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Grades of Green - Los Angeles Youth Corps
Grades of Green - Los Angeles Youth Corps
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<p>Grades of Green’s LAYC will benefit Los Angeles in several important ways. </p> <p>First and foremost, each participating school and school community will receive direct environmental benefit from that school’s Green Project, be it a Walk to School Wednesday or Trash-Free Tuesday Lunch Campaign, an e-Waste Collection, a Campus-Wide Detox, a Compost System Implementation, a clean up of a local park or beach or whatever Green Project the team chooses to implement. Results of the Green Projects will range from fewer carbon emissions, less trash sent to local landfills, proper disposal of electronic materials, the elimination of toxic chemicals on campus and so on. </p> <p>Additionally, each of the 10 participating schools will become a “Grades of Green School” with access to over 40 free, fun and hands-on environmental education tools and activities they can continue to implement on campus for the years to come. The schools can build on their experience and success and take on additional green activities as they are ready. Statistics indicate, and our experience confirms, that when schools implement programs like the ones we have detailed on our website, the schools typically save money, test scores go up and students learn valuable lessons about the power their individual actions can have in helping to protect the environment. </p> <p>Moreover, we have found that by educating and inspiring our kids to care for and protect the environment, we are raising environmental awareness in our communities through a “trickle up” approach. That is, when students learn, for example, about the “4Rs” – reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (composting) – they often go home and ask their parents to help them pack trash free lunches or set up recycle and/or composting systems at home. Students also take these ideas to their teachers and administrators and ask for their help making their schools cleaner and greener. We have even seen students empowered by our education programs petition their local governments for environmental measures. In Manhattan Beach, for example, Grades of Green kids were the impetus behind the City banning the use of plastic bags. Hermosa Beach students were credited with convincing their City Council to ban the use of Styrofoam containers in local restaurants. The LAYC will inspire and empower students to care for and protect the environment; those students, in turn, will inspire and empower their broader school community, including their parents, educators, community leaders and businesspeople to care for and protect the environment. This ripple effect will benefit the entire city of Los Angeles. </p> <p>Finally, and most importantly, we are shaping the minds and habits of Los Angeles’ next generation of leaders, teachers, voters, executives and parents – the people who can make a difference in what Los Angeles looks like in 2050. </p>

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Art Revitalization Movement
Art Revitalization Movement
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The Northeast San Fernando Valley Art Revitalization Movement will benefit Los Angeles by establishing artistic, cultural and sustainable art projects in a historically neglected part of Los Angeles. The North East San Fernando Valley has the second largest concentration of Latinos in Los Angeles, rivaling East Los Angeles. The community is economically, culturally and racially diverse. Furthermore, the majority of the residents are working class, first-generation Mexican-American or recent immigrants. Creating a viable and long-lasting Art Revitalization movement in the area will expand and maintain Los Angeles as an international art and cultural center. Currently, the Northeast San Fernando Valley in general, and Pacoima in particular are experiencing an “Art Renaissance”, spearheaded by local muralists and community members. In the past two years Van Nuys Blvd, between Arleta Ave and Glenoaks Blvd has been dubbed Mural Mile, in reference to the dozens of world-class murals that have been designed. The most notable murals have been designed and painted collaboratively with the local community by Kristy Sandoval and Levi Ponce. Pacoima Art Revolution, which is a reinterpretation of the Mona Lisa and Freedom Fighter which pays homage to Assata Shakur are two examples of mural projects that have inspired and propelled other art projects in the area. Freedom Fighter, designed by Kristy Sandoval and painted entirely by local women artists and aspiring artists defiantly repositions a “Womyns place in the struggle,” for equality. The mural challenges patriarchal gender roles and stands in stark contrast to the billboards and other media in the area that sexualize the female form. Los Angeles once was considered the mural capital of the world. The Northeast San Fernando Valley has organically taken over the mantle with great enthusiasm. However, all of these projects have been grassroots funded or paid out of pocket by the artists. With art programs cut in public schools, young people rely on community-based art projects to express themselves. These murals project have not only beautified the city, but also have transformed how community members see themselves. In order to create a sustainable art movement in the community and impact greater Los Angeles, more art programs, murals, and public art projects need to be supported in the area. The burgeoning art movement in the North East San Fernando Valley is slowly gaining momentum, but with the right type of support it can have a great impact on future generations of Angelenos.

