable, and improve the economic environment of the neighborhoods and communities targeted by Thriving Neighbors.

A healthy neighborhood

The health of local families and community members is inseparable from the health of their neighborhood. To support the general well-being of residents, SCU will explore collaborations in healthy living in the areas of food security, physical activity, and mental and physical health. We will work to improve access to healthy living resources through innovative partnerships and programs.

Opportunities for social justice education and SCU student involvement

Students at Santa Clara University learn more than just facts and figures. The Jesuit tradition emphasizes educating the whole person, and Thriving Neighbors will create opportunities for undergraduates to learn how they can be catalysts for positive change and social justice. Faculty and staff from the School of Education and Counseling Psychology, School of Engineering, Leavey School of Business, and Liberal Studies Department are already investigating new ways to involve their students.


Thriving Neighbors Brochure

Learn more about Thriving Neighbors.



Thriving Neighbors
Case Statement

Learn more about Thriving Neighbors.


To learn more or get involved:

Jennifer Merritt
Director of Community-Based Learning
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education

To make a donation of support:

Nicole Clawson
Associate Director for Development
Office of Development


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative
NPI (1)

The LSB Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) provides opportunities for students to contribute to, and learn from, businesses, individuals and organizations in low income neighborhoods in the San Jose area around issues of economic prosperity. Funded and housed in the Leavey School of Business, NPI is part of SCU's larger Thriving Neighbors Initiative.