In 1989 key leaders from the Escondido Union and Escondido Union High School District, Escondido Chamber of Commerce and the City of Escondido gathered together to form an equitable organization committed to developing and implementing community-wide programs to support youth; its original purpose was expanding the education and career opportunities for youth and assisting them in becoming contributing citizens in our community.
Since its inception, Education COMPACT is committed to providing innovative youth development and youth workforce development programs that remain consistent with our original motto: “Creating Opportunities, Making Partnerships and Connecting Teens.”
In 2006, Education COMPACT demonstrated that that there was “no comprehensive, coherent system” in place that was responsible for the support and success of at- risk In- and Out-of- School Youth. North County youth had access to a fragmented and inconsistent menu of services that varied drastically based on where in North County they resided. The North County Youth Career Network (The Network) was created to not only offer a comprehensive system but to offer it across the entire region of North San Diego County. Escondido Education COMPACT joined forces with the Vista Unified School District’s STRIVE Program. The chief goal was to spread innovative and best practices employed by the separate programs across the entire region, while continuing to address the unique needs of each of the North County communities.
In 2007, Education COMPACT realized that in order to best support the youth of North San Diego, we needed to ensure that the youth were healthy and safe. The COMPACT Board approved this expanded vision and supported the Executive Director in her efforts to identify funding and build partnerships to do just that. Our many years of experience in working with youth and their families positioned us to make this a seamless transition into providing this new focus-area services and support. This has been demonstrated through our partnership with the Escondido Police Department to offer Juvenile Diversion Services, Escondido Union School District thru the CARE Youth Project to provide case management services, previous partnership with Vista Community Clinic to offer HIV/AIDS health education and most recently the County of San Diego, as part of the “Live Well San Diego” Initiative; as the North Inland, San Diego County CX3 provider. The CX3 Project – Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention, is a program planning framework that includes taking an in-depth look at communities to identify areas in need of improvement. Then in 2013 as a subcontractor to Interfaith Community Services, Family Self-Sufficiency Contract with the County of San Diego, HHSA; became the SNAP Ed Provider. The program provides Health Education thru workshops, food demonstrations and community events for North Inland San Diego County. The establishment of the Palomar Health Community Coalition Escondido, thru federal Drug-Free Communities grants to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance use and to create an environment that makes it easier for people to act in healthy ways. Most recently, the addition of Safe Routes to School and Bike/Walk to create a safer and healthier community through establishing partnerships that emphasize the accessibility of complete streets that are safer, more livable and welcoming to everyone; especially for youth to and from school. An important component of Safe Routes was the Intergenerational Program which aimed to integrate local active older adults and youth in a variety of activities, such as Walk & Bike to School Day. Along with the vision of creating safe passages to and from school, COMPACT is currently working with the Escondido Police Department to oversee and administer the crossing guard program; which includes 18 locations throughout the Escondido Union School District.
In 2010, the board approved The North County Youth Career Network to identify and apply for funding to support the most disconnected and disengaged youth – youthful offenders. Youth that are connected thru Juvenile Diversion Programs, have been in the Court Systems, have been on Probation and even youth that have been incarcerated and reentering into the communities of North County. We feel strongly that education and life guidance opportunities are the keys to the movement from poverty to a more stable style of life for families. Thousands of youth in North County, whose parents lack even a secondary education, aspire for higher levels of education and quality of life to help move their families from poverty toward prosperity. However, the many barriers of living within under-represented and poorly educated communities, riddled with violence, high levels of drug abuse and language barriers make achieving this goal a challenging task.
It is our vision by providing the holistic delivery of education programs, customized personal and career services that are necessary for high risk youth to meet employer expectations, achieve independence and financial success and to deter gang association and criminal activity. As well as partner other Community-Based Agencies to provide mental health services and substance abuse services. Intensive Case Management is necessary for these youth to stay-in school, make positive choices and changes; not have disciple referrals and ultimately not re-offend.
Currently, in 2018, the COMPACT staff and Board are revisiting the organization mission and expanded vision as well as identifying the needs of our community, gaps in services, and program enhancements. We hope to better serve the community by providing enhancements and expansions to our current programs and services.
In closing, our original purpose of expanding the education and career opportunities for youth and assisting them in becoming contributing citizens in our community still drives what we do today. Education COMPACT is committed to providing innovative youth leadership development, youth workforce development, violence prevention and healthy/safety/well-being programs that remain consistent with our original motto: “Creating Opportunities, Making Partnerships and Connecting Teens.”