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Do Good Bus | Free Rides
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If Do Good Bus can host multiple rides per month and offer one of them for free, we can give more Los Angelenos an opportunity to help their communities. In one year, over 1,000 people will be newly connected and if we add Do Good Field Trips to that number, we end up with 1,000 newly connected kids as well. <br> <br> One of our goals on the bus is to encourage continued support and inspire people to do good on a regular basis. For us, that doesn’t always mean returning to the cause we just visited. During a ride, passengers are not only exposed to meaningful causes they are also introduced to what it FEELS like to give back. We encourage them to harness that feeling and search for ways to find it again in their every day lives. We strongly believe that inspiration in people will continue to shape Los Angeles into a more connected place. <br> <br> In addition to one free ride per month and Do Good Field Trips, owning a bus would give us a unique opportunity to help Los Angeles in a hyper-local capacity. With 24-hour access to a vehicle equipped with supplies and enough seats for 30 willing volunteers, we’d have the capability to coordinate last minute trips to help our neighbors in a time of emergency or disaster relief. This might be the most exciting element of owning our own vehicle. <br> <br> One ride at a time, Do Good Bus can begin to shape Los Angeles into a more connected city; one with informed and inspired residents who can help one another.

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EYM's ACCESS / NO EXCUSE
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Low-income children often begin kindergarten behind their peers. This “achievement gap” is well documented, and often widens as children progress through elementary school and beyond. There are many causes for this inequality, but the results are clear: high school drop-out rates for African American and Hispanic youth approach 50% in some local schools in Los Angeles. What is clear, and is consistently supported by data, is that high quality pre-K programs can have a significant impact in promoting readiness in low-income children. Just as importantly, programs that focus on parental participation and support can markedly strengthen the education children receive at home, especially for children raised in single parent homes. Some studies have shown that pre-K programs have the potential to not only significantly narrow the achievement gap, but maintain these academic gains as the child grows. The challenge remains in providing access to under-served populations. There are many barriers to reaching these under-served populations. Chief among them is access; a lack of nearby learning centers and pre-schools in low-income neighborhoods is compounded by difficulties with transportation. Just as importantly, getting families to buy into the process and believing that attending non-mandatory pre-K programs is of great benefit and importance remains a barrier.

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Narrative Replacement Therapy: Reimagining the Heart of Los Angeles
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Narrative Replacement Therapy for La Placita Nueva will benefit Los Angeles by restoring its historic core, both physically and emotionally. Building off renewed interest in Downtown LA, Grand Park, and the growing transit system based at Union Station, the one-kilometer circle that is the subject area will unite everything from the LA River up to the Music Center, from Little Tokyo to Chinatown through a comprehensive masterplan to draw tourists, new residents, and new economies to the vibrant heart of the city.

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Sustainable Works Presents Dr. Keeling’s Curve
Sustainable Works Presents Dr. Keeling’s Curve
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By telling the story of climate change in the form of a provocative play, starring a well known and respected actor, we will reach thousands of people who might otherwise not have been exposed to this crucial information.

