Sophia Colombari Figueroa

A holistic approach is essential to leveling the playing field and advancing equity. If we ignore context, we miss important parts of the puzzle. Learning about the Gardner Center's tri-level youth development framework and gaining first-hand experience in applying this ecological lens to my work as a SPIN Shinnyo Fellow prepares me well as I work to improve health and health care of underserved communities.


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The John W. Gardner Center partners with communities to develop leadership, conduct research, and effect change to improve the lives of youth.

A new book from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute includes a chapter on the Youth Sector by the Gardner Center's Milbrey McLaughlin and UCSC's Rebecca London.


Many California school districts have dramatically reduced funding for health and wellness staff and programming for students, but this may be shortsighted. Our research provides evidence indicating that when district-level wellness coordinators become involved in school health, there can be increased integration of wellness programs within and across schools, reaching more students equitably and leveraging existing resources.


The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has tapped the Gardner Center’s founding director, Milbrey McLaughlin, for membership in the honorary learned society. Milbrey, an expert in education policy, school-community collaborations, and youth outcomes, joins some of the world’s most accomplished leaders in academia, arts, public affairs, science, and humanities. This honor comes just a week after Milbrey received a Lifetime Achievement award from the American Educational Research Association.


Faculty Director Prudence Carter gives a talk about empathy and equity at TEDxStanford 2014.

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