50 Fund Playmaker: Veronica Goei and San Jose Grail Family Services

Our 44th 50 Fund Playmaker is the San Jose Grail Family Services, whose mission is to strengthen family capacity to support young children’s positive educational outcomes and to build a thriving community.

The Playmaker grant will be used to fund a short-term project called “Let’s Talk-HJ Evaluation,” which is aimed at acquiring and implementing research-based technology to evaluate participant outcomes in their Hablemos Juntos (HJ) oral language development program. HJ provides low-income, Latino parents with the tools to create a more language-rich environment at home to help close the “word gap” for their young children. This program responds to research showing that children of low-income, less educated parents hear far fewer words than their higher socio-economic peers (“the word gap”) and as a result, enter school as much as two years behind in language skills. The grant would enable San Jose Grail to guide 12 children and 10 adults through the HJ program.

GFS recognized Veronica Goei, Executive Director, as their Playmaker. Over the past 16 years, Goei has worked to expand the client base from a starting point of zero to the more than 2000 families GFS now serves annually. Under her leadership, GFS has developed expertise in parenting, early childhood literacy, oral language development, and family engagement.

“Veronica is a highly respected member of the nonprofit community and many other service providers seek out her advice and expertise,” says Leslie Flowers, GFS Fund Development and Communications Coordinator. “Starting with little more than a community meeting place, Veronica used her passion, knowledge, and creativity to establish the vision that has become GFS today: a vibrant Family Resource Center and school based programming, focusing on strengthening family capacity to support young children’s positive educational outcomes and to build a thriving community.”

50 weeks. 50 grants. 50 opportunities to recognize Bay Area residents who are making a difference through their service to our community in celebration of Super Bowl 50. The 50 Fund’s Playmaker program was designed to showcase the real difference Bay Area nonprofits are making in the lives of our children, and people behind the scenes who are making that impact possible.

Every Tuesday, the 50 Fund—the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee—will reveal a new Playmaker and share that nonprofit’s story of inspiration.