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Building A Community of Leaders, One Middle School Student at a Time
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Over time, Minds on Fire will build a corps of young leaders with the skills, confidence and commitment to effectively address challenges in their communities. They will enter high school prepared to graduate on time, with aspirations for college, career and civic life. And while the mission of Minds on Fire is to decrease the dropout rate for Los Angeles’s most at-risk middle school students, this project will have additional benefits spanning student achievement, youth development, teacher quality and community-wide engagement. Minds on Fire will start by working with 300 students across six schools. If that rate continues through 2050 (a conservative estimate), over 11,000 students will have participated. Because Minds on Fire looks at the Early Warning Indicators to identify students most at risk of dropping out, we will help students who would otherwise have dropped out succeed in school. They will develop the skills necessary for a successful post-secondary experience and in the workforce, namely: time management, collaboration, creative thinking, research and the academic skills that form the basis for these projects. 28,000 students drop out of school in LA County each year. 12,500 dropped out of LAUSD schools in 2011(1). If only 1,000 more students made it to graduation, there would still be a significant impact on the economy: They would likely (2): • Earn as much as $15 million in additional earnings in an average year; • Spend an additional $900,000 each year purchasing vehicles • Spend up to $45 million more on homes than they would likely spend without a diploma; and • Support as many as 130 new jobs in the region • Increase the gross regional product by up to $21 million, and pour as much as an additional $1.8 million annually into state and local coffers, all through their increased spending and investments. Improving graduation rates has a positive impact on community life. That, combined with the specifically community-problem-solving focus of this initiative would lead to an improvement in Los Angeles residents’ life expectancy, health status, and voting rates while also reducing the crime rate and the associated costs to incarcerate criminals (3). Young people across the country have already demonstrated their power to make change. Imagine if LA had thousands more young people exploring their own ideas for change – the potential is impossible to calculate, and a very real possibility. (1) CA Dept. of Education DataQuest; 2009-2010 Dropouts by Cohort (2) http://www.all4ed.org/files/LosAngelesCA_leb.pdf http://www.all4ed.org/publication_material/EconStatesPostsecondary (3) Source: http://www.measureofamerica.org/docs/APortraitOfCA.pdf

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Financial Enrichment and Management (collegiate class of 2018-2019)
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Statistics from the California High School Performance Reports presented by the State Department of Education indicate that only 63.5% of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students graduate from high school. Those scoring above 50 percentile is even less. One area school, Fairfax High, has only a four-year competition rate of 42.3%. Without intervention, many of those students will drop out of school; many more will graduate without the necessary skills needed to succeed in life. Our classes will enable students to enter the workforce with more positive and realistic aspirations. Students statistically expected to underachieve will be empowered to do the opposite.

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TRUST South LA 2050: Affordable Homes, Sustainable Neighborhoods
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Los Angeles defines urban sprawl, with hundreds of miles of roads and freeways that have shaped the City over the past five decades. We all recognize that it is time to rethink, replan, and rebuild Los Angeles to be more compact and less dependent on cars. However, one of the challenges to this vision of smart growth is the many thousands of acres of single-family neighborhoods scattered throughout the City, which do not have lots that can accommodate multi-family housing. TRUST South LA is developing an affordable housing prototype for more families to comfortably live in these types of low-density residential neighborhoods – starting in our own South LA backyards. Furthermore, our model for single family affordable housing will require minimal government subsidy, which is critical in a time of reduced resources, creating the potential for large scale replication even during these lean times. With funding from LA2050, this demonstration project will provide an effective advocacy tool, as TRUST South LA and others pursue the capital subsidies from public and private sources necessary to implement this cost-effective housing model. As a unique concept, TRUST South LA’s model creates affordability by acquiring properties discounted through the foreclosure process, and then doubling density to decrease the land cost per unit – essentially cutting our land cost in half for each home. Utilizing a mix of rehabilitation and manufactured homes, we can deliver the finished units for $175,000 per home – which is approximately HALF the cost of new multi-family construction. TRUST South LA will create permanent affordable housing – on land held in perpetuity by the community through our land trust – for 50% of what it currently costs to construct permanently affordable rental units! With a successful demonstration project, we can transform our City’s approach to creating affordable housing in low-density neighborhoods. Additionally, our long-term goal is to create scattered-site limited equity housing cooperatives held on our community land trust, providing resident-control and resident-ownership with long-term affordability. Unlike affordable for-sale developments that lose their affordability after a subsidized homeowner sells, community land trusts circumvent the loss of that initial subsidy through community ownership of the land, which passes the benefits onto future generations. Initially, until the limited equity coop model becomes feasible through increased subsidy sources and by taking the model to scale, we will provide rental housing under the ownership of our member-controlled non-profit. Finally, as we keep families in their neighborhoods - and create good bike, pedestrian and public transportation infrastructure in those neighborhoods - we get more Angelinos out of their cars and into the streets. This means less greenhouse gas emissions, lower obesity rates, safer streets, and more connected communities throughout LA.

