Best Starts Announces Funding for Prenatal to Five Innovation Supports Team

At Best Starts we know that powerful ideas to support pregnant people and babies can come from community partners that are starting up new programs. To ensure these partners can start these programs strong, we fund an Innovation Supports team to work with organizations that are piloting programs that reach young children from birth to age five and their families. The Innovations Supports team works alongside these organizations as they hone in their idea, get new programming off the ground, and fully implement their program. Supports can look like: trainings, workshops, communities of practice, and more.  


We are excited to announce the Best Starts Prenatal to Five Innovation Supports Team Awardees 

Image provided by Cardea

Cardea Services 

Cardea is a national, nonprofit, women of color-led organization based in Seattle with nearly 50 years of experience in social impact evaluation, policy advancement, capacity development, and professional learning. We envision a world in which optimal health and well-being, equity, and justice are realities for all communities, and our mission is to address complex program, policy, and systems issues by co-creating solutions that center community strengths and wisdom. Our team is passionate about the power of evaluations that center equity, social justice, and community voice to share our partners’ successes and drive the changes they seek. Cardea’s 12-person social impact evaluation team specializes in community-driven, culturally responsive qualitative and quantitative methods, participatory and collaborative evaluation, and data visualization and storytelling. Cardea has been a partner to Best Starts for Kids on a range of evaluation-related initiatives since 2018. 


Nasra Osman, Founder & Principal Consultant, Hayaan LLC. Photo provided by Hayaan LLC.

Hayaan 

Nasra Osman’s primary goal is to enrich and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Nasra believes that change happens when people are given the support they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy, healthy lives. She loves to read and explore the world through traveling with her family. 


Mother Africa leadership team members (TA team included) meeting with King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove. Photo provided by Mother Africa.

Mother Africa 

We are so honored to be selected as one of the new BSK Innovation Support Teams. Our experience being part of the Innovation Fund 1.0, including receiving TA support, helped us grow by offering us the support we need. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to give back to fellow community-based organizations through the Innovation Supports framework. With such collaborations, nonprofits can receive the assistance they need to flourish and best serve their community. 


Alessandra Pollock. Photo provided by Pollock and Partners.

Pollock and Partners 

My name is Alessandra Pollock; I’ve been learning with and supporting efforts to nurture the lives of King County residents for about 20 years, working in fields from mental health to childcare to education and with small and large organizations. I am so excited to join the Innovation Supports Team, and partner with programs that respond to community-voiced hopes and dreams as we build a King County where all families thrive. I am equally comfortable with numbers and storytelling to track outcomes and look forward to using data of all kinds for good with our cohorts and BSK partners. I love to be outside and some of my more unique activities have been to ride my bicycle up the Hurricane Ridge road on the Olympic Peninsula and regularly swim in the waters around King County and Washington, including the Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and the Columbia River. 

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