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Central Educational Network Based On The Apprenticeship Model
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The LA Makerspace is committed to fostering innovation and embracing community. We chose Downtown LA / South LA as our neighborhood as it is conveniently within reach of public transportation, providing ready access to a variety of neighborhoods independent of their socioeconomic status. LA Makerspace provides shared physical resources otherwise unaffordable or attainable by an individual or family. It provides a fluid workspace in order to facilitate the collaboration, inspiration and encouragement of others. The maker movement, as it pertains to education, seeks to build the confidence, analytic skills, and creativity of those involved by establishing an environment centered on the creative act. This collaborative and project-based approach to learning runs counter to the current trend in education of defining academic success in terms of standardized tests, especially at the cost of hands-on programs such as shop, art, and laboratory science. It is a place to learn about engineering, design, and research through both organized classes as well as open-ended projects. As an educational endeavor LA Makerspace provides a community meeting point for projects ranging from robotics to filmmaking, as well as a shared lab space for community members to develop their own projects and work with partnered research institutions within our citizen science program. This community of practice also includes the running of teacher workshops whereby current educators meet, with students and professionals, to design and test various projects to run in and outside the traditional classroom. LA Makerspace bridges the gap between academia and the community-at-large by establishing a peer-to-peer mentorship network and giving members the chance to apprentice into a whole variety of fields ranging from industrial design to data analysis. The ultimate goal for LA Makerspace is to foster productive community members.

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Power of the Pen: Writing Together
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The Power of the Pen: Writing Together project will benefit Los Angeles by raising to prominence the value of creative writing and self-empowerment. The joy of sharing our stories can contribute much to the quality of life in Los Angeles. If we want to address the dire high school dropout rate of nearly 50% at many Los Angeles public schools, if we want to shift that number by 2050, we need to plant seeds now that will inspire students to want to write, and engage the community to help make that happen. In order to implement this project, we would assemble a committee of local teachers, students, parents, arts education professionals, corporate partners and experienced WriteGirl mentors and volunteers. The team would develop the slate of writing events, refine curriculum and establish recruitment and volunteer training criteria for the Power of the Pen Writing Guides. Each committee member would receive a modest stipend to help secure their commitment of time and energy. The committee would be led by a paid project coordinator, who would spearhead communications and project goals. The Power of the Pen: Writing Together project would integrate writing, education, arts education and community activism, giving all Los Angeles residents the chance to take part in the educational success of the youth of Los Angeles and connect with the creative energy of their own personal voices.

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Educating LA's Youth for a Better Future
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“My dream is to contribute to the work NYA does and pave a way for underprivileged students to go to college….” Carol, NYA Alumna & Sophomore, Macalaster College Youth who do not complete high school will earn less over their course of their lives; are more dependent upon welfare programs; experience higher risk of serious illness and increased rates of drug use and violent crime. When a young person drops out of school, the long term negative effects are borne not just by the student but by the entire community. The strength and success of NYA’s Personal Best program has been proven. Los Angeles’ high dropout rate demonstrates the massive need for this level of individualized academic support. NYA’s Mar Vista/Venice program facility can only accommodate 100 students, yet there are thousands of youth throughout Los Angeles who need the Personal Best program. To expand students’ access to this support, NYA entered into an innovative partnership with affordable housing developers, who are required to provide specific services on site for their residents. Through this partnership, NYA has established three satellite program sites on the campuses of affordable housing developments in some of Los Angeles poorest and most underserved neighborhoods in Downtown, Mid-City and South Los Angeles. In March of 2013, NYA awarded its first college scholarships to satellite site students. Now entering year four of this pilot partnership, NYA has proven the replicability of the program and is ready to expand even further and help more youth in more neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. Working with current affordable housing partners, NYA has identified over 350 affordable housing developments targeting over 20,000 low and moderate income families throughout the greater Los Angeles Area. In 2013, NYA will bring the program to two new satellite sites and three more in 2014. Each year, NYA will continue to add more satellite sites throughout Los Angeles. In this way, NYA will continue to expand, helping hundreds and eventually thousands of youth make their college dreams come true.

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CicLAvia: Get Connected LA
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<p>Considered the most park-poor major city in the United States, Los Angeles has a major challenge in finding space for people to share positive interactions. For many neighborhoods – particularly in L.A.’s communities of color – public park space is scant or non-existent. CicLAvia temporarily eases this problem and points to a solution by providing an ad hoc public space for such neighborhoods - a newfound common ground on which to congregate and enjoy this democratic, outdoor activity.<p/> <p>As with any successful public space, CicLAvia routes offer participants diverse reasons to participate. Through CicLAvia’s organic growth, participants continually discover new purposes for converging along the route – whether one’s objective is to bike, stroll, picnic, or people-watch. This temporary public space points out the historic emphasis on private space in LA while simultaneously shifting our focus to the need for more public places and positive events throughout the city where all populations can connect as a community.<p/><p>CicLAvia is a source of civic pride for the communities it traverses, the city as a whole as well as the entire region. By connecting dozens of diverse city neighborhoods, CicLAvia encourages residents to explore resources within and beyond their own insular territory.<p/><p>Long-term effects of CicLAvia not only include increased CicLAvia events throughout the year and an expansion of the program into all corners of Los Angeles County, but a shift in public perception of Los Angeles as a car-centric metropolis. With a focus on improved public health, increased public space, enhanced community and economic development and the promotion of bicycle, pedestrian and public transportation advocacy, CicLAvia advocates for strengthened public policy in each of these areas. As a result, CicLAvia helps to transform Los Angeles County into a region that is more focused on smart growth, sustainable living and community development.<p/>

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Kids who sling kale eat kale: Launch 5 School Garden CSA's in LA's Food Deserts
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Provide low-income teens jobs, work experience, socent exposure and fresh, organic veg. Weigh the students, measure health impact Bootstrap would-be school-garden based produce non-profit companies and teachers with an executable economic model Insert fresh, organic produce into "food deserts." Support urban/rural farm partnerships in California Identity best practices in the school garden/rural farm CSA model

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Building Blocks LA: changing the shape of Los Angeles through imaginative urban planning
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<p>Activating people’s everyday experiences and imaginations to promote zoning reform is a chance to promote land uses that reflect the reality and aspirations of contemporary Los Angeles. LA is a place with a diverse population, an expanding transit system, a need for more affordable housing, and young people who value urban energy and living. Los Angeles has been held back by suburban-oriented land use rules that promoted driving and separated people and places. Better zoning and land use can weave neighborhoods together and help us become a city with more connected, equitable and healthy communities; more diverse and affordable forms of housing; more sustainable infrastructure; and more vibrant and creative places and economic activity.</p> <p>Some zoning rules have had the effect of preventing lower income individuals and members of minority ethnic groups from living in places with more amenities, more economic opportunities and better schools. By excluding some social groups from the mainstream, land use rules contributed to clustering of poverty, unemployment and other challenges that have harmed communities for generations. </p> <p>They also keep the city divided by race and class. The Los Angeles Metropolitan region is as economically unequal as the Dominican Republic and residential segregation by income has increased in Los Angeles over the past 30 years. </p> <p>Zoning rules make it difficult for informal dwellings and informal economic activities such as street vending to be legally integrated into the mainstream of society. Zoning for cars through minimum parking along with zoning that separates residences from jobs and businesses has made it more difficult for people to walk as part of their daily lives, reducing social interactions and use of public space.</p> <p>Improved zoning rules inspired by residents’ visions and models of a transformed city and research into best practices can help Los Angeles reach its potential. Better land use rules can:</p> <p>• Make streets and other public spaces into better places for socializing, strolling and civic engagement. </p> <p>• Reduce driving, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions</p> <p>• Legalize more diverse (and more affordable) types of housing in more places </p> <p>• Learn from and legalize culturally diverse uses of the city <p>• Develop local food sources</p> <p>• Allow more experimentation with different ways of living and connecting in LA </p>

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Making LA
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de LaB anticipates that our audience will be thrilled to support a yearlong “Making LA” series, in which each person has the chance to meet and interact with the creative individuals--architects, designers and artists--who are shaping and in some cases, reshaping, the future of Los Angeles. Measurements of success will based upon de LaB’s ability to reach new and diverse audiences at rapid speed, which we have done in the past. <br><br> In spring 2012, de LaB’s Subway Terminal Tour spiked the organization’s number of email subscribers by one third in a single month due to the overwhelming desire by Angelenos to understand our city’s great past. de LaB anticipates that new programming that has the impact to affect the way people feel about their city will foster the same enthusiasm. Additionally, de LaB’s goal, as always, will be to reach more and more diverse communities of Angelenos who attend our events, not because of a particular affiliation with the design community, but purely because they love the city in which they live and they want it to be a healthy, sustainable and dynamic place well into the future.

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The South LA Hub: Strengthening Nonprofits in South Los Angeles
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With the city’s massive physical landscape, our slow move towards an integrated public transit system, and the fast-paced lifestyle many of us lead, it’s not easy for Angelenos to connect with one another. Without mechanisms to facilitate interactions, or organizations ready with the skills, strategies and tactics to effectively encourage public engagement, Los Angeles will have more of the same fragmented, often unengaged communities. Our goal is to build up Los Angeles organizations that focus on civic engagement, voter turn-out, neighborhood-based advocacy, and local community building to change this. With stronger, more collaborative, and strategic community organizations, Los Angeles residents will receive better services, become more informed, and find new pathways to participate in community. In time, this means higher voter turnout, greater civic discourse, heightened community collaboration, and new organizations and campaigns coming from the ground up. These neighborhood based initiatives would be made of people with skills to tackle almost any issue – from crime and violence prevention to low-performing schools and public health. UCLA’s Luskin Center for Public Affairs’ report on the state of non-profit organizations in Los Angeles County found an extreme service gap in low-income communities – nonprofits exist in the lowest numbers in poor neighborhoods. This means that, at present day, the people in Los Angeles who have the least support are those who essentially need it the most. Our focus on South Los Angeles represents a desire to reverse the service gap by strengthening the organizations that already exist so that they might more effectively engage Angelenos. The regional emphasis also represents our long-term commitment to serving underserved communities of color. We strongly believe that the South Los Angeles Hub is the first step in designing an engagement model that can be replicated city-wide.

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KIPP Through College
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The neighborhoods of South and East Los Angeles, where KIPP LA students and alumni live, face astonishingly high levels of illiteracy, drug abuse, gang violence, and juvenile crime. Schools are overcrowded and underperforming; virtually all traditional public middle and high schools are failing according to No Child Left Behind. Overall, fewer than 10 percent of students in these neighborhoods attend a four-year college or university after graduating high school and only 4 percent go on to obtain a degree.</br></br>Today more than ever, students in underserved communities need an outstanding education to prepare them for success in life and to overcome the cycle of poverty. Research suggests that by 2018, 63 percent of jobs will require some higher education. By comparison, only 36 percent of jobs will be available to those with a high school degree or lower, leaving those without higher degrees access to even fewer jobs than they have today. Over the course of a lifetime, college graduates will earn on average $1.6 million more than those without a degree.</br></br>Unfortunately, the youth of South and East Los Angeles are highly unlikely to graduate high school college-ready or go on to graduate college. According to The Education Trust West, only 22 percent of LAUSD students graduate with the requirements necessary to enroll in a University of California institution. This is the case for only 16 percent of Latino students. Research suggests that just over half of these students will matriculate to college and only 41 percent of them will graduate. Based on these figures, we estimate that only 4 percent of students in South and East Los Angeles actually obtain a college degree within six years.</br></br>KIPP LA, on the other hand, is succeeding at helping students from underserved communities “climb the mountain” to and through college. With the unwavering support of KIPP LA’s KTC team, 96 percent of our alumni are attending 140 high-performing, college-prep high schools, and nearly 85 percent are currently attending over 80 colleges and universities across the country. We foresee that our alumni – as self-directed, purposeful college graduates – will also work to improve educational and economic opportunities across Los Angeles. This will mean stronger economic outcomes, such as lifetime earnings and employment rates, in the city’s currently most underserved areas. Thus, supporting KIPP LA is not only an investment in underserved students’ education and preparation for college; it is an investment in the future of our city and country.

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Los Angeles is called "the Entertainment Capital of the World." It has a creative economy that generates close to $4 billion in state tax revenues, employs a million people in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and accounts for $100 billion in sales/receipts in L.A. County alone. Yet there are whole areas, whole neighborhoods, often for miles on end, where there are no bookstores, no movie houses, no art galleries, no cultural spaces. These culturally barren sections include South Central L.A., East L.A., the Harbor, and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The arts are concentrated in downtown, the shoreline, Hollywood, museum row, and such. We are not opposed to these vital tourist-laden centers of culture and commerce. But we need a neighborhood arts policy in Los Angeles so that every community can benefit from cultural store fronts, independent bookstores, public art projects including murals, workshops in all the arts, digital arts, and more. Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural's "Art Transforms Community" workshops prove this works in any neglected and resource-limited area of the city. Flavored by the people of the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Tia Chucha's is a model of how every community can have its own cultural wellness center -- they can name it for someone else's aunt if they wish. The point is that the arts are they key "log," the one stake that when moved opens up a logjam. The arts reach across ethnicity, race, religion, and culture. The arts are the unity-in-diversity that finds commonality and wholeness to one of the most divided and contentious cities in America.

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Building on LA's Social Capital
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<p>The driving force for creating the Lending Circles for Citizenship model is to simultaneously provide immigrants with tools for financial integration while enhancing the capacity of immigrant services organizations to support this process. Based on the success of the pilot, MAF is confident that the model has the potential for expansion among additional community-based partners in Los Angeles. Upon the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), social lending can serve as a model for helping undocumented immigrants collectively pool their money to pay for any penalty needed to adjust their status.</p> <p>With respect to its impact in Los Angeles, the Lending Circles for Citizenship model will increase civic participation among the region’s legal permanent resident population. Going beyond theoretical classroom knowledge, immigrants will have the opportunity to achieve real-life, tangible, and measurable outcomes, such as opening bank accounts at mainstream financial institutions, saving and applying for citizenship, and increasing credit scores. Moreover, the program will increase the capacity of Los Angeles nonprofit organizations to provide a responsible, trustworthy, and socially conscious financial product that improves financial outcomes for their clients.</p> <p>Similar to Lending Circles for Citizenship, the benefits of the Security Deposit Loan program also have a tremendous impact on the ability of participants to achieve their goals. Through receiving an affordable loan repayable over two years, renting an apartment becomes accessible to participants. In addition to decreasing housing instability and homelessness, the program’s financial and social benefits on the Los Angeles population include:</p> <p>1. Renting a first apartment will become accessible to people who currently lack savings. 2. The loan will be paid back over two years, making monthly payments affordable. 3. The process will provide a safe lending experience that models and encourages responsible financial behavior and success. 4. The loan will improve credit scores and develop a pot of savings for future rent deposits.</p>

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$1,000,000 in total grants
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Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

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